What is it? - Decorative beadwork has a history dating back millennia to a time when shells and bones were used to fashion necklaces and other jewelry. It was used to signify a special sense of importance to the wearer. The same can be said of crochet and knitting. As an art form they’ve been around for a very long time as well and a unique technique often signified a special sense of importance to the wearer. So it only seems natural that these two decorative art forms should eventually merge into a creative collaboration of special significance. Adding beads to knitting or crochet, what a concept. In addition to an inexhaustible array of yarn colors, types and textures, we add an almost unlimited selection of bead types, sizes, textures and colors. Think of the applications. Beads can be a great embellishment for the collar of a sweater, the edge of a shawl or distributed throughout the body of any knitted or crocheted project. It’s a beautiful technique but requires a bit of pre-planning. Before we start we’ll need to know the number, order (if using different colors or styles) and the location of the beads in our project. This is important because we’ll need to pre-string these beads on our yarn before we get started. Once we have all of the beads on our working yarn we can knit or crochet away, slipping the beads onto our work at the desired locations. But how do we get these beads onto our working yarn? Folks have come up with a lot of interesting ways to accomplish this including darning needles, dental floss threaders, beading needles and other work-arounds. They all work but they all work on the concept of one bead at a time. And that sounds like a lot of tedium to me. Especially if you’re doing a major project with hundreds or even thousands of beads. If you’re doing them one at a time you’re in for the long haul. Is there a better way? Of course, there always is with Clover ingenuity. In this case it’s the Clover Swift Bead Quick Beading Needle.
What does it do? - The Swift Bead has a very unique design. The tip of the needle has a hook type mechanism that allows the beads to freely move onto the needle shaft while preventing them from sliding off. To load beads we simply push the point of the needle into the container of beads. The point engages the beads, easily aligning them and the downward motion moves them onto the shaft. The other end of the needle resembles a needle threader. By inserting our working yarn through its opening we can easily slide the beads in the number and order we wanted off the needle and onto the working yarn. If you are using different colors or types of beads you’ll need to load them in reverse order. Remember, the last bead on will be the first off. Now that all the beads are loaded we can get to the fun part. And don’t forget, the Swift Bead also has applications to loom beading as well. Let it do the work while you create.