Beaded Chain-Plied Yarn… Give It a Try!

Grab some singles, a tiny crochet hook, and some beads. Kate Larson shares how to add beads to your handspun.

Kate Larson Jan 10, 2021 - 3 min read

Beaded Chain-Plied Yarn… Give It a Try! Primary Image

Malabrigo Nube spun into a chain-plied yarn with beads. Photos by Kate Larson.

Do you love beads but go pale at the idea of pre-stringing? Me, too, so I love my way of adding beads in chain-plied yarn. I just finished teaching a Color and Creativity for Spinners workshop at the Midwest Weavers Conference, where we spent one afternoon happily beading and chain-plying beautiful yarns. I thought you might like to learn, too! So grab some singles, a tiny crochet hook, and some beads.

Beaded Chain-Plied Yarn

Begin chain-plying. After a few loops, ply until you have a short loop remaining. I like to slip my pinkie into the loop so I have one hand free for the next step.

Pause in chain-plying and hold the loop open with your pinkie finger.

Pause in chain-plying and hold the loop open with your pinkie finger.

Next, slide a bead onto the shaft of the crochet hook. Catch the hook on the small loop sitting on your pinky and push the bead onto the loop. Place loop back onto your pinkie.

Hook the loop with the crochet hook and slide the bead onto it.

Hook the loop with the crochet hook and slide the bead onto it.

Pull a new loop through the small loop on your pinkie below the bead and slide the bead down so that it covers the little chain bump. Resume chain-plying. You can add beads at the end of each chain-plied loop or less frequently as you like.

Slide the bead up the loop over the bump and resume plying.

Slide the bead up the loop over the bump and resume plying.

—Kate

*Chain-plying is also sometimes referred to as Navajo plying or n-plying.

Published October 17, 2017; updated January 10, 2021.

Kate Larson is the editor of Spin Off and spends as many hours as life allows in the barn with her beloved flock of Border Leicesters.

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