Sunday, February 15, 2009

Not my fault

Nope. I will not take the fall for this one. It's most definitely not my fault.

It all started with Ellen. She knit this. Gorgeous, isn't it? I read her posts about knitting it, and I followed the links to Solveig's website, and I lusted. To be fair, I'd already gone through a small period of smit with these beauties when Stephanie Pearl-McPhee knitted one, but this was full-fledged luuurve. I held off, though, for any one of a number of reasons, not the least of which being that there is very little opportunity to wear a very warm, yoked and stranded sweater here in San Diego. I put it on the list of "someday" projects and ignored the little twinges of want and regret.

And then along came mom. Her birthday's coming up, and it's a big one, and when we were talking about heading up north to celebrate with her, she made a birthday request. (As an aside, I actually like getting birthday requests, especially when it's for knitting; then I know what someone wants before I commit a lot of time knitting something else.) She wanted a tam, because she really likes them and only has one. Well, no sooner had she said that then I remembered the tam for which Solveig has a kit (go to the Bohus* link, and it's the large lace tam and scarf; but guys, I just went over there, and she's got a whole new slew of hat kits available. Who knew? No. Wait, must focus).

It was serendipity. Fate. I had to get one of those kits and knit my mom a tam, right?

Right. See? It's not my fault. (Shades of Belushi, here.)

I should say right out that these kits are amazing. Solveig was so wonderful on email; she wrote right back to me with a price and had it shipped out in no time, and I had it less than a week after I'd ordered it. The yarn was all there, in little skeins, with a beautiful chart. The pattern couldn't be clearer, and everything was so well organized. I wound everything up into little (sometimes very little) balls, found my size zero needles, and cast on.

That's right, I said size zero. Ellen, can I just tell you that as much as I truly admired the knitting of your sweater, I didn't really understand what went into it until I cast on for this tam? All I could think as I was knitting the two inches of ribbing on those little bitty needles was that you had done this for a whole sweater. That's just craziness. I mean, I know one moves up to size one needles after the ribbing, but still. There is a certain zen in the whole thing, though; I found that it wasn't nearly as painful to knit all that ribbing as I'd thought, and of course once the colorwork starts, it's tremendously compelling. I finish a row and I think, I wonder what the next row will look like? And before I know it, I've found another ball of yarn, and I'm off to the races.

Races here, by the way, is metaphorical. I am the tortoise, not the hare. I've been working on this for days, and I'm about 16 rows into the colorwork (out of 69). I should be able to get this done before March 6th, right?
There's my progress, with all of the little balls of yarn. (That ribbing gets doubled over at the end, by the way.) Because this kit was originally meant for a tam and a scarf, there will be extra yarn. I'm selfishly hoping that there might be enough for another tam, because I love this hat. I weighed all of the little balls before I started, and I'll weigh them when I'm done and then evaluate my options.

The chart is very clearly labelled; each yarn has a number associated with it, and there are little ends of yarn next to each code color. And each skein of yarn came with a little label attached; I wound the yarn so that the label would stay on the outside.
See how well-organized this whole kit is? I love it.

I have more knitting to show you, including the mitts I gave to Younger Daughter's teacher, and the incipient project that's sitting on my desk, taunting me (I will finish this hat before I do anything else), but this has already gotten long, so I'll save those for next time. I did want to say thank you again for all of the question suggestions that you've been posting; I'm making note of all of them, and starting to formulate the questionnaire in my head, and I truly can't wait to see the answers to these insightful questions. It will be a while yet before it's finalized and I've got all of my ducks in a row to send it out, so if you think of anything else, please do let me know, and if you know of anyone else who'd like to comment, send them along. In essence, the two questions for the moment are:
1. What would you like to be asked about being a knitter/knitting/the knitting community?
2. Why do you think writing about knitters is useful or important?
(If you want to refer to my original, and longer, asking of the questions, the post is here.)

Thank you all so much!

(one last close-up shot, just for fun)

*Linguistic diversion: I realized that I'm not entirely sure how to say "Bohus" - Ellen, maybe you could tell us? - so I headed to Wikipedia. People. There is no entry for Bohus knitting, or Bohus sweaters, or anything else like that anywhere in Wikipedia. When one enters "Bohus sweater" into the search field, one gets a return query: "Did you mean: bonus sweat?" Why no, no I didn't.

Someone needs to write an entry. Post haste. Any volunteers?


Willow said...

I'm not writing the wiki article, but I 'think' the pronounciation is BO' hus. Hmmm, I have a Scandinavian friend who speaks either Swedish or Norwegian; I'll ask her. Hmmmm2. Maybe I saw the pronounciation guide in a book about Bohus knits.

I am using #3 needles for a pair of socks and was thinking, wow, imagine a sweater knit on this size. And now you're saying #1 and#2 needles for a sweater. Oh my!

Kristina said...

Bohus is pronounced ['bu:hʉ:s]. There is actually no wikipedia-page about Bohus knitting in Swedish either!
Swedish knitter and linguist :-)

Anne said...

Craziness. But beautiful craziness.

Miss 376 said...

It looks gorgeous, there is something luxurious about something knit on those size needles.

twinsetellen said...

The Bo has a bit of a long O in it, the hus has a bit of an umlaut in it, but if you say it with confidence, I'm sure you'll do just fine.

Now I am going to go search Wikipedia for "bonus sweat". I hope it means what I'm imagining!

Anonymous said...

My birthday is March 6, too! The hat looks fantastic. I'm sure your Mom will love it.

I'm a loose knitter, so if the pattern calls for 0 needles, I would probably need 00 or 000 needles to get gauge. Dear Lord. But looking at your kit, it's tempting.

Hmm. Maybe over the summer so I can finish it before next winter . . .

Take care.

KnitNana said...

I've looked at those sweaters and that site and done exactly - EXACTLY - what you've done, and said to myself, I have ONE sweater that is that pure wool (from a high-end dress shop in the mid-80s, handcrafted to look like the finest blue and white china) and I simply can't wear it, because it's so warm.

A tam? PERFECT! Now I'm going to live vicariously and watch you knit it. Your mom is going to be a very happy birthday girl!

0s? Well, that's all Wendy knits her socks on, and I use 1.5s for my socks...I suspect it's a bit of a challenge, but I know you're up to it!

knitspot anne said...

i was told it is pronounced bo-hoos (emphasis on the second syllable, like a little bird) by someone who took classes from susanna hanssen. but i see that you have as many pronunciations as comments so take that with a grain of salt!

and i'm jealous! i've always wanted one of those sweater kits; maybe this year or next . . .

M-H said...

I can't believe this - even the knitwiki doesn't have an entry for bohus. Maybe it's one of those secrets that no-one talks about! I'm planning a rather unusual bohus cardigan this winter. Details in due course.

Lynne said...

That Tam is really pretty.

AlisonH said...

My mom let me, as a teenager, occasionally borrow a handknit Danish sweater that was a lot like the Bohus ones, absolutely gorgeous. Wanting to be able to make something like that is what helped pull me into knitting at the time. I still haven't made one, but I love it when someone else does. Have fun!

Anonymous said...

I've been eying those kits ever since I saw Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's. I'm not sure I need to see another, it might put me over the edge. However, that gauge - teeny! They're so pretty though. Good luck with the tam deadline - it looks great so far.

Alwen said...

I have to admit, I first saw Bohus sweaters in Calvin & Hobbes. Stuff knitted on size 0s feels so nice!

Mary Lou said...

I once owned a real Bohus sweater, purchased at a garage sale long before I knew what it was. I have a kit for the Blue shimmer hat. I have had this kit for a long time. I am embarrassed to say how long. More than 5 years, for sure, so I'm impressed that you dug right in! It's lovely.

the boogeyman's wife said...

wow, that kit was organized really well. it brought back memories of cross-stitch days, when you'd get a kit and have to sort through the colors and match them up to the charts. which of course always had some very odd names, like very dark light yellow-green and dark light yellow green. how nice to have it all worked out like that! what you've got so far looks great too

Jon Rybka-Wachhaus said...

The birthday is the 7th of March... you know that right? Or are you just saying the 6th so you can get it done with a head of time.
What number is it this year for her? 49? (Kidding!)

I just wish that I could create like that instead of browsing the stores for a "pre-made" something for her.

Oh well... since I am the son, she loves me more anyway. LOL

ps. YOUR birthday gift arrived today and was mailed out by Mark around 430pm today.

Gwen said...

Ooooh! It's starting so light and soft in colour. I look forward to seeing it finished! (too lazy/too clever to follow the link. If I can't see it, I won't buy it!)

Little needles? It's even more knitting! And we like knitting! (though when you throw in a deadline like that...)

Anonymous said...

You are BRAVE!

adrienne said...

amazing! your mom is going to be so happy with the tam.

i love the look of colorwork but dislike all those balls of yarn dangling "everywhichway".

EGunn said...

I've always wanted to make a tam. Not sure why, since I'm not a hat person and I'm not sure I'd wear it. But they are appealing.

I have not always wanted to make a Bohus (I think it's pronounced something like Bowhoos, but I might be making that up). But then I saw some in person last week at Madrona, and I have to say that I am tempted. They are absolutely beautiful. The alpaca sweater kind of killed my fear of little needles in a sweater, too, so I think I'm particularly vulnerable. Maybe someday! =)

Marianne said...

I love the Bohus designs, just LOVE them and yep, smitten so many times with sweaters actually being knit (I'm also thinking Stephanie's and Ellen's)... one of these days. Then again, maybe I'll start out with a tam also :^)
(I'm catching up, yet again)

Bea said...

Oh my. Its going to be lovely though.

Rachael said...

Just lovely! After taking the class last fall I absolutely want to knit one of those sweaters 'someday'.

Is that the chart in the pic? If so, mighten it be copyrighted? (just checking)