There is the hint of feverish anticipation in the air these days — can you feel it? No, I’m not talking about the arrival of the new Harry Potter book (which I am excited about, too). I’m talking about Bohus Fever!!
Knitters have been waiting
impatiently for the unveiling of the Wild Apples Bohus Kit from Solveig Gustafsson. Solveig is associated with the Bohuslan Museum and therefore has unique access to the original Bohus designs, original knitted garments, etc. She has refashioned the classic knits into kits available to us all. The kits are hand dyed to match the original colors (or so I have heard) and translated into English by the lovely and talented Susanna Hansson. I have a kit for the Large Lace Collar waiting for the proper moment of lift off.
Many knitters have long admired the unbridled riot of color that defines Wild Apples. Whatever possessed Kerstin Olsson to create such a crazy visual ride (it was the 70’s!)? It is very different from most of the other, very muted, designs.Â When you pull the yarn out of the box, you really aren’t quite sure what you are getting into! Electric green? Day-glo orange? Hmmmmmmm.
Here is my Wild Apples Bohus:
I made my Wild Apples two summers ago. Once you get through the yoke section and past the split of the sleeves, it is the perfect mindless knitting project. Endless stockinette in the round. It was my soccer knitting that year. Solveig’s instructions call for side seams and back and forth knitting — I will be knitting my Large Collar in the round as I did the Wild Apples. Seams are not needed for structure as the weight of the garment is at the yoke, and all of that weight is carried by the shoulders. I have worn my Bohus often and never had a problem with stretching of any kind. The Solveig kits are made with much lighter weight yarn, but the same principle applies.
As you can see, I did not do the standard 1×1 ribbing that is called for in the pattern. I don’t find it attractive and it certainly is not flattering on me. Instead I opted for a straight silhouette. It took much trial and error to come up with the final hem treatment. I incorporated a small bit of detail from the yoke:
See the little fleur de lis designs along the bottom?I added them to the hems:
I had very little of this color left by the end, so instead of stranding the designs, I cut the yarn into many short pieces and knit them in that way. It saved yarn and also did not affect the gauge. I can’t remember how well I wove in the ends — they are covered by the hem anyway. I ‘sewed’ the live hem sts to the underside of the garment, covering the wrong side of my little designs. I separated the designs on the body of the hem with 6 sts, but only used 5 sts on the sleeves for better proportion. The picot hem is created by “k2tog, YO” all the way around.Â The sawtooth edge happens like magic when the hem is folded.
And lest you think I am lying about wearing my Wild Apples (and too shy to be seen in real life!! ;)), here is a picture of me with Stephanie Pearl-McPhee:
And with Yarn Harlot’s Bohus:
If Wild Apples is not your thing, check out Sally’s Blue Shimmer. Sally knitted a true masterpiece and did some very creative enhancements.
If you have ever been interested in knitting as tradition and art, consider knitting a Bohus.Â When you create a Bohus, you are linked to the past with an unbroken thread.
PS From Susan to Michelle: I’m sure I made the largest size 😉 (I’m the “Big One” of The Rainey Sisters!). The kit I used for my Wild Apples was from Kimmet Croft as was Sally’s for her Blue Shimmer (Sally substituted cream for the light blue body). I had heard a rumor that she was no longer making up the yarn and kits (though her website is still there). Yarn Harlot’s Bohus is made from one of the Swedish kits is absolutely light as air — weightless and very thin. It is gorgeous. I love the heavier weight of my Bohus, though the dye job and yarn quality of the Swedish kits is superior. The Large Lace Collar from Kimmet had a lot of color variation, so in that regard I prefer the Swedish kits.