Posted on - 15/07/2017
Shaping or sometimes referred to as fashioning, can be the difference between making a garment that fits well, looks beautiful and becomes a favourite to wear, to one that doesn’t fit or hang right, and is uncomfortable to wear.
As with sewing, knitting skills allow for different shaping methods, meaning that just because you are working in yarn, you don’t have to create something that hangs with little style.
Sometimes it is good to look at knitted garments manufactured for the shops, and you will see most shaping is done by working the pattern pieces flat and then cutting their shape and seaming together, which is the cheapest manufacturing method.
Some question why some knitwear that is ‘fashioned’ is so expensive. It is because it has been created using shaping methods, such as darts, raglan shaping for sleeves, etc, that mean the garment should fit well and look amazing when worn, as well as last forever if cared for, but of course making a garment this way takes more time and care, so costs more to manufacture.
The Smile Lacy Leaf Design is being knitted in one piece top down ~ a great method for incorporating shaping as you work, with the use of a mannequin you can ensure your fit is perfect as you go. Take a peek at why Provisional Cast Off is something worth giving a go.
Here you can see the shaping taking effect. Four Darts are being worked, one on the right and left side of the Front and Back. The Darts are positioned here so that they do not move the two parallel Lacy Leaf patterning, but as you can see enable fitting around the breast and into the waist.
These Darts are being worked by using a stitch marker at the position of where the dart is required, and then on appropriate rounds decreases are made by working to two stitches before the stitch marker and then working a Slip Slip Knit (SSK), slipping the stitch marker (sl marker), knitting one (K1), then knitting two together, (K2tog), reducing the stitch count by two. On the opposite dart on the piece, the workings are slightly different, knitting to three stitches before the stitch marker, then doing SSK, K1, sl marker, K2tog.
The SSK and K2tog mean that the decrease is neat, as the stitches point downwards towards each other on the garment, creating a symmetrical ‘V’, so the shaping looks professionally styled.
For those who have not worked a Slip Slip Knit (SSK), which decreases one stitch, this is done by slipping two stitches knitwise one at a time, inserting the tip of the left needle into both stitches and knitting the two stitches together.
Shaping can be used in so many ways, so learning different methods is never wasted energy, as even when working a garment that is not coming out as expected, add a few shaping techniques in and it can change that right around.
Posted on - 24/04/2017
Bessie May Studio has got hooked on colour today – Spring is in the air, and pastels and zing colours are influencing the cat walks. Here are some Bessie May pics that make us smile, with the hope of spring just around the corner.
Bessie May design inspiration, and yarns, as well as fabrics & art – could go on all day…..
Yarns and colours to inspire:
You can’t miss out on Super Kid Mohair & Silk – beautiful lace yarn, as soft as a cloud Bessie May ‘Grace’, with colours that glow due to the quality of the Mohair which becomes iridescent when dyed – Grace Colours.
Posted on - 01/12/2016
With the cold snap everywhere Winter Projects certainly kick in in earnest, and now feel right. Having been so mild it has felt weird working with chunky wool and making large wooly creations designed to suit the weather we now have.
It is so quick and easy to create a warm scarf, or mitts for yourself or for a gift for someone you love, and an endless choice of colours and styles.
Even if you can only work in knit stitch or stockinette stitch, a scarf in a colour you love, or yarn that you can’t resist touching, you can make something not only practical, but at the same time beautiful. Also you gain satisfaction, relaxation and build your skills ~ so why wouldn’t you?…
We hope you have the confidence to have a go, and even if you don’t, jump in and your confidence will quickly follow.
Have a browse of some of our scarves and cowl kits and get inspired to start clicking those needles.
Posted on - 14/01/2016
We hope everyone had a lovely break over Christmas and New Year.
Now Christmas knits are all done, we can’t wait to see what gets created in 2016, in another full year of knitting ahead to enjoy x
Posted on - 08/12/2015
All needles are clicking late into the night at this time of year all over the world.That special present that was intended to be started months ago suddenly hits critical point, but determination and late nights will ensure it is all wrapped and ready for watching the face of the recipient as they open it.
The needles for sure at the Bessie May Studio are working overtime ~ here is a glimpse of one of the projects which is setting the crochet hooks on fire ~ pretty Crochet 4ply SNIKEL Swirls, being made into a throw for a double bed ~ mad but true.
So soft, as being made with Bessie May SNIKEL, what more can be said.
No panic here ……………….!!! Can you tell…….?
Posted on - 26/10/2015
As October comes to an end autumnal colours are at their best.
Being surrounding by all these amazing autumnal shades and shapes has been the perfect influence for our designing, at the Bessie May Studio.
We have been exploring textured, chunky leaf designs, and this is our favourite, using chunky Bessie May SNUG in the perfect autumnal shade of Lichen, which is new in.
What a beautiful blend….
Posted on - 14/07/2015
Keep going Sarah, and send us a pic of your finished lovely x
Posted on - 29/05/2015
Sorry we have been quiet for a while, we have been exploring Peru, and all things colourful ~ woven, knitted, embroidered, by so many amazing crafts men and women
We shall be sharing some of our experiences and pictures to boost our memories, and share some amazing traditional crafts still in use on a daily basis.
Here are some hand loom weavers, working on different scale looms, using Alpaca Wool, or Cotton. No patterns in use, the intricate designs are passed down from generation to generation, and all stored in the memory. When I get confused which is stockinette stitch, and which is garter stitch, this is amazing to watch.
All wearing traditional dress, which is worn as a norm in the Andes in the Sacred Valley where these ladies live in small farming communities.
The Sacred Valley is at 2,792 metres high, so for most europeans a challenge to breathe let alone farm and travel the Inka trail, but worth all the challenges to see such beautiful craft ladies in action.
Many of the men in tribes in the Andes also weave, always creating bright colours for themselves to wear, often with the yarns hand spun and dyed with natural dyes.
Here are four pictures of different styles of looms, but there are many more.
All in all a special experience to witness x
Posted on - 10/02/2015
Provisional Cast-Off sounds very grand, but it is simply about securing your stitches so that you can remove your knit from the needles for reasons such as:
~ Measuring your knitting accurately, or trying it on
~ Attaching an edging such as a fringe
~ Grafting two pieces together, eg at the shoulders of a jumper
~ or you may even want to gather the stitches together
Don’t be afraid to remove your knit from your needles, just ensure you secure each and every stitch.
Put simply, using a blunt needle and a long length of yarn in a different colour, you thread it through all the stitches, and you can then tie the ends together to secure, and easily remove the needles. If you use a yarn no thicker than the one being used for the knit, then you can remove it and place the stitches back on your needles easily.
It is great practice to check your knitting regularly for fit and size etc, and removing it from the needles really helps making this far more accurate, so don’t be afraid, and have a go.
Sometimes you may find that you even create a different design by draping the knit on a mannequin whilst off its needles, as you can see other design options, and ideas.
Posted on - 22/01/2015
How about a Tea Cosy for all those lovers of Woman’s Hour on Radio 4 each day.
Enjoy the FREE Pattern.