Sunday, January 28, 2007

Madrona Fiber Arts Festival - Bohus Knitting

Bohus wristlet with yarn

Several people at work thought that I was joking when I told them that I was taking Friday off so that I could knit all day, but I wasn't. This was my first visit to the Madrona Fiber Arts Festival, and I attended a couple of events as well as one full day class on Bohus knitting and one mentor session.

My full-day class was taught by Susanna Hansson, a Swedish knitter who now lives in Seattle, and who also designed the mismatched beaded cuffs that I made in December. Susanna's class covered the origins of Bohus knitting, as well as the incredibly detailed techniques that were used to create these garments. She has a collection of garments that are so exquisitely designed, knit, and finished that it is easy to believe that they sold for hundreds of dollars during the 40's.

The in-class project involved tiny needles (size 00s for me, and it probably wouldn't have hurt to go down to 000s), and colors with very subtle differences. Believe me, it's a lot easier to see the difference between the aqua and the medium blue when they are next to each other in a ball than when you're using them in the same row, a few stitches of each at a time. Here's a closer view of what I've finished so far:

Bohus wristlet, up close

The photo isn't blurry, that's the halo that the 50% angora / 50% merino wool creates. The wool comes from Sweden, and is dyed to closely match the original Bohus colors. Solveig Gustafsson is the woman who dyes the yarn, and she sells kits using the original patterns (modified in shape for a less 50's snug look)--check out Susanna's website for photos of the available patterns and how to order them from Solveig. I definitely want to order a kit (once I've paid for my baseball tickets), although it's tough to decide which one. This yarn is lovely to work with (and I say that after having to start over three times to get "close enough" gauge) and the designs and colors are soooo beautiful.


Susanna in Seattle said...

I've enjoyed reading about your experiences at Madrona and I'm really glad you liked the Bohus class.

Your photos of the wristlets in-progress are great - would it be ok for me to borrow one of them? I would like to be able to show an in-progress one in addition to the finished pieces.

Carrie said...

Hi, Susanna! Of course you can use my photos. You can either pull one off of my blog, or search for "bohusworkshop" on flickr and find them there. If you'd rather I e-mail a file to you, e-mail me offline at clwork (at) earthlink (dot) net.