Blog: Loop Tricks
Posted on - 27/02/2015
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 - 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 - 19/01/2015
How about trying some new Crochet Stitches, and ending up with three pretty Mug Hugs
Below is the link to the FREE Patterns from Simply Crochet, all done in Bessie May Smile, in pretty Berry, Kiss & Lichen, yum. x
Posted on - 17/07/2013
Don’t get confused with Intarsia and Jacquard ~ both are special in their own way, but get mixed up by many.
Here is a Bessie May Jacket Design ~ is it worked in Intarsia or Jacquard, and more importantly do you care, apart from the fact that the block pattern creates a defined jacket that has almost animal magnetism, which was the aim.
What is your guess ~ well it is Jacquard. Clues are it has geometric or stylised natural forms, and is double thickness as the yarns are carried from beginning to end, and woven in as appropriate.
How is this different to Intarsia ~ well think of a knitted feature, such as a picture of a flower. Intarsia is used for working large blocks of colour, often on a plain background. Quite often there are several colours in a row, and each colour is a separate length of yarn, just like when doing coloured embroidery. None of the colours are carried across the row, as they are in this geometric Jacquard design.
Both methods are important to master, as they are great for adding colours, blocking, picture features, and you will never struggle again with tension if you can master a Jacquard or Intarsia design without creating a tight fabric, but one that has natural drape, then gold stars all round, and the world of knit is your oyster ~ so to speak.
Posted on - 23/05/2013
All has come together today in the Bessie May Design Studio, as we push ahead with Autumn Winter Designing, which seems perfect on a windy, rainy day in May?
The Knit Tip from our day is that using precious accessories to finish off a garment, can make something classic, into something classic and beautiful, as well as simply special.
The vintage style poppers we have used on a chunky winter jacket finish the design off perfectly, being not just practical, but also stunning.
Smiles again today.
Posted on - 07/01/2013
Just a quick hello to wish everyone a Happy New Year, and hoping you had an amazing Christmas, and holiday celebrations.
We are all back at the Bessie May Studio, and received over Christmas some lovely pictures of creations made by Michele, who is a knit and colour addict just like us.
Michele has kindling allowed us to share her sample she has made using Bessie May Smitsy, in Rhubarb and Custard Colours – so lovely. Also look at the amazing cushion – we all want one.
Posted on - 19/12/2012
Ok – update on the Christmas Project Count Down at the Bessie May Studio.
Late, late, late, night last night, pushing ahead with the Heritage Flower Crochet Throw – no memory of even when the light was actually turned off.
However, all is good – design is moving forward. Three different flower types designed, but maybe going to only use two of these.
Fabric chosen and ordered, just in case it is needed – feel a fabric framing is going to be a good option, but time will tell.
Time to share a couple of pics of work in progress, and on with the creation.
Posted on - 17/10/2012
Oh so pretty – Caroline Griffiths has created this amazingly Pretty Leaf Wreath, after visiting our stand at the Knit and Stitch Show, using Bessie May Grace, our Mohair and Silk, in the soft shade of mist.
Can you believe this is knitted – delicate leaves made with cotton and linen alternatively, blended with Bessie May Grace, as Caroline wanted to create using different yarn blends.
Thanks to Caroline for sharing her beautiful work, which she created immediately she got home from the show, which is so impressive, we hadn’t even unpacked after the show, and her lovely picture arrived.
Posted on - 13/07/2012
There was so much to see at the Renaissance Exhibition at Pitti Filati last week. The exhibition commenced with a wall of machine knit technique square samples created in the perfect yarns from each of the Pitti Filati exhibitors.
It was great to see the different yarns and design techniques that built up the wall display of ‘Renaissance’. Also to see all the yarn junkies touching, stroking, and cooing over all of the different samplers – likes bees to honey….!
Captured a few of the samplers for sharing, although pictures unfortunately can’t be touched, and squeezed, so you will have to use your imagination…!
ENJOY the colours, yarns and different creative techniques!
Posted on - 27/06/2012
Designing continues at the Bessie May Studio, and currently a big hit is lace and texture, in bright green of Bessie May Lychee Shade.
Samples moving on well with emphasis on spaces being as important as stitches, as with spider webs – take a look and see what you think! Some beading included along the way…
Exciting – knitted sideways, nice lines emerge.
Now design kicks in to next stage – creating a garment that brings everything together…. The best bit…..