theraineysisters knitting and so much more

February 3, 2009

From Susan — All Bohus, All the Time

Filed under: Blue Shimmer,Large Lace Collar — lv2knit @ 11:54 pm

Sally and I were kidding that our blog is turning into Bohus Central!  However, the following link will actually help you feel like you are at the Bohus Exhibit itself, so I had to share:

Bohus Knits at the American Swedish Institute

January 20, 2007

From Sally — The Blue Shimmer Is Finished

Filed under: Blue Shimmer,Knitting Tips — surly @ 11:43 am

I’m wearing it as I type this post. It’s a cold, windy day here in Washington, D.C. and the Blue Shimmer is soft, cozy, and warm. It looks beautiful, too, although my sad attempt to take some photographs of it this morning won’t show it off to best advantage.

I’m even going to violate my usual role of no modeling because the way that these Bohus/yoke sweaters drape so nicely over the shoulders is an essential part of the look and fit, and you just can’t see that when they are on a hanger or lying flat. My daughter/model is not home and I just didn’t think I could talk my 15-year-old son into slipping it on, even if he is still half-asleep. (*Takes deep breath as she prepares for self-humiliation.) So, without further ado, here are some photos:

I’ll work up to the modeling gradually by starting with my hand.

Lying flat, which doesn’t show it off but allows you to see the color I added at the hem of the sleeves and body. (The pattern called for ribbing.)

Here is a close up of the yoke.

And finally, my self-portrait.

Pretty artsy, eh? What can I say? I was the only one here besides aforementioned half-asleep son so I had to take the photo myself.

I’d like to add one additional comment about knitting Bohus sweaters. In the book, Poems of Color, the directions suggest using a US 3 for the unpatterned parts of the sweater (sleeves and body), a US 2 for the patterned area (the yoke), and a US 1 for the ribbing (which I didn’t knit). In my experience, the needle sizes suggested for the patterning and the plain knitting should be reversed. The reason is that most knitters will find that their plain stockinette knitting is “looser” than the fair isle-type patterning called for with the yoke. If that is true for you, and you use a larger size needle for the plain area, the problem will be compounded and your sweater will tend to balloon out when you hit the body.

Therefore, I knit the yoke on a US 3 and switched to a US 2 for the body and sleeves. For me, the results were perfect in terms of gauge. From my quick glance at the directions in my new Swedish kit for the Large Collar, it looks as if those directions use the same needle for the yoke and body (with a smaller needle for their ribbing). Again, I will adjust and go up a needle size on the color work. Those directions have you split the sweater after the yoke, so that the body and sleeves are not knit in the round but back and forth. That can also affect gauge. I plan, when I eventually get to that sweater, to knit it in the traditional Bohus way: completely in the round.

My Blue Shimmer has no seams. None. Once you finish the knitting, there is minimal finishing work and the sweater itself fits wonderfully and is very comfortable. I personally see no benefit to adding seams, although everyone’s view is different. Here is one last photo, showing the underarm of the Blue Shimmer so that you can see what I mean by no seams.

January 16, 2007

From Sally — The Blue Shimmer Progresses

Filed under: Blue Shimmer — surly @ 7:17 pm

I’ve finished one sleeve of my Bohus Blue Shimmer and I am halfway to the elbow on the second. So, I should be able to play with my Royal Alpaca very, very soon. I may also resurrect another headstart project — I love how fast the sweater seems to go then (if you forget about all of the knitting done before tossing it aside).

Some of you asked questions about the Blue Shimmer in your comments to my last update on it and I tried to answer many of them there. One question I didn’t get a chance to answer was the source of the fiber. I bought The Blue Shimmer as a kit, with cream substituted for the light blue that was supposed to be the main color, while at Meg Swansen’s knitting camp one year. It is Kimmet Croft’s Fairy Hare. Unfortunately, I don’t believe that they have a website. [I was wrong. See below.] The last information I have is:

5850 Schudy Rd., Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin 54495 USA
+1-715-421-0121 (voice), Janice Kimmet,
Fairy Hare Yarn–40% angora, 60% rambouillet/merino in authentic Bohus colors. Custom spun by Fingerlakes Woolen Mill and hand-dyed by Mary Jo Burke

As I said in my earlier posts, this yarn has a more handspun look than the kit I ordered from Sweden. In my color way, the blues seemed fuzzier and more angora-like than the cream, although the cream is soft enough for me to wear next to the skin (and will be much softer, I’m sure, once I wet block the sweater).

I asked if someone had more up-to-date contact information, and within a few minutes Marina had stepped to the plate with the web address: Fairy Hare. Thank you, Marina!

I see, from perusing the Fairy Hare website, that she has the yarn kitted up to knit “The Dean.”


It’s always been one of my favorites.

January 11, 2007

From Sally — The Blue Shimmer

Filed under: Blue Shimmer,Knitting Tips — surly @ 11:20 am

I’m moving along fairly well on The Blue Shimmer, motivated by my cameo colored Royal Alpaca. I’ve finished the body and redone the neckline. The original pattern calls for several inches of ribbing at the sleeves, hem, and neckline (with the neck ribbing folded in half and stitched to the inside). I didn’t want to do that for several reasons. First, I think it’s a dated look, at least for me. Second, I didn’t think that the ribbing looked very good. (I tried the ribbing for the neck, although I had it folded to the inside in the first photograph I posted of this sweater.) The way the yarn changes thickness made my stitches look so uneven. They still look uneven in stockinette, but that was exacerbated in the ribbing. Finally, I wanted a wider neck opening. (Side note: the original sweater is knitted in light blue yarn; I changed it to cream because I knew I’d like it better. So mine is already not quite a blue “blue shimmer.”)

So, my solution was to adapt the last pattern of the yoke for the hemline. I’ll also use that at the sleeves. Here’s a photograph of the hem, which hasn’t yet been stitched down.

As you can see, it echoes the patterning of the yoke.

This photograph also shows that I’ve cut off the neck ribbing and changed it to a picot foldline. How do you do that, you might ask. Well, very carefully. Because this sweater is knit from the top down, I had to cut the ribbing off because you can’t unravel from your cast on edge. Before I cut, I took a needle that was one or two sizes smaller than the one I was knitting with and very carefully threaded it through each stitch, making sure I was following the same row all the way around. I then cut off the neck a couple of rows above that needle to get it out of the way, and then snipped and picked out the last row before the one I had picked up. ???? Here is a photograph to show what I mean.

In this picture, you can see the cord of the needle going through the stitches of the row I am “saving,” and the yarn being held by my thumb is what I am cutting and removing.

Finally, in this photo of the entire sweater, you can see the ribbing that I cut away by itself off to the side.

The yarn from Sweden, which Susan and I will use on our Large Lace Collar sweaters, is much more even in color and texture; I hope that this sweater looks better once it’s blocked. (I have perfectionist issues.)

Edited to Add: A wave and hello to the Clack House (a members-only Clay Aiken fan site), from whom we have gotten a number of referrals. I’ve heard that you have started a knitting and crocheting thread and that some of you have been kind enough to mention our blog. I wish I could post in your thread, but alas I’m not a member.

January 8, 2007

From Susan — Be Still, My Fickle Fickle Heart

Filed under: Blue Shimmer,Current Projects,Oregon Cardigan,Updates — lv2knit @ 10:38 pm

I am madly and passionately in love with this new arrival from Sweden!! OMG, it is the Bohus of my dreams — my Large Lace Collar Pullover (sweater on right).  I have wanted to make this particular Bohus since I first became aware of them (see Poems of Color to learn about Bohus knitting).  Instead I made Wild Apples (see Susan’s Gallery) because the kit for the Large Collar did not have the quality of black yarn I would have liked.  When famous Wendy (of WendyKnits) started HERS (from a kit directly from Sweden), well I was smitten and bitten by the Bohus bug once again.  It was not difficult to get Sally on board, so soon TWO kits were winging their way across the Atlantic.  Both arrived today!  Woo Hoo! A side note from Sally: We’ve been asked where these kits can be ordered. You can find information here. We are both planning to make the black pullover. As much as I love my Blue Shimmer, and I do, this yarn from Sweden is much nicer in that the spinning and color are more consistent. There is a cream color in the kit, and that was especially noticeable when I compared it to the cream in my almost-finished Blue Shimmer.


Here’s the thing — we are not going to start them right away because we are involved with other projects and feel the need to get something done on them first.

For me, the ‘other project’ that I am committed to finishing (?) is Oregon…

Geez fair isle is slow!  I knit and knit and knit and get no where!  I got re-inspired to work on Oregon because I made it to  to a milestone: the sleeve steeks. 

I did run into a little snafu ala Marina.  The sleeves were not centered to the pattern and therefore the shoulders would be “off” when grafted together.  At first I thought, “If it’s good enough for AS, it’s good enough for me.”  However, it really bugged me, especially when I took a look at it and the sleeve was only off by 4 sts.  So, I ripped out a few rounds to re-align the sleeves. 

Another advantage is that the sts go to the back, thus enlarging the sweater by two full inches — the extra inch that goes to the back and the extra inch I will need to add to the front bands to make the front match the back.  I need the extra width anyway because the sweater is a touch too small.


AS shaped the armhole slightly which you can see in the photo — I took off one additional stitch so that when I pick up the sleeves, I will end up with a perfect half tree just like the center front.

Sally reported that she is very nearly finished with the body of her Blue Shimmer.  She is also pining for the Large Lace Collar Bohus, but the siren song of her new Royal Alpaca is calling her ever so seductively.

So progress is being made, and projects are lining up.  Plus, I just got the flyer for the Minnesota Knitters Guild “Yarnover” event, which is April 21.  I am teaching the Beaded Amulet Bag class.  Yarnover is a great day of knitting and shopping at the vendors’ market.

Knitting is grand!

December 27, 2006

From Sally — Sunrise Circle Update and a “New” Project

Filed under: Blue Shimmer,Completed Projects,Sunrise Circle Jacket — Sally @ 11:42 am

It’s finished! I wore it on Christmas to a brunch and received a lot of compliments. This is a very flattering sweater and it fits me perfectly. I love success stories because they’re not all success stories. Here are some photos.

First, I wanted to show how I decided on the button placement. Because my sister was visiting me when it was just about finished, I put it on and she basted a line to show how the fronts should overlap to get the fit I wanted. She also marked with a thread where I DIDN’T want a button — right at the nipple.

Here is another photo showing the button placement in progress.

And, finally, the finished project:

Now that I’ve actually finished something, I’m still inching along on my Feather and Fan shawl. But I have also gone back to another “head start” project. It’s a Bohus sweater from the book Poems of Color. It’s knit from the neck down with no seams. The beauty of this kind of knitting is that you can keep trying it on as you go to see if the body and sleeves are the right length. There is also very minimal finishing. I loved trying it on when I only had the yoke finished — it looked like a Pharaoh’s necklace.

I started this a long time ago and then set it down when I was lured away by God knows what. But I’ve wanted to come back to it for a long time. It’s the “Blue Shimmer.” One reason I set it down is that the cream yarn I was using for the body and the sleeves was fairly uneven in its spinning and in its color. I wasn’t sure if I should unravel back to the yoke and substitute a more consistent yarn. I’ve decided not to — I’ll live with the imperfections in the yarn and hope that by doing so I don’t let the sweater cross from looking handmade to home made — a fine line. Here is a photo of where I am. As you can see, I really do have a good head start with this one.

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