Such an exciting week, the lovely people at Minerva Crafts gave me the opportunity to try the Clover French Knitter. As a child I loved my Knitting Nancy, and this bead jewellery tool works in a similar way, but has an opening which is wide enough to accommodate beads.

You can make gorgeous french knitting, beautiful jewellery, bag handles or head bands and it comes with three interchangeable heads, with 4, 5 or 6 pegs.

You can use embroidery thread, string, yarn or even thin wire.

I decided to make a bracelet using a silver embroidery thread and a selection of orange and turquoise Swarovski style Crystal Beads with tiny gold accent seed beads.

It takes a lot more thread than you might expect to make a relatively short piece.  For this bracelet I used a 3 strands from a 6 strand embroidery thread.  I used the full skein in length.  

Firstly you need to tie a knot at the bottom, attach a thin needle and thread on your beads.  If you are using more than one colour of bead you will need to decide in advance your colour combination/pattern, as you will need to thread the beads on in order.

Once your beads are threaded, you will need to feed the thread through the top of the knitter so the end with the long length of thread and the beads is sticking out of the top, and a short 10cm thread is protruding out of the bottom.

Next, wrap the yarn around each peg.

Lay the thread over the first peg, and use the hook tool that comes with the knitter to hook the bottom loop over the top of the thread.  Continue around the knitter until you have done a complete circuit.  I would recommend you do a few rows without beads at each end of your project as it will give you some thread to work with if you want to attach a clasp etc.

Now you can start adding beads in between the loops. You can use all different types of beads, in any colour combinations your imagination can come up with.

I loved how quickly the patterns in the beads start to show.

You will see your knitted piece hangs down inside the french knitter.  The tool is see-through which enables you to see how your creation looks whilst you knit.

Once the knitting is your desired length, or you have run out of thread/beads, you will need to cast off.  This is really simple.  Cut the thread which contained the beads so it is approximately 20cm long, warp around the next peg and pull over the same as previously, but this time pull the thread through.  Repeat until you have cast off and the project is off the knitter.

Doesn't it look fabulous!  I love this choice of colours and have already started to think about my next creation.  I attached my clasp and then it was ready to be expertly modelled by Twinkle!

This tool comes with an instruction booklet that explains the techniques in a lot of detail with diagrams.  One word of advice would be to think carefully about your combination of thread and beads early on.  This tool will allow you to use big or small beads and a wide range of threads, but remember you will need to be able to thread the beads on easily, so make sure the hole in the beads isn't too small.