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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Every Journey Begins With a Single Step

After MS3 wound down, late last Summer, I did a little shopping to treat myself for surviving it. Shopping in Sweden to be precise (OK, it was online, but with the Internets you can shop in Sweden - it's easy). I picked up a few of the Bohus knitting kits from Solveig Gustafsson. I had been drooling over these (although in a delicate and charming way, not the way Finn drools on Ramius) for a while and decided to splurge.
For those of you who aren't familiar with the Bohus designs or these kits, these are put together with yarn that is spun especially for them as close to the traditional yarn as they can get, which is a fingering weight fine wool/angora blend (yummy doesn't even begin to describe this yarn - this is the kind of stuff you want to strip down and roll around in nekkid - maybe too much information there, but you get the idea, ahem). Then the colors are hand dyed to match the originals, the designs are reproduced from the original charts and directions, and we can purchase them as kits either from Solveig or (I believe) through the Bohus Museum. As I understand it, Solveig is doing this singlehandedly and without an apprentice, so my guess is that these kits (which are about as historically accurate as you can get) will not be available forever.
The yarn you see above is for the Grey Mist design with the folded down neckband. (Click on the link above for Solveig's website and Click "Nyheter" at the top to see pictures of the Bohus kits she has available. Scroll down for the Grey Mist design.) The color that's in the two big yarn balls shown is the main color and there is more of it, but I didn't put it all in the picture. Each skein of yarn came labeled with a number that corresponds to the chart and there is also a small yarn sample of each color attached to the chart to help keep me straight as I knit. The directions do come in English, which is good since my Swedish is extremely limited (or perhaps non existent would be a better way to describe it). I am currently waiting for a needle to come in the mail since I didn't have all the needles I needed to get started, and then I will cast on. This will probably be an ongoing project, not one I crank out in a week or so - definitely more about the journey, and not so much about the destination, but I won't blog every stitch I take - don't worry.
If you're interested in ordering one of the kits, there is an email address on her home page and you can drop her an email with what you're interested in and a shipping address and she'll get back to you with a price. Solveig does speak English very well (again, with the limited/non existent Swedish thing, this is good) and while I don't remember exact prices (which are also dependent on the value of the dollar to the Swedish Kroner), I think that the kits come out under $200 including shipping. This seemed pretty reasonable to me for a historically accurate, hand dyed kit with such a luxurious yarn.

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Anonymous Sharon T said...

What a lovely way to splurge! I can't wait to watch your progress.

10:04 AM  
Blogger Lynne E. said...

Solveig is wonderful, isn't she? I ordered the Forest Darkness black kit, with a lot of fear and trepidation, because I don't know Swedish, either. I couldn't believe how smoothly the transaction went. The payment method/currency was not a problem, and the kit arrived within days.

10:20 AM  
OpenID myboringblog said...

I've been drooling over her kits for about a year now. Maybe this is the year after I see how much you love your kit!

11:29 AM  
Blogger Kerry said...

I too have been drooling over these. I can't wait to see how yours works up. The colors are gorgeous. Maybe I'll splurge and order one for my birthday. :-)

11:58 AM  
Anonymous Bianca said...

Wow, some of these kits looks really fantastic. I'm very curious, how your sweater will turn out, the colour changes are fantastic.

Kind regards,

12:42 PM  
Blogger Knittripps said...

Congratulations on your splurge! I can't wait to see it in progress. I think my drooling over these kits has officially begun.

1:36 PM  
Blogger Turtle said...

Beautiful, your selection is the one i have been looking at as well. It reminds me of my first attempt at knitting. I was living with a swedish family and their daughter wanted to teach me to knit a lopi sweater. I was doing wuite well with her help holding my hand. Then i moved! And the unfinished sweater went into my mom's attic and i did not knit for almost 20 years! I have been trying to get my mom to locate it but it is now MIA. Hmm...maybe for my birthday this year! Can't wait to watch your progress!

2:43 PM  
OpenID sandykins57 said...

I live an hour away from the Bohusländ's Museum. I visited it this past autumn to look at the sweaters that are on display. They are absolutely lovely! They do have kits at the museum, too. And, one of the ladies that works there is British, so English is not a problem.


6:02 PM  
Anonymous Cat said...

Solveig is awesome!!! Have a blast with it. LOL I still need to finish Skogs. Hopefully this winter will be it.


6:15 PM  
Blogger Clumsy Knitter said...

Beautiful...I love your color choice. I have been wanting a kit for a while too, but I still haven't tried colorwork or fair isle or anything yet, so I'm going to have to get a lot of practice first. I'm thinking I should order a kit though, just to make sure they're still around when I'm ready!

6:50 PM  
Anonymous Petra said...

Those are gorgeous colors and I can't wait to see you knit that up! The colors are going to look great on you.

9:43 PM  
Blogger knitbysue said...

I love those kits! I saw a kit for a hat and a scarf on that web site that was tempting.
It's funny you blog about Bohus now. I am in the middle of my first Bohus - type of project: The Bohus-style Hat from the book Hats On! I'm using Knitpick's Palette and I probably did a poor job choosing the colors. I've already frogged it once and restarted the colorwork portion with different colors.
Good luck with your kit. I'll be interested in seeing your blog entries on your progress.

2:03 PM  
Blogger mel said...

Thanks so much for this post and the information. I've been ogling those kits for awhile now, and it's nice to hear from folks who have ordered - I WILL, it's just a matter of time ;) It will be fun to watch your progress!

6:43 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

Bohusstickning/knitting is truly lovely! If you like Solveigs knits, you also may like some of the fine things at this shop called Helylle: http://www.helylle.se/index.html
The page is mostly in Swedish, but some patterns (like the fantastic Triinu Shawl) is available in English.

2:28 AM  
Blogger Courtney the Knitting Goddess said...

Thanks for sharing this in your post! Solveig's Bohuses are gorgeous. I'm currently working on an Icelandic Yoke Sweater (in Cascade 220), which I suppose is like the beginner's version of the Bohus... so if it goes well, I might splurge on one of Solveig's kits. Good luck with yours!

5:16 PM  

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