January 11, 2010


Catching up with Questions and Answers.  (Also, a little Q&A is a nice way to cover for a slow moving sweater.)

Several people enquired: (And I'm paraphrasing and combining here) What happened with all those French Press Slippers? Did you finish them all? How many pairs?

Umm.. Lots.

In the end, before the madness died down and I felt like I could stop (almost) I made six pairs.  You can now identify women in my gene pool because they're wearing one of the pairs above.  The only thing I was sad about when I was done all of those (besides the felting injury) was that I didn't have a pair for myself- and then Christmas morning I opened a box and there was a pair that Ken made for me.  Now we are Borg. All feet the same. Resistance is futile.

Frances asked: Forgive my ignorance if this seems like a silly question, but could you please explain the use of the white strand of yarn on your sweater? Does it mark the beginning of a round? Does it mark where you plan on steeking?  Is it a lifeline?

There are no silly questions in Knitville.  In Knitville not asking questions leads to big problems and things like sweaters with the darts from the  bust short rows on the shoulderblades.  That white yarn serves two purposes.  I lay the yarn in between the first and last stitches of the round - so it marks the beginning or a round, but also I flip the yarn from front to back (or back to front) every 5 rounds (or at some other significant point, maybe on increase rows) so that I can count them easily.  If I've been back to front 5 times, I know without really counting that I've accomplished 25 rounds, or that it's been X number of rounds since an increase and it's time to go again.   With a gauge this small I needed a short cut so I don't get squinty and mean while I'm knitting it.

All Things Knitterly said:
I did the Blue Shimmer way back when the book came out. I did the cardigan and the instructions did not mention casting on for the steek. I figured this out at the completion of the sweater. Hope they amended this.

Though I'm not using it for this sweater, I'm going to answer that with a leap where I assume that you're talking about Poems of Color, the wonderful book by Wendy Keele?  My copy has the instructions for the Blue Shimmer Cardigan worked back and forth, not in the round, which makes sense to me, since steeks (cutting a sweater open after knitting) is not part of the Bohus tradition. So either my copy has been amended to remove the steeks or maybe you were expecting them to be constructed like a fair isle - which they aren't.  (I think- like you, that steeks would make sense here, but Bohus sweaters were designed to be designer fancy-pants, couture knits, so good sense and efficiency doesn't always enter into the planning.)     

Susan asked: It seems like there are two major kits: Solvieg's Bohus and people who use Poems of Color and Kimmet Croft Bohus Kits.  What's the difference and which one are you using?

I'm using Solveig's Kit, mostly because I'm hung up on authenticity.

Gratuitous Bohus picture because it's just so pretty that I can't stand it.

Poems of Colour is a beautiful book full of tons of useful history and information, and beautiful patterns too- but they aren't true Bohus... technically. Original Bohus had  34 stitches to 10cm, while in Poems of color they've been modified to be 28 stitches to 10cm - and the yarn is different as well.   Kimmet Croft's Fairy Hare is 40% angora and 60% merino  - sport weight, while Solveig's is 50% angora and 50% merino, and a light fingering weight.  I've never knit with the Fairy Hare so I can't be sure of much else, but I've heard that there's more variation in their skeins than there is in Solveigs, some of them are sort of "nearly solids".  It really comes down to a matter of personal taste.  Poems of Color certainly preserved the spirit of a Bohus, and the gauge might seem a little more approachable for some knitters, but Solviegs patterns and kits are more technically accurate.  Knitters choice.  

Cat M asked me: I REALLY want to try this...So, did you order yours and, if so, would you please explain how did you go about it?

Well, given the differences (as I understand them)  I wanted a historically accurate pattern, and as far as I know, there's only one place to get them, and that's from Solveig Gustafsson.  (To see her Bohus collection on that site click on "Bohus Stickning".)  Her email address is on that page too, and although she's in Sweden, her english is perfect and you can just drop her a line and tell her what you'd like.  In my experience her service is fast and lovely.  Solvieg has been working with the Bohuslans Museum for years, and the kits she sells are authentic replicas of the originals, painstakingly hand-dyed to match, and accurate down to the last stitch. The quality is pretty outstanding, and the patterns come with translations in english (for those of us with spotty Swedish) from Susanna Hansson.

Lots of people said things like:
Yes, it's okay to give the Olympics to Ravelry...
I'd let Ravelry do all the work...
I'd let Ravelry have it...

I think I wasn't really clear the other day.  It isn't that I am trying to decide whether or not I should do my version Knitting Olympics here, or to "let" or "give" them to Ravelry.  Ravelry is already doing them. Ship. Sailed.  The Ravelympics (click to visit) are in place, there are already more than 230 teams and more than 4000 participants, it's a done deal.  It isn't "Should I do it or should Ravelry?"   All I can decide now is if I can repeat what I did four years ago like I've been planning, or if (because they don't do a bad job at all)  it is really stupid to try and compete with Ravelry? 

I know that I can bet you a dollar, that if I go ahead with any version of the original plan, that someone - multiple people actually, are going to email me and  accuse me of trying to steal Ravelry's idea or thunder, and that's not because they'll be difficult people, it's because the view is different everywhere you stand.   In any case, I'm still tossing it around, truthfully, it's sounding to me like there might be room for both.

Many people suggested: How about having Team Harlot in the Ravelympics, or being the Captain of Team Canada?

I don't think so- for starters,  there's already a wicked looking Team Canada group, but also,  I did the Knitting Olympics the first time because I had a really specific idea about how I'd like it to feel, and for all the advantages of Rav (forums, pictures,  points, and rules) it really is a different vibe than what I did,   and the Ravelympics are really not mine - and that's part of what makes me fine with it.  If I thought that my baby had packed up and moved away without telling me I would be sad.  I think of the Ravelympics as a cousin who live in another city.  Similar reason for why I wouldn't "open" the Ravelypics.  Not mine, and accepting that would make me feel like I was being offered a consolation prize, as in "well, we've moved your event, but hey - you can still come play with us!" The Ravelympics are very different. They aren't just my event moved- but are their whole own thing- and pretending otherwise would be laying claim to something that I've got no right to.  

I'm still deciding what to do next,  still excited, because at the very least I'm picking my sweater.  No way are the Olympics in Canada and this Canadian doesn't get behind that- even if it's only with a little wool.

Some of you asked: What sweater?

Not telling.  Not yet.

Posted by Stephanie at January 11, 2010 2:52 PM