Blog: Techniques

Smile Cushionous | Autumnal Shades

Posted on - 27/09/2017

The new Smile Cushionous designed in Bessie May SMILE, using pop autumnal shades ~ so perfect for a starting project for the season.

Worked completely in Knit Stitch, with front and back of cushion worked in one piece, moving between four lovely shades. Commenced with just one stitch and increased every wrong side row as the front grows, then decreasing every wrong side row reducing and shaping back and cushion casing.

Additional techniques which are great to practice, are utilised in the adding of a side border to close one of two open sides, using pick up and knit, and then three cable cast off. The other open side being finished with style with a folding button band, which is a really neat and stylish way of adding a tidy, stylish and hardwearing button band, so a great skill to crack.

Completing the cushion cover with these borders means there is no seaming ~ which is the best missing technique!

If you just want a simple knit project, the above bands do not necessarily need to be added, as the single piece can simply be mattress stitched on only two sides fully enclosing the cushion pad.

We hope you enjoy ~ Kit can be found below!

Bessie May Knit Kit | Free Pattern Download | 5 Balls of Bessie May Smile for the price of 4

BM Knit Tip | Provisional Cast-Off

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.

FREE Crochet Patterns | Mug Hugs

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


Jacquard or Intarsia

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.



Happy New Year

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.



Smitsy Heritage Flower Squares Grow Christmas Count Down 2

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.




Pretty Leaf Wreath

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.

Renaissance Wall – Pitti Filati – Yarn Techniques

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!

Texture & Lace – Spider Web Inspiration

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.

Texture created by blending Bessie May Smile, with Bessie May Grace – hmmm super kid mohair, silk, and extra fine merino wool – a luxury experience also…

Now design kicks in to next stage – creating a garment that brings everything together…. The best bit…..

Free Pocket Pattern – Bessie May Nettle Wrist Warmers

Posted on - 18/06/2012

At the Bessie May Studio we are building Pocket Patterns – which will do exactly what they are called -‘fit in your pocket’, for all those knitting on the move, or wanting to experiment with as many styles of knitting as possible and built their repertoire, and at the same time create a lovely keep sake or gift!

Pop those needles in your pocket where ever you may be going, on the bus, on the train, going to work, and learn a couple of new stitch techniques, or methods, and always have something at hand to do, that you know you WILL COMPLETE!

Great idea for testing yarns, styles and learning what you really enjoy doing – whether crochet or knit. Also keep photos and stitch information and your library of ideas and inspiration will always be at hand.

Here is our first Pocket Pattern – lovely Nettle Wrist Warmers, created using just a single ball of Bessie May Nettle, so soft, natural, with the knowledge of something different, with Nettle Fibre (un dyed) and Organic Wool. Inspired by having 6 pretty recycled buttons that have been saved forever for that perfect project!

Here you will learn a couple of very useful stitch patterns:

Bramble Stitch, which again does as it says, creates little bramble berries as you build up the four rows of pattern stitch work

Cable, in a simple way, with the cable stitch worked right at the edge, you see the cables growing and framing the edge of the wrist warmer as you go.

If you are nervous of trying cable, this is a lovely project to attempt, as you will see how simple it can really be, and you will see it is worth working with three needles to get the lovely cables in your fabric.

Pattern is downloadable here:

Enjoy, let us know how you get on, and please share pictures of your lovely finished Pocket Pattern Project, so we can post it to inspire others!








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