Continuing from the previous post . . .

Let’s add beads to your “Double Border Diamond.”

“Double Border Diamond” with beads

If you’re using wool, this will be easy. Wool yarn stretches out nice and thin when you thread beads onto it. Acrylic is more like a mule. It resists the addition of beads. This is why your beads need to have a large center hole—and, in  my experience, the cheaper the beads, the larger the hole.

First, decide how you want the beads distributed on your diamond. The photo below shows three types of diamond squares. (It’s an old photo and I don’t have the squares anymore—square swap on the Facebook Pin Loom Weaving Support Group—so I couldn’t photo only the squares I wanted.) Up until recently I either used a single color of beads or randomly threaded beads onto the yarn. I like the mono-color diamonds (bottom row, both squares). The random distribution (top row, tan square; second row, white square) is also pretty, though I think in the tan one it would look better if the beads were organized and if I hadn’t used beads the same color as the yarn.

An assortment of beaded (and non-beaded) Double Border Diamonds


For the Book Weave-Along, I finally made a diagram. You can print this mono-color chart and color it in if you want to make up your own color distribution chart.

Mono-color (or blank) chart

For the Book Weave-Along, I made three diagrams to help you figure out how many beads to place on which strand. All beads go on Layer 3 (L3) warps. On strand 1 of L3, there are 0 beads. On strand 2, there is one bead; on strand 3 there are 2 beads; and so forth, according to the chart.

Because the diamond isn’t centered from top to bottom on the square, we’ll be turning it 90 degrees to the left. Therefore, you want to string your beads not according to how they’ll look if the square is upright, but how it will look if the square is rotated (only the tri-color bead distribution is affected by rotation).

Mono-color bead distribution on L3 warps

Bi-color bead distribution on L3 warps

Tri-color bead distribution on L3 warps (for a square that will be rotated 90 degrees left)


R = Row
P = Plain weave (U, O . . .)
U = Under
O = Over
Rpt = Repeat

“Double Border Diamond”

R1: P
R2: P14, U3, P14
R3: P12, U3, O1, U3, P12
R4: P 10, (U3, O1) x 2, U3, P10
R5: P 8, (U3, O1) x 3, U3, P8
R6: P 6, U3, O1, U3, P5, U3, O1, U3, P6
R7: P 4, U3, O1, U3, P9, U3, O1, U3, P4
R8: P 2, U3, O1, U3, P13, U3, O1, U3, P2
R9: Rpt R7
R10: Rpt R6
R11: Rpt R5
R12: Rpt R4
R13: Rpt R3
R14: Rpt R2
R15: P
R16: P

YOU WILL NEED A TOTAL OF 40 BEADS(I used 6/0 Rocaille, or seed, beads.)

For the demonstration I’ll use the simple two color warping method and acrylic yarn. (For those using high contrast yarn for their book covers, I recommend using a single color on this square so the beads will show up.)

High contrast yarns used in the two-color squares, but not in the (obviously) mono-color plain weave square nor in the beaded diamond.
Notice that the doubled sock yarn used here is actually variegated, but the colors are so closely related that you get the effect of a muted bi-color weaving. Two for one!

The following instructions are specific to acrylic yarn, but also apply to all yarn types.

To begin, you have a few choices:

  • You can string your beads on at the beginning and keep shoving them down the length of yarn as you warp L1&2.
  • OR (for two-color warping) you can warp up the loom with L1-3, cut your yarn after L3 (leave 6 inches extra to trim off because threading beads is rough on the yarn). Unwarp L3 and thread your beads onto the yarn at this end, then rewarp putting beads in place. Tie on your second color for L4.
  • OR (for single color warping) you can warp L1-3, wrap your pins for L4 (leaving 6 inches extra for trimming after bead threading), cut yarn and thread beads onto that end. You’ll have to unwarp L3 and place the beads while you rewarp–which is good practice if you’re a beginner.

I usually start at the beginning and keep shoving the beads out of the way while I warp L1&2. For this demo, I’m using three bead colors. It can be really challenging getting beads on acrylic yarn; occasionally I had to use pliers to hold the dental floss threader while I strained to get the bead over the doubled yarn.

Beading equipment — thread beads onto yarn with dental floss threaders (use pliers if necessary)

Sometimes you’ll find you just didn’t get lucky and no matter how many different beads you try, they just won’t go onto the yarn. Go have a temper tantrum. Wait a bit longer . . . Then try something else. (I intended to use the pale purple yarns and purple beads in the demo, but nothing, I repeat, NOTHING worked!!! Not a bead would fit on that yarn. No matter what . . . No. Matter. What. I did.)

<tantrum break>

So, we’re having green in the demo photos.

You can see that by the end of threading beads the yarn end is really thrashed. Just cut off the damaged part and start warping.

Cut off damaged yarn tail

Because I’m using acrylic yarn, I warp quite loosely. Stretchy wool can take tighter warping. Don’t worry about the beads being clumped up, you can distribute them as you weave. Just make sure you have the right number and colors on each warp.

Warp loosely when using acrylic yarn. Don’t worry yet about spreading the beads out.

Add your second color (if using one) and weave R1. Then weave R2, but before you pull the needle through, slide the correct bead down the warp and set it in place atop the needle. The bead will be located on the center “floating” warp and will nestle between the L2 wefts below and above it (after pulling the needle through and packing the next L2 weft in place).

R2 with needle still in place

R2 with bead in place

You can pull the needle through before positioning the bead. I like the way the needle lifts the warps up so you can see exactly what you’re doing . . .

R3 with needle and beads in place

That is, you can mostly see what you’re doing. Can you spot the mistake I made?


Don’t worry if you forgot to place a bead; you don’t have to unweave to correct it. Just work the bead under and over the wefts till you get it in place.

Needle is pointing at missing bead spot

Bead has been wriggled down into correct position

Continue weaving and sliding beads into place until all the beads form the Double Border Diamond.

Admire your square before you remove it from the loom, but also check to be sure all beads are where they belong.

Finished square on the loom

For the Book Weave-Along we’re planning to rotate the finished square 90 degrees left to disguise the extra plain weave row along the binding edge. However, notice that in turning the square you’ll also be turning the beads sideways. You might prefer the beads in a sideways orientation, so choose the direction you like best.

Square in its original postion

Square has been rotated

Let me know if you have questions, or if anything is unclear.

Happy beading!


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