IMPORTANT NOTE: Use a provisional cast on to start your project. You will want the live stitches at both ends of the project when you are ready to finish it off by beading it. A provisional cast on will make a much smoother end than picking up the stitches.
For this project, I wanted the beads to sit vertically on the stitches. If I had just threaded them on the yarn, then moved them up into position as I knit, the leaves would have laid sideways. Since the leaves in the pattern were vertical, I wanted the leaf beads to be vertical as well. I did not want them to dangle off the ends of the shawl, as I was not going to fringe it and I was afraid that hanging beads would soon fall off.
1. I decided to put a leaf bead at the top/bottom of each "full" leaf (i.e., the leaf pattern was complete, which applied to half of the leaves at each end of the shawl; if you look at the pattern, you can see that when you finish half the leaves, the other half of the leaves are in the middle of formation).
Knit every stitch on the row, until you get to the center of a full leaf. Slip the center stitch of the leaf purlwise (you will not be knitting that stitch on this row), and then put a small length of fishing line (about 8 inches) through that stitch.
2. Fold the fishing line in half, so the ends are together, and thread the bead onto the line.
3. Carefully pull the stitch through the bead. The holes on these beads were very small, and I wasn't sure the yarn would fit through, but that's the great thing about yarn (especially a fluffy single ply like this one): it compresses well.
4. Once the yarn is through, give it another gentle tug with the fishing line to make sure there is a needle-sized loop of yarn on the top of the bead.
5. Without knitting it, place that stitch onto the right hand needle...
6. ... and keep knitting until you come to the next stitch that needs a bead.
Repeat until the row is complete!
Purl the next row, all the way across, including the beaded stitches.
Because the yarn is carried behind the bead when the stitch is slipped, it provides a nice supportive structure on the back of the bead. In fact, you can barely see the bead on the wrong side, though this picture does show how the bead is located at the "top" of the full leaf.
Cast off knitwise on the next row.
The end result: a beautiful row of beads, that is an integral part of the fabric and quite securely attached.