theraineysisters knitting and so much more

July 20, 2007

From Susan — When Sweaters Go Wild

Filed under: Wild Apples Bohus — lv2knit @ 10:27 pm

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.  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.  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.  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. 


  1. I would be a little more of a wild apple myself… but not until I complete Persian Tiles… What size did you make for yourself…. and would you suggest the heavier weight kit or the lightweight kit?

    Comment by Michelle — July 20, 2007 @ 11:02 pm

  2. The picot hem with the little fleur de lys is a nice touch. I like the straighter hems myself.

    Comment by Charm — July 21, 2007 @ 1:33 am

  3. It’s wonderful! I also knitted a Blue Shimmer variation one year ago:

    Comment by Luisa — July 21, 2007 @ 5:45 am

  4. Hi Susan – Thanks for the Bohus eye candy and the close up pictures! Bohus designs are so beautiful! Nancy

    Comment by Nancy Nelson — July 21, 2007 @ 9:43 am

  5. Susan- I must tell you- it was the picture of you wearing your gorgeous Wild Apples
    that inspired me- I bought the “Guld” kit from Rosemary.
    Eventually, all knitting paths will lead us to a Bohus, and I hope to do mine

    The Blue Shimmer is exquisite as well.

    Comment by Lorraine — July 21, 2007 @ 10:07 am

  6. What a lovely sweater to start my day by looking at! Thank you for posting this.

    Comment by Deborah Robson — July 21, 2007 @ 10:15 am

  7. You’re making me want to start on my Lace Collar Bohus — or mayhaps order Wild Apple, which I’ve always loved.

    I’m free to start looking for a new project!!!!! I finished the baby blanket (well, except for the pesky border). More on that tomorrow.

    Comment by surly — July 21, 2007 @ 10:46 am

  8. I absolutely want to knit a bohus, so very soon. I don’t know what stops me though, it could be the miles of US3 stockinette st. i think i need to just jump in. Your green apples is such an inspiration!

    Comment by Nishanna — July 21, 2007 @ 12:21 pm

  9. Oh my, Bohus fever is catching. I have loved those sweaters ever since the book came out. You are absolutely correct, I need to order my kit before the dollar falls even more. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Comment by gail — July 21, 2007 @ 2:16 pm

  10. Just beautiful. Both of them.

    Comment by Karen B. — July 21, 2007 @ 2:42 pm

  11. That is positively stunning! I well remember Shirley’s, but I’ll look again. I’m dying to make one of these!

    Comment by Carol — July 21, 2007 @ 7:12 pm

  12. Beautiful Bohus, Susan! Thanks for your comment on my Bee Fields knitalong blog. By the by, I’ve corrected the post in which I reference your remarks on the Addi lace needles. I knew it was you, not Sally, all along – a classic case of brain and fingers not being in conjunction, I suppose. 🙂 I met you at Meg’s Camp a few years ago and it was such a treat to see your beautiful work in person!

    Comment by annmarie — July 22, 2007 @ 10:27 am

  13. Gorgeous sweater! The fleur de lis are perfect. How did you do them? Is there a slip stitch in them? Ann

    Comment by Ann — July 22, 2007 @ 4:43 pm

  14. Beautiful — I am so tempted to make a Bohus sweater sometime soon!

    Comment by Octopus Knits — July 23, 2007 @ 9:29 pm

  15. :sigh: Wild Apples has always been my favorite Bohus. And yours is superb! 🙂

    Comment by Romi — July 25, 2007 @ 3:36 pm

  16. Ok. I’ve been trying to decide which pattern Bohus I wanted and, after seeing yours, have definitely decided on Wild Apples. I especially like the bright yellow/limey green purl bumps. You did an exquisite job on yours; the fit is perfect.

    Comment by susan — July 31, 2007 @ 4:44 pm

  17. I just love that Wild Apple. I am thinking that I may need to order one too. Did it seem like it took you a long time to knit?

    Comment by Diane — August 7, 2007 @ 6:08 pm

  18. I can’t get the Wild Apple out of my head. It’s gorgeous. Simply beautiful. I appreciate all your tips, which will come in handy when I (inevitably) order my kit. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Comment by Jenny — August 9, 2007 @ 1:01 pm

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