Blog: Tips

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.

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.



Perfect Accessory

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.


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!








Bessie May Grannie Crochet Flower Designs

Posted on - 30/04/2012

What a better way to spend time on a rainy day in the Bessie May Studio than to design some Bessie May Crochet Grannie Shapes. Opportunity to work with the beautiful spring/summer colours of Bessie May Honor, with the aim of making pretty Bessie May Grannie Shapes ‘Flower Design’ building on traditional grannie shapes.

Aim to make a very soft, almost bouncy Grannie Shape, moving away from the traditional ‘double and treble stitching’ used in most Grannie Shapes, decided to use ‘bubble stitch’ where usually you find ‘trebles’. Using green of Bessie May Honor Zing, for a green centred flower, then petals in blues, yellows, and soft sherbet pink, wrapped in a boarder of soft cream of Bessie May Honor Star.

Started with circles with a blend of ‘bubble’ and ‘treble’ stitches, but favourite has become the hexagonal, created with all ‘bubble stitch’, with a pretty ‘double stitch’ frame, with pretty loops (3 chains), so can connect with ease as you go along…!!!

Can see the finished blanket/cushion cover/etc… already – just a few more rainy days required!

Why don’t you have a go…!


Be inspired on a ‘Grey Day’

Posted on - 05/10/2011

Grey will always be the cosy black for winter – take a look at some of the Grey cosiness that stood out to Bessie May by some fantastic knit experts.


Think chunky or thin, there is a grey yarn, dark or light ready to go..

Lace Pattern Samplers

Posted on - 15/06/2011

Lace pattern samplers are great for building skill and learning new stitch combinations.

Perfect for taking a break from a big project, or if you have a spare hour on the train!

Best in fine soft yarn, to show the stitch detail. Ours are created in Bessie May Snikel, 100% extra fine merino 4 ply. Add them to a scrap book, and write some comments – so if you want a reminder, refresh or ideas, it is all there.

Look @ Techniques for detail for each!

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