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I think I am finally happy with my pattern, I hope I have explained it clearly enough for anyone to try!
This is what I used for my necklace but you could use any oddments of yarn and size of needle, it would be nice in a cotton yarn too
Needles: one set of four double pointed needles (DPNs) size 2.0mm (14 UK / 0 US)
Yarn: Double knitting wool oddments
Using two of the DPNs and your chosen colour for the necklace 'cord' cast on 3 sts. Knit these 3 sts using the i-cord method until work measures 15cm (6"). Join yarn colour for the bead
Shape the bead
rnd 1 Working on the 3 i-cord sts, using 4 DPNs *K1, M1* Repeat from *to* (6 sts)
The 6 sts should be arranged on three needles to knit in the round
Place a marker at the beginning of the round (I do this by attaching a piece of contrasting yarn to the first stitch)
rnd 2 K all 6 sts
rnd 3 *K1, M1* Repeat from *to* (12 sts)
rnd 4 K all 12 sts
rnd 5 *K2, M1* Repeat from *to* (18 sts)
rnd 6 K all 18 sts
rnd 7 *K3, M1* Repeat from *to* (24 sts)
rnd 8 - rnd 12 K all 24 sts
rnd 13 *K 2, k2tog* Repeat from *to* (18 sts)
rnd 14 K all 18 sts
rnd 15 *K1, k2tog* Repeat from *to* (12 sts)
fill the 'bead' with stuffing (I used polyester stuffing)
rnd 16 *K2tog* (6 sts)
rnd 17 join yarn for 'cord' and with this *K2tog* Repeat from *to* (3 sts)
Knit i-cord on these 3 sts to form the 'cord' between the beads, I knitted 7 rows before I started my next bead
From this basic pattern you can knit four more beads.
Necklace cord and loop fastening
Change yarn and on the 3 sts K i-cord to the same length as the cord at the beginning of the necklace.
With a tail measuring about 65cm (25") cut the yarn and thread it through a crewel needle. Pass the needle through the 3 stitches left on the needle and pull tight. With the tail of yarn, your finger being at the end nearest to the cord, wind the yarn 5 times around your left hand's forefinger. With the needle and yarn work around the loop using a buttonhole stitch.
Secure loop to 'cord'. (take a look at the relevant photograph in it might make sense!)
Add a button to the other end for the fastening.
DPNs double pointed needle(s). A short needle with points at both ends, used in sets or 4 or 5, for knitting in the round.
K2tog knit 2 stitches together
M1 Make 1 stitch - From the front, lift loop between stitches with left needle, knit into back of loop