Learn something new: Bohus Knitting (plus a free pattern!)

Anne Berk models one of her fabulous Bohus pullovers. It's so beautiful; I was honored to take a class from her.     

I'm working on a Bohus sweater and I'm almost to the colorwork yoke. I'm so excited because I've been knitting row after row of stockinette in the round. I'm also a little nervous because I've never knitted a Bohus design, although I did take a fabulous class on the method from Anne Berk at Interweave Knitting Lab (photo at left). So I've had just a teeny tiny bit of experience, I guess.

I know I can do it, though. Especially since my sweater uses a simplified version of the technique, where only two colors are used in each row.

Two of my favorite designers, Courtney Kelly and Kate Gagnon Osborne have a new DVD Workshop called Knitting Seamless Colorwork and they feature Bohus Knitting as one of their techniques.

Here's some information from Kate and Courtney about this timeless color knitting method.

Color-stranded knitwear designs produced by the Swedish Bohus Stickening Cooperation were famous in the late 1930s to the 1960s for their attention to detail, innovative design and color, and exacting standards of craftsmanship. Traditionally worked in a fine-weight blend of angora and merino that created a gorgeous halo, the color-stranded patterns were punctuated with purl stitches and sometimes a third—or fourth or fifth—color per row.

The painterly knit-and-purl colorwork of the Bohus tradition inspired the Freyja Pullover. Five colors shift and blend from stitch to stitch in a soft, haloed yarn blended from camel, alpaca, silk, and cashmere. A zigzag pattern builds into shaping in the circular yoke.

Courtney Kelley's Freyja Cardigan. Want to knit it yourself? You can start right now because it's a free pattern!

Bohus Knitting Tips
Bohus knitting is deceptively simple—there are just a few things to keep in mind for optimum results.

—After purling a stitch, be sure to move the yarn to the back of the work before knitting the next stitch.

—When working with more than two colors per row, it is imperative to assign "placement" of the yarns as they are carried across the back of the work. Instead of just one yarn carried "over" and another carried "under," you will also have a yarn carried in the middle. Be sure to maintain consistent placement of these yarns throughout the row.

—When choosing your own color combinations, consider how yarns interact with one another in the colorwork pattern as well as how the purl stitch will affect the color it "pops up" from the row below.

—Kate Gagnon Osborne and Courtney Kelley

Isn't that colorwork beautiful? It makes me want to stop writing this and start knitting on my sweater. But I can't leave you in the lurch, can I?

Here's a preview of Kate and Courtney's workshop:

Pre-order your copy of Knitting Seamless Colorwork today (or download it if you can't wait!) and get inspired like I did! I'll keep you posted on my progress and post some photos soon. It's just a bunch of brown stockinette at this point, but soon it'll be bursting with color knitting!


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