Saturday, April 22, 2006

Preparation for the Bohus.

I am in love, in love with a 'sweater' - or more specifically a Bohus, Blue shimmer. Maybe it is more an infatuation, but I think it is more solid and meaningful and unlikely to fade so must be love. I bought the kit from this site attached to the bohus museum, after seeing Wendys on her blog late last year (here). I ordered mine in the light main colour and had to save up, they are not cheap but when the yarn arrived and i saw the colours for real I was thrilled. anyway, I was also in awe of people who knitted whole sweaters on tiny needles. I was in awe of people like Wendy who knited with many colours in one hand and who's work was flat when on the needles. I was afraid to 'stuff' up the Bohus. So I conceived a cunning plan .... I would knit several colour work sweaters for my daughter in preparation for the Bohus.

Sweater No 1. a steeked fair isle in baby yarn, fingering yarn to those in the states, and 4 ply to my fellow New Zealand knitters. Knitted up on 3mm needles. I based it on an article in knitty on steeking and using a baby sweater for practice (here). My daughter was going thru a pink thing, and she looks soooo good in blue that matches her eyes, I compromised and developed a variation on the baby norgi. I also sized it up somewhat - using gauge and a wee skivey that fitted her well to determine the size. My fair isle got better and better as I worked up the sweater, by the time was knitting the tops of the sleeves it was flat and even. I do admit to designing as knit - not a good idea. the aesthetics of this peice leave me a little cold and reminded me that drawing and sketching lots of variation before starting has an important role in designing. After finishing the sweater I was inspired by Nippertails to knit a matching hat.

Sweater No 2. A top down Raglan, knitted in sock yarn on 2.75mm needles. You can see I was working my way down to those 2.5mm needles, and was hoping that my gauge was matched enought that I didn't need to use smaller than 2.5mm. I bought Addi turbos in 2mm and 2.5mm, and Inox in 2.25mm just in case. For the raglan I used fair isle patterns from Magnificent Mittens by Anna Zilboorg, 1988, page 41, and Lasekofte 2, page 137 of Knitting in the old way by Pricilla Gibson-roberts and Deborah Robson. I tried to map out the maths for a Top down Raglan using EZ/s ESP formulae, but resorted to Joan Scoggins About knitting instructions (here). My maths is good, but I just couldn't get it to work. Joan's works well but I do feel the increases are very sudden. When laid flat the yoke ripples. I had it all finished and was knitting matching socks - it was made of sock yarn and I had a ball left over. When my girl wore it the sleeves were a tad short - looking like she was just growing out of it. So after the socks were done, I cut a thread in each sleeve, picked up the stitches, and knit down two new sleeves, about 2.5 inches longer.

So its April, and I have knit two sweaters, one pair of socks and a hat since January. the Bohus awaits. the yarn arrived all skeined. So I borrowed a ball winder from work, sweet talked my man into being a human swift and last weekend we 'balled up the yarn". I've done the swatch, Bohus are worked with the colour work in the round and the body and sleeves in the flat. My swatch took 3 nights as i worked out how to match my 'in the round' to my 'flat'. I also had to work out how to eliminate the rowing out! I guess I have been knitting in the round so long i now have a knit/purl tension difference. Turns out I have to knit firmish and purl tighter to have even flat knitting with no rowing out. My other preparation involved determining what size needle was one size smaller than a 2.5 mm. That was the instructions for the ribb. I posted a question on knittersreview forum and recieved a wonder full response from a Swedish knitter able to tell me that in Sweden - the true home of Bohus - one size smaller than a 2.5mm is a 2mm. This makes me sound so anal, but I so want this to be 'perfect' or as perfect as it can be.

So .... its all go for the bohus, next move cast on 154 stitches on 2mm needles and rib for 5cm.

1 comment:

Dee said...

Hi, Stell
Your preparations for the Bohus are great. I'm working up to mine, too. I don't have much colorwork experience, so that's my goal. I took 3 classes at a knitting conference here last weekend. I learned how to carry 2 yarns in the left and AND 2 yarns in the right hand! So handy for Bohus! Let me know if you would like to know how.

I have the kit for the Blue Shimmer hat and scarf and I'll start with that, as soon as I do some practice to get smoother with multiple strands a once. I still feel like I have 10 thumbs. Practice is the only way to go, so there I am.

Keep us informed and the best of luck.

Dee from California