Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Year of Colour

When Susanna visited me in November she had with her some Bohus swatches. It was the texture of those swatches that talked to me first. Those pieces of fabric were dense but not stiff, but oh! so soft. So I kept fondling them over and over again. They were also very interesting to look at as they had colours. The colours seemed to mix into each other, the colour combinations were not ordinary, there were just few stitches with same colour and here and there few purl stitches to mix the colours even more. Fascinating. Very.

If you like to know what I’m talking about here you can see Bohus garments in Susanna’s pages, the Bohus pictures there are excellent (Susanna teaches Bohus classes and translates the patterns into English). Then visit Solveig’s pages, she dyes the beautiful yarn and rewrites the old patterns. To see the designs on Solveig’s pages you have to click on NYHETER (news) at the front page to get to the photos. And then the Bohuslän museum pages. If you’d like to see a Bohus design being knit, visit Wendy’s pages. She is knitting her second sweater now, the first one she did a year ago. And there you can read of all the challenges while knitting a Bohus sweater and get some good answers.

As I was so thrown out of my knitting balance and touched by Bohus swatches I had some mail later on. Susanna sent me a book written of Bohus named “Poems of Color” by Wendy Keele. I could not think of a better name for this colour work. The book tells the story of this knitting and has many designs in it.

I had also a tiny taste of Bohus, Blue Shimmer cuffs kit. (I down changed the needle size to 1,75 mm - my wrists are quite small - and knit with 72 stitches, and did the ribbing with twisted knit stitch.)

It did not take long to get these done. Apparently they are small, but the ever-changing colours make them very entertaining to knit and I had no symptoms of a second cuff syndrome. You can’t buy this design, they are a class project but here are other cuffs (Large Lace Collar) for sale from Solveig. Our beloved Yarn Harlot is having a fundraiser for Doctors without Borders. I know there are a lot of fundraising programs to choose from and you might have the one that you are always donating to, but since we are all coming together here as knitters without borders consider making a donation. And then you would also have a chance of winning a Bohus kit.

If you are not lucky but would like to knit some Bohus, the ordering information you can find in Susanna’s pages.

I’m very bad on keeping New Year’s resolutions so I really should not make any. But since the making of resolutions is so much fun I’ll make them anyway.

There are two - so far - knitting wise. I know you are thinking that I’m going to try to knit from my stash, that I really should do, but I know I probably can’t stick to that. I’ll try to do my best, but won’t make any resolutions there. But I wish luck to everyone who is participating!

My 2007 will be of colours. I don’t have much experience with colours and would like to take a leap into that direction. It could be stripes or fair isle or intarsia or beads or embroidery but there should be colours next year in my knitting. I would like to discover new colour combinations and find more favourites. I will try to read books of colour and maybe in a spirit of “copy the masters” knit something someone with a good colour eye has designed. I know there will be bad choices on the way but sometimes mistakes are the best way to learn. My little Bohus cuffs are a good starting point. I don't think I would have thought of adding beige to the blues but look how beautiful it is.

The other resolution is just a tiny personal way to sign all my knitting. I will sign everything with a bird motif. Again the bird can be made any way I prefer but I’ll try to include it in all my knits. Now that I have all this straightened up in my head I’m ready for my new year of knitting.


  1. I like your resolutions. Stretching your skills is always a good one.

    I have knitting goals rather than resolutions. Last year it was to knit something for family, which I accomplished. This year, it is to knit sweaters for myself. Something like your resolution to wear your knitting.

  2. The Bohus cuffs are lovely. Thank you for the idea.

    I look forward to seeing the results of your first resolution as I already love the colours you use in your embroidered pieces.

    Your second resolution is a very good one too. For many years my father did exquisite needlepoint work without signing them until my mother insisted that he sign each piece by working his initials and the date of finishing. Now Alzheimer's has stolen his ability to do his craft and I have seen him look at some of his unsigned pieces and ask "Who made this?".

    So please do put your little bird on each piece you make. I am sure it will be a lovingly fingered reminder of you in the years to come.

  3. The Bohus cuffs are so beautiful, I personally love beige and blue together...lovely cuffs, and I am so loving the little bird.
    'Poems of Color' what a beautiful title....like 'Poetry in Stitches' which is a beautiful book also.
    Looking forward to your year of colour and know already it will be a year of delight.
    Thanks for all the links!
    Wishing you the very best for the upcoming year.

  4. Ann in Montreal16:55

    The Bohus cuffs are lovely and such a practical way to try out a new pattern and still have something wearable. In the future I shall try this instead of a flat swatch.
    I have looked at the Poems of Colour book, a friend loaned it to me, beautiful book. Unfortuately it seems to be out of print but there are copies available online.
    I too have made a rare resolution to knit more from my stash and as I have a large bag of of the same yarn in several colours, well, colourwork seems to be called for.
    Here in Montreal we finally have snow, a white after Christmas or Boxing Day as it is known here.

  5. The bohus cuffs are great!
    I really like the idea of signing all your work with the little bird motif too.
    Wishing you a great year!

  6. Hello Lene, I've finished a Bohus sweater a little while ago, and I can say that indeed it is a very relaxing and rewarding knit. You can see it here:

    This is not going to be my last bohus...

    Wishing you and all your family a very happy new year!

  7. I like the Bohus cuffs. I will check out your friend's site! I always signed my needle work and mats I hooked, but had never thought of signing my knitting. Thanks so much for the suggestion - now to think of a simple, but effective design!

  8. I've seen one of the sweaters from Wendy's book (it's the natural colored cardigan with the design running up and down the front.) It was really lovely. I've also done a bit of the Dean pattern in thicker wool. There's a not so good picture of it here: http://spindlitis.com/?page_id=10

    I still have plans to spin and knit a Bohus one of these days. There is a lovely one in one of my old Spin-off magazines that was done with lots of luxury fibers in natural colors.

  9. francoise00:15

    I love your idea of signing your knitting with a tiny personal embroidered detail!

  10. Bohus knitting has always captured my imagination. I have looked through "poems of color" many times. never got the nerve to do it yet.
    I always sign my pottery with a little stamp, what a clever idea to sign your knitting!

  11. It is a lovely idea to add your bird motif to all your knitted art works!

    I did make some knitting resolutions too. Perhaps I'll wirte about those some time soon.

  12. The Bohus knitting is beautiful. The bird signature is a very clever idea. I've always thought it would be cool to "sign" my projects.

  13. I decided late last year that I was going to knit through all my stash in 2007, I would only buy yarn for a specific project if needed. My aim is to only have the yarn I am knitting at the time. Good luck with knitting your stash only in 2007.

  14. I love the bird signing idea.

    but then again. I love all your ideas.

    Happy New Year to you and your family ( and tina)

  15. Bohus knitting is really beautiful. I was lucky to visit that area in the '90s. All the best for 2007!

  16. What a clever idea to sign your knitting!

    I am absolutely in love with the Bohus sweaters, but I just don't know when I would have time for such an extensive project. Sigh. One day...

  17. I love the bird--what a lovely notion.

    Bohus sweaters are so beautiful. I loved reading about their history in "Poems of Color." Coincidentally, I believe the author of that book is also from Nebraska, where I grew up.

    Best wishes for the new year.

  18. I made a Bohus sweater (large lace collar) as my Olympic project. No, I didn't complete it in 16 days--more like 6 weeks! But I highly recommend it as a project that will make you fall in love with knitting all over again.

  19. The birds are GREAT!

  20. I am also making this a year to learn to knit with more than one color. I knit a child's sweater with very simple 2-color patterns in the summer, using a self-taught method of holding the yarns. I read about other methods but decided I really like holding two strands in one hand and untwisting when I need a break. I signed up for a class to knit Dale of Norway Tiur sweaters; I have picked #71005 (cardigan) with the color work in just the one strip at the chest. The pattern has the complexity of different starting points for front, back and both sleeves. So much to think about! How do you hold the yarn? In one hand or two-handed? I am soldiering on, using the two-handed method but yearn to move faster with the one-handed method.

  21. How do you make your little bird?