I have been knitting necklaces for nearly 2 years, having started because a friend has sensitive skin, and metal made her skin sore.
I have been selling them at By Local, in Cheltenham for nearly a year, and, having recently opened an Etsy shop http://www.etsy.com/shop/MwmynsMakes I decided it was time to offer them to a wider world!
Each one is made by threading the beads on to embroidery silk, fine cotton or Goldfingering yarn, in the reverse order to which they will be incorporated (i.e the first bead to be threaded on is the last one to be knitted in) which requires me to really have my brain in gear! Then I cast on, slipping the beads into place as I go, till the lower edge is created. I then use a short row technique to shape the centre of the necklace, including the beads in order as I go, so that the necklace will hang in a nice curve.
This is the necklace I have just put on Etsy, and I call it 'Spring Garden', because it made me think of the crocuses that are coming up, and the way their colours sparkle in the dew & raindrops on the grass around them!
This is what it looks like when I'm about half way through the actual knitting! I use bamboo or wooden needles for this job, less likely to lose everything when I put it down than I would be using slippy metal needles.
When i've finished knitting it looks like this. I still have to put on a way of fastening ( I use normal, garment hooks & eyes, as proper jewellery findings are much too heavy - believe me, I've tried, disastrous!) I then wash them and pull them into shape, hanging them to dry in the shaped curve they need to lie in on the neck.
Finished article! They mostly work out between 16 - 18 inches long, can't always predict exactly, as they stretch differently when washed, so they sit neatly at the base of most necks. I can, of course, do longer ones to commission, but this seems to be a popular length. There's another one on its way, keep an eye on my Etsy shop!