TBT: Bohus Stickning

Bohus Stickning was a Swedish organization/movement that began in the 1930s to help women support their families through hand-knitting  sweaters and accessories. The Bohus sweaters became very popular in the late 1940s into the 1950s. The recent knitting (and hand crafting) revival has also seen a revival of interest in the Bohus designs, with updated patterns, books, and even traveling museum exhibits. One book, Poems of Color has a detailed history of Bohus Stickning along with some updated patterns; I highly recommend it.

From April 2010 to March 2011 I spun yarn for and knitted a cardigan based on a design in Poems of Color: The Red Palm. I called mine The Blue Palm, details are on Ravelry and the full album (from fiber to finished sweater) is on Flickr. Many Bohus designs were made with an angora blend yarn; mine was not, it’s made from Cormo (white), BFL (blue), a blend of the two, and a merino cross (brown). I also switched the color gradient so that the majority of the design goes from dark to light.

Bohus Final Flat
My Blue Palm Cardi

For these three reasons – color, gradient change, fiber content – Bohus purists (and those trying to preserve and promote the designs) probably wouldn’t consider my cardigan to be a true Bohus design. One of the original Bohus designers, Solveig Gustafsson, has worked with the Bohusläns Museum since the late 1990s to recreate some of the original designs. She offered kits on a website with yarns that very closely match the weight and fiber content of the original Bohus sweaters. I’ve thought about ordering a kit from her but her website wasn’t all that easy to use and to order and you have to send her email (her English is reportedly very good), which I’ve just never gotten around to doing.

I was poking around in the Bohus Stickning group on Ravelry yesterday and discovered that Solveig has retired from providing kits but Angora Garnet, a yarn producer, offers them on a much more user-friendly website! And not only that, but newly-revived Bohus design kits have been added! Now I need to decide which design I want to knit, fill out the online form, and order a kit: Blue Flower, Blue Light, Green Wood, The Forest Darkness. If I can’t decide I should just order kits for and knit all of them, right?

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Author: madgeface

I knit, crochet, spin, and have done some experimenting with weaving and natural dye. I’m also a technical writer, mom to 3 boys, and enjoy gardening.

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