Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Buncha Buncha Bohus

First, a follow-up to the previous post. The lovely people at Schoolhouse Press graciously allowed me to spend some alone time with the samples from the upcoming book of unknown and revisited patterns by Elizabeth Zimmermann, and to photograph them; but I've promised not to show any until the book is nearer to press. I promise they're worth the wait.

What I can post right now are a few snaps I took of the Schoolhouse Press collection of sweaters from Bohus Stickning, the Swedish high-fashion knitwear house whose products were all produced by home-based handknitters. Meg brought them in for us to examine and paw over (which we did, while emitting uncontrollable squeaks of delight).

I won't undertake a history of the Bohus, as you can find a neat and authoritative account here. The book Poems of Color, happily back in print, will tell you the full and inspiring story–and probably tempt you to try your hand at emulating the talented Swedes who crafted the originals.

Look at these.

Bohus Yoke

All are worked in light DK/fingering weight yarn, usually an angora/merino blend. The light halo softens the transitions, rather like blended watercolors.

Bohus Yoke

It's common for a single round to incorporate three or more colors,

Bohus Yoke

and purls periodically mix it up with knits for a fascinating texture.

Bohus Yoke

The interiors are as neat and finished as the exteriors.

Bohus Label

Each one is a masterclass in color mixing.

Bohus Cardigan

I can only hope that anything I create will look this fresh half a century later. Amazing.


obsessmuch? said...

Those are beautiful and it's so great that you got to see them in person. I am quite surprised that you didn't mention Susanna Hanson ( and Solveig!

Roggey said...

Bohus knitting almost makes me swoon. "Almost" because I'm usually too busy trying to calculate how much Top Ramen I can force my body to eat before it stages a midnight coup, in order for me to afford the yarn to create one of those yoked sweaters.

Nancy said...

Perhaps you remember being pulled past the tastefully simple and elegant and cosmopolitan Bohus section in the Pittsburgh department store as a child?

anne marie in philly said...

WOW - just amazing! yeah, I can see you knitting one of these - you've got the talent!

sahara said...

All I can say is––WOOOOOOOOOW.

Alwen said...

Bill Watterson is another Bohus fan. Now if we could just get him to knit...

Anonymous said...

Bought the "Poems ..." book a few weeks ago. Loverly!!! I will be knitting one Someday. For now I look and read and whimper. To actually SEE them and touch, Wow, just Wow
Paula in Iowa

Slip, Knit... Meditate said...

Bohus is till so beautiful and it has an classic fashion appeal!!Would love to got there!! I saw some last February in real and was amazed...

Anonymous said...

I would be afraid to be in the same room with an actual Bohus. I think I would have to turn in my needles. I second reading "Poems in Color", it is a dream of a book, with many swoony pictures. If I could actually touch one of those sweaters, I think I would behave in a manner liable to cause a breach of peace. Gwyneth

Seanna Lea said...

Those are amazing. I really want to try making one once I have time in my schedule again!

Sweet Camden Lass said...

I'm so glad you took pictures of the inside of the sweaters: that was missing when I went to the exhibition in Minneapolis...

Kim said...

I took Susanna Hansson's class at Stitches West and it was fabulous. These sweaters and the technique just reel you in! Thank you for the photos.

Yvonne said...

I have been fascinated with this since the Yarn Harlot discussed on her blog. I wondered if an alpaca/merino blend would give a similar effect. Thoughts?

Michelle said...

Great pictures Franklin....what incredible sweaters. I bought Poems of Color a few years back, I also have a fascination for these sweaters. Nice to see them "up close".

Cathy said...

Yummalicious -- thanks so much for sharing

Keith said...

OMG, my eyes have died and gone to heaven!

Stacy said...

Oh My Lord - sign us up for your very first Bohus class, my dear! The blue is simply breathtaking -and we know you can do it.

Joanne said...

I'm currently knitting the Large Lace Collar Bohus and loving it. Already, I'm thinking about making another. Do you know the name of the white one with a blue yoke. It's stunning. Thank you.

evilknits said...

I made one. Absolutely exquisite! I got a kit as a gift. You get so engrossed in the method that you have to step back and have a look now and then to take it all in. There are purls in the patterns which add to the depth as well as the tediousness. Anyone can do it if once they've got the hang of the fair isle tension. It's a test of patience. If I had to do it again (in this case once in a lifetime might be enough) I'd do a cardigan rather than a pullover. It's quite the toasty sweater.

catlover said...

I own most of the movies on your list, and read the same books. In fact I have an extra copy of Matthieu Ricard's "The Quantum and the Lotus" which hubby and I are reading and discussing at this time. When we are done, I would be happy to mail you one copy, free, in gratitude for your sharing your interesting and intelligent blog. If interested, let me know. I'm woodiATmagmaDOTca.
Diane Woodman in Ontario, Canada

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