Beads of Earth by Jane Davis

Beads of Earth

September 2004
Worsted (9 wpi) ?
20 stitches and 24 rows = 4 inches
in Stockinette stitch
US 7 - 4.5 mm
654 yards (598 m)
6"/15cm wide and 48"/122cm long
Flag of English English

Pattern Description from Scarf Style: “Jane Davis likes to pair the soft, fluid feel of knitted fabric with the crisp texture of beads. In this warm, earth-toned scarf, she uses a beading technique that was popular for making knitted purses and bags in the early 1900s. The beads are strung onto the yarn before knitting and slid into place between stitches as needed. It’s a simple way to work with beads, yet the gentle arcs formed by the beaded sections make an impressive finish to an otherwise plain scarf. The close color match of beads and yarn is subtle and sophisticated. Choose shinier beads and a bright yarn for a stand-out version.”

Finished Size: 6” (15 cm) wide with edges unrolled, and 48” (122 cm) long.

Yarn: Cascade Yarns pima Silk (85% pima cotton, 15% silk; 109 yd (100m)/ 50 g): #5224 taupe, 6 skeins.

Needles: Size 7 (4.5mm). Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.

Notions: 45 grams of size 6 matte brown seed beads (about 714 beads); bead stringing needle; stitch holders; tapestry needle.

Gauge: 20 sts and 24 rows = 4” (10 cm) in St st.


  • When working with beads and yarn, consider the compatibility of the yarn and beads. The beads need to have holes large enough to accommodate the yarn, and the yarn needs to be strong enough to allow the beads to slide back and fourth without breaking. The yarn should also be smooth enough that the beads don’t get hung up on slubs or other textured spots. It’s a good idea to try the beads and yarn together in a test swatch to see if you like how they look and act together.
  • To keep the yarn threaded with beads from tangling as you work, place the beaded yarn in a bowl or basket and let the part of the yarn with beads on it coil loosely in the container. You can slide the beads up to the needle for inserting them into the work, or push them back down the yarn, away from the needle, to give you enough unbeaded yarn for knitting.
  • Slide about 4” (10 cm) to 6” (15 cm) of beads along the yarn at one time to avoid wear and tear on the yarn.
  • The number in parentheses at the beginning of each row is the number of beads needed for that row. If you slide that number of beads up to your working area and have about 24” (61 cm) of unbeaded yarn free in front of the rest of the beads, you will have enough yarn to knit the row and you will be able to double check that you knit the row accurately, since you’d pre-counted the number of beads needed for the row just worked.