|Everyone’s Blue Shimmer|
wristlets, in progress
|Blue Shimmer wristlets, completed. |
Blue Shimmer design by Anna-Lisa Mannheimer-Lunn in 1947.
|Vintage Bohus Stickning sweaters from the collection of Susanna Hansson. Top right design is The New Azalea, 1963, by Kerstin Olsson, and lower design is Aquamarine (also by Olsson, also 1963).|
Seeing and “uncovering” the real Bohus sweaters (with Susanna’s guidance, of course) was a remarkable experience on so many levels. It gave me such a palpable sense of the Bohus Stickning collective and its relationship to Swedish (and global) history.
|Kerstin Olsson, Myrtle, 1967.|
|A blue version of Kerstin Olsson’s|
design, The Egg, ca. 1963-65.
In the murky land of “before this class,” I had set up a pretty firm mental distinction between Bohus, the technique, and Bohus Stickning, the cultural phenomenon. Susanna, however, did not seem to want to distinguish them. As a firm believer in the precepts set forth by the great Emma Jacobsson, founder and doyenne of Bohus Stickning, Susanna made an excellent case for maintaining the very high standards of the one and only true Bohus: knit at 9 stitches to the inch in angora/wool and after patterns developed by the six designers of Bohus (namely: Emma Jacobsson, Vera Bjurström, Anna-Lisa Mannheimer Lunn, Annika Malmström-Bladini, Karin Ivarsson, and Kerstin Olsson). Perhaps I’m reading too much into Susanna’s ideological stance, but I think there’s something to the concept. Jacobsson worked assiduously to protect both the Bohus Stickning style and the products of the Bohus Stickning cooperative. Diluting the fineness, exquisite color sensibilities, and incredibly high standards does a disservice to the rich legacy left us by the talented designers and knitters of Bohuslän. A garment designed and knit with a similar combination of knit and purl stitches at a more forgiving gauge is beautiful on its own merits, it just isn’t right to call it a Bohus. We should probably find a different name all together for the technique.
|New Azalea, by Kerstin Olsson, 1963.|
|(Linked) ad for the Radiant Knits exhibition, opening January 23, 2009, at the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis, and sponsored by the Minnesota Knitters’ Guild|
|Yarn for the Gray Mist sweater, newly arrived from SOLsilke in Sweden|
|Gray Mist underway|
Fox News 9 coverage: “Historic Swede Sweaters on Display”
|Slice of a Bohus Stickning design with live stitches showing the yarn’s angora content.|
More, more, more
- Susanna Hansson’s Class Information
and information on English translations of the SOLsilke yarn kits
- Bohus Bib
- Bohus pool on Flickr
Radiant Knits Exhibition Information
|The “come hither” package.|
- Wendy Knits’ Blog Post
(includes a great description of the upcoming exhibition at the American Swedish Institute, and associated events)
- American Swedish Institute: Events
- Minnesota Knitters’ Guild
(a fuller description of the exhibition, events, and classes)
Other Blog Posts about Susanna Hansson’s Bohus Stickning Class
|A few choice pieces from Susanna Hansson’s extraordinary collection.|