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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Susanna Hansson's Bohus Stickning workshop

In mid-April, Susanna Hansson, a Swede who has been living in the U.S. for about 25 years, traveled from her Seattle home to teach knitting workshops in Chicago for the Windy City Knitting Guild.

Susanna offers about a dozen different workshops focusing on garment shaping and finishing techniques, as well as bead knitting, modular knitting, and an introduction to Bohus Stickning (sounds like boo-hooos, not beau-haus).

Bohus Stickning was a Swedish handknit business that sold fine gauge luxury sweaters and accessories in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s. The enterprise was started during war time as a way for women of Sweden's Gothenburg and Bohus counties to earn money without leaving home.

Susanna brought vintage garments she has been collecting for approximately a decade. I've got photos but I'll save them for another post. It was obvious from their buttery soft angora/wool blend and intricate color work why authentic sweaters sold for several hundred dollars even during the 1940s and spawned copies and commercial patterns.

She also brought a colorful slide show, some Bohus books, and kits for our workshop project, the Blue Shimmer wristlet:


The workshop project required the tiniest needles (for me, size 000s) and yarn with such subtle color differences that it was difficult to choose the right skein at the right time. The colors are apparent in the full skeins, but not so much when I was working with just the 2-ply strands.

The angora/wool blend yarn that Susanna brought with her is hand dyed (painstakingly!) in Sweden by Solveig Gustafsson to match the original Bohus yarn. Solveig sells Bohus kits on her website, but if you want to make the Blue Shimmer Wristlet, you'll have to take Susanna's class. Here's a vintage hat and a new wristlet:

Bohus Stickning designs incorporated not only subtle color changes, but also well-placed knit and purl stitches:

After a full day of instruction and knitting, we gathered all our wristlets together and admired our work. (Really, it wasn't just Susanna, there's a whole bunch of camera shy women on the other side of the table.)
Susanna is a wonderful teacher. Although she's been leading workshops for a few years, she's not as well known as other instructors, probably only because she is not a prolific writer. Search her out, she's wonderful. :)

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Susanna in Seattle said...

Dear Rachel,

This may be a bit too self-congratulatory but in my view today was THE perfect day for this post. Why? Because today is my birthday!

Thank you so much for all your kind words and Bohus enthusiasm, it means the world to me.

12:06 PM  
Blogger La Cabeza Grande said...

Serendipity, Rachel? The work is painstakingly beautiful and done with such care. How fortunate you were to learn from one of the masters!

2:02 PM  
Blogger Navi said...

Beautiful work! sounds like a wonderful class.

1:16 PM  

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