A knitted tube expands and contracts to form these silken pearls.
To make them, work a short length of I-cord, then increase until the cord becomes a half-dome. Next stuff the half-dome with a cotton ball, then decrease back to the I-cord.
Pearls: Approximately 3 1⁄2" circumference
Necklace: Approximately 27" long
Shibui Knits Heichi (100% silk; 105 yards / 50 grams): 1 hank Column
Two 16" (40 cm) long or longer circular (circ) needles or one set of three double-pointed needles (dpn), size US 4 (3.5 mm). Note: Because this project is worked at a tight gauge using a yarn with very little bounce, I recommend using metal needles.
Change needle size if necessary to obtain correct gauge.
Waste yarn; 15 jumbo cotton balls; stitch marker
22 sts and 28 rows = 4" (10 cm) in Stockinette Stitch (St st)
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Using waste yarn, CO 5 sts. Join to work in the rnd, being careful not to twist sts.
Rnds 1–3: Work I-cord (see page 10). Divide stitches between 2 or more needles if necessary for your preferred method of working in the rnd.
Rnds 5, 7, 9–11, 13, and 15: Knit.
Rnd 4: *M1, k1; repeat from * to end—10 sts.
Rnd 6: *M1, k2; repeat from * to end—15 sts.
Rnd 8: *M1, k3; repeat from * to end—20 sts.
Rnd 12: *K2, k2tog; repeat from * to end—15 sts remain. Stuff Pearl with cotton ball.
Rnd 14: *K1, k2tog; repeat from * to end—10 sts remain.
Rnd 16: *K2tog; repeat from * to end—5 sts remain. Slip all sts to 1 needle. Repeat Rnds 1–16 until you have made 15 Pearls.
Carefully unravel waste yarn and place live sts on second dpn or opposite end of circ needle. Using Kitchener st (see page 154), graft live sts, making sure that you graft RS to RS.
￼￼To make a longer or shorter necklace, separate
the Pearls with longer or shorter sections of I-cord.
To create Pearls of varying sizes, modify the
increase pattern. If substituting yarn, work at a tight gauge so the cotton ball won’t show through. Remember that variations will also affect the yarn requirements.
To make I-cord, begin by casting a few stitches onto a double- pointed or circular needle. Knit a row and then, instead of turning and purling back the way you came, slide the stitches back to the working end of the needle without turning around. Draw the working yarn behind the stitches from left to right, and knit them again. Repeat this process and your work will form a quickly growing
tube. Each round of I-cord climbs up on top of the last one, like knitting your way up a spiral staircase.