theraineysisters knitting and so much more

January 14, 2009

From Sally — A New Bohus

Filed under: Knitting Tips,Large Lace Collar — Tags: , — surly @ 10:49 am

I’ve had the yarn to knit a new Bohus sweater for a long time, and I finally started it. My inspiration for doing so is The American Swedish Institute’s upcoming exhibition, Radiant Knits: The Bohus Tradition. I’ll be traveling to Minnesota (BRRRRRR) next week to visit Susan and go to the exhibit’s opening weekend.

The Bohus now on my needles is the Large Lace Collar, and I’m using one of the kits produced by Solveig Gustafsson. The directions for these authentic Swedish kits have you knit the yoke in the round, and then knit the back, front, and sleeves as flat pieces. I’ve chosen to rewrite the directions to knit the entire garment in the round because I love having the whole sweater finished when it comes off the needles.

As with my Blue Shimmer, I’m going to make some small changes to the design. I’ll do a different neck than the ribbing the pattern calls for. I’m not quite sure yet what that will be, so I started the sweater with a provisional cast on to keep my options open. I’ve just now finished the yoke, which is the slow but fun part. Here are some in progress photos:

As I was about to finish the yoke, I decided to rip back three rows in order to line the patterns up differently. At that point, I had 400+ stitches on my needle and I didn’t want to lose them. (I was on a size 2.5 mm.) So I pulled out the needle, and then used it to pick up the stitches in the row I needed to rip down to. Once the stitches were securely on the needle, I could rip out the rows above it without worrying about losing anything. In case you’ve never done that, here’s a picture of how it looked as I was picking the row up:

It’s a little fussy, but much faster than other ways of doing it. Now that I am in the all black portion of my sweater, I’ve gone down a needle size to a 2.25 mm. The reason for that is in my experience, I knit a little tighter when I’m stranding. If I didn’t change needle sizes now that the sweater is all one color, the knitting would look looser and the sweater might appear to “balloon out” from the yoke.

I’m trying NOT to think about the fact that I am knitting an entire sweater on the size needles I usually use for socks and gloves.


  1. Wow..that looks so soft and beautiful. The colours are wonderful together.

    Comment by Jody — January 14, 2009 @ 10:59 am

  2. Oh, but how beautiful the results will be! That neck is stunning! Sometimes, you just have to suck it up and knit with small needles to get such gorgeous results.
    Blogless Mary Lou

    Comment by Mary Lou Keenan — January 14, 2009 @ 11:10 am

  3. I have soooo wanted to take in the opening weekend, but no way am I traveling to MN in this weather….now, I would go if I had a sister there!

    Comment by Nancy — January 14, 2009 @ 11:56 am

  4. It is remarkably beautiful! The colors are subtle but stunning.

    Comment by joanna — January 14, 2009 @ 12:07 pm

  5. Oh My Gosh!!!! It is stunningly beautiful

    Comment by Brenda — January 14, 2009 @ 12:14 pm

  6. It is, indeed, beautiful!

    Comment by keredding — January 14, 2009 @ 12:20 pm

  7. Fabulous!!! It’s supposed to be absolutely balmy (compared to this week) in Minnesota next week. That’s why those of us living here knit sweaters!

    Comment by Maria — January 14, 2009 @ 12:36 pm

  8. That is a gorgeous colorway, and the knitting is spectacular! Definitely eye candy!

    Comment by Dianna — January 14, 2009 @ 12:45 pm

  9. I have been waiting for you to do this. I found your website when I was researching the blue shimmer. It is as fabulous as I thought. You do such beautiful work………you get me into so much trouble LOL

    Comment by Bobbie — January 14, 2009 @ 1:02 pm

  10. That is absolutely stunning! I’ve done bohus only on wristlets in a class from Susannah Hanssen (sp?) and I’d love to try a sweater some day. And, like you, would prefer to work in the round. Looking forward to seeing your finished product.

    Comment by Joan in WA — January 14, 2009 @ 1:03 pm

  11. I love this sort of colorwork. I’m in the market for a dressform and I really like yours. What kind is it?

    Comment by Mag — January 14, 2009 @ 1:03 pm

  12. That looks so beautiful! I love it!

    Comment by Michaela — January 14, 2009 @ 1:13 pm

  13. It’s absolutely gorgeous.

    I do the same sort of thing when ripping down, though I usually use a smaller sized needle to make it easier to pick up the stitches.

    Comment by LaurieM — January 14, 2009 @ 1:23 pm

  14. My knees quake at how beautiful your sweater and knitting are. I can’t wait to see what you do with the collar! (I quite like the way it is styled now and even though it doesn’t seem quite fitting with the elegance of a Bohus, a softly rolling turtleneck could be very nice!)

    Please take lots of pictures of the MN Bohus exhibit. I think many of us would like to drool over them!

    Comment by Svati — January 14, 2009 @ 1:39 pm

  15. Droooool. I cannot wait to knit one of my own.

    Comment by Liz U. — January 14, 2009 @ 2:16 pm

  16. Breathtaking!!!

    Comment by Kerry — January 14, 2009 @ 2:47 pm

  17. :droooooooooooool:

    Comment by Romi — January 14, 2009 @ 3:27 pm

  18. Oh my! It’s breathtaking. I appreciate the tip for ripping back.

    Comment by rudee — January 14, 2009 @ 4:11 pm

  19. That is going to be a glorious sweater. Just amazing.

    Comment by Lauren — January 14, 2009 @ 4:22 pm

  20. what’s really interesting is you could bind off in that last photo and be done… your knitting is simply amazing (as usual)


    I agree with you – knitting in the round is more fun – after knitting in pieces, it almost feels like “work” to have to do assembly… and if rushed or done incorrectly, it can really affect a garment…

    Comment by Kyle Kunnecke — January 14, 2009 @ 5:18 pm

  21. You will have to let us know how you are converting it to ‘in the round.’ I wore my blue shimmer yesterday (it is cold here in Chicago) and got so many compliments! Have the Wild Apple kit ready to go.

    Comment by Mary — January 14, 2009 @ 6:03 pm

  22. Um Wow! It’s gorgeous. And oh my poor eyes if I had to knit an entire sweater on sock needles.

    Comment by Tiny Tyrant — January 14, 2009 @ 6:09 pm

  23. That is going to be perfectly lovely! Can we expect to see it at the MD Sheep and Wool in May? It would easily win a ribbon!

    Comment by Trudy — January 14, 2009 @ 8:43 pm

  24. WOW! I love that particular design, and your knitting is absolutely incredible! This post also prompted a little bell to ring in my head, and I went stashdiving and lo, there’s the kit for the wristlets of this same design! I hope to cast on this weekend after finishing up a baby sweater. Wish I could go to the exhibit, but I really look forward to all the reports from folks who can attend. And I look forward to more beautiful pics as your sweater progresses!

    Comment by moiraeknittoo — January 14, 2009 @ 8:59 pm

  25. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! I do hope to meet you next weekend. I’ll watch for Susan and introduce myself to anyone standing near her. 🙂

    Comment by twinsetellen — January 14, 2009 @ 10:02 pm

  26. You are seducing me with Bohus — really beautiful. Maybe a kit like this should be my reward if I ever finish the Japanese sweater . . .

    Comment by pam — January 14, 2009 @ 10:15 pm

  27. AMAZING. I have a wee introductory sample from the KR retreat year before last. Can’t imagine doing something big enough for a full sized human to wear. Maybe a Korknisser….

    Comment by PainterWoman — January 15, 2009 @ 2:37 am

  28. Wow, that is really gorgeous– the colors are amazing.

    Comment by Angela — January 15, 2009 @ 3:46 am

  29. wow, you are an amazing artist.

    Comment by Vick — January 15, 2009 @ 4:29 am

  30. Sally- Amazing, simply amazing.

    Comment by Lorraine — January 15, 2009 @ 7:04 am

  31. It’s simply beautiful!

    Comment by Evie — January 15, 2009 @ 10:09 am

  32. OMG! It’s stunning.
    The color combo is amazing.
    I just posted a question on my blog about lace knitting and a current project.
    Well maybe not so current. I can’t decide if I should rip or go on. Maybe
    you could take a look gals. I would really appreciate your opinions. Thanks

    Comment by ~Ahrisha~ — January 15, 2009 @ 12:03 pm

  33. It is so beautiful, and one of my favorite Bohuses (Bohi?). I just finished Green Meadow last evening (except for weaving ends and blocking) because I had so much yarn left over from the Red Edge. Except for the main color, it’s practically a two-fer! Anyway, I’m really looking forward to seeing your progress. What a gem these sweaters are.

    Comment by Kathy — January 15, 2009 @ 1:21 pm

  34. Just gorgeous!

    Comment by Angelika — January 15, 2009 @ 1:27 pm

  35. My word, but that sweater is gorgeous! The 2nd pic made me think of a ethnic beaded necklace that my SIL made. Bravo on knitting at such a small gauge.

    Comment by technikat — January 15, 2009 @ 4:43 pm

  36. Beautiful!!

    Comment by Soo — January 16, 2009 @ 4:32 am

  37. Wow – that is SO beautiful. I actually have the shimmer kit (with the main color in white instead of the pale blue) but haven’t knit it up yet. Time to pull that one out and get started on it!

    Comment by Nancy — January 16, 2009 @ 3:23 pm

  38. Wow! That’s gorgeous! You both never cease to amaze!

    Comment by Angela — January 16, 2009 @ 5:42 pm

  39. Absolutely beautiful. I’m envious of the knitters who’ll be at the Swedish Institute next weekend to hear all about Bohus. I find it a fascinating story.

    Comment by Diane — January 17, 2009 @ 12:05 pm

  40. Totally gorgeous sweater — I have the Wild Apple kit tucked in a drawer for the right day. Knitting it in the round seems like the way to go…..I hope I remember that when the time comes LOL!

    Thank you for showing how to pick up stitches first, then rip back to that point. I just knit a cardi for my husband….and the sleeves are too long….I’ve got them out of the body, and they are sitting here and I was contemplating how to rip them back to the exact same point on both without messing it up and this is brilliant — pick up at the exact point on both sleeves then rip back — thank you for the inspiration!

    Comment by Anne — January 18, 2009 @ 8:49 am

  41. That is stunning! The colors remind me of snowdrifts.

    Comment by Liz — January 19, 2009 @ 2:01 pm

  42. Your yoke is a work of art! Simply stunning!
    Great tip for ripping back.

    I’m going to a few of the Saturday Bohus exhibit events – I’m very excited to see masterpieces (like yours) up close. 😉

    Comment by Orinda5 — January 19, 2009 @ 2:40 pm

  43. Stunning. Beautiful. Now I’m bumping a bohus back up in my queue.

    Comment by Brie — January 19, 2009 @ 4:51 pm

  44. Your Large Lace Collar is looking great. I did the body of my LLC in the round and liked the end results. I can’t wait to see what you end up doing with the neckband.

    Comment by Michele with one L — January 20, 2009 @ 1:14 pm

  45. Beautiful! Let’s hope B doesn’t get his little paws on it!

    Comment by Nora aka Surly's daughter — January 21, 2009 @ 12:29 am

  46. Good heavens, this is absolutely stunning!

    Comment by Karen B. — January 25, 2009 @ 10:03 pm

  47. your work as always is beautiful, been a lurker for a long time, and I must admit you’re one of my inspiration to knit fearlessly this year, was wondering if you can refer to a link where I can find bohus pattern? A free pattern would be much better, cause I can’t order online… thank you so much.

    Comment by Jinky — February 18, 2009 @ 10:58 am

  48. This is gorgeous. I wish I could knit like that. It is just so beautiful.

    Comment by Cheryl R. C. — August 9, 2010 @ 6:50 pm

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