Posts categorized "Bohus"

Knitters, you'll understand this one

It was cold today in Toronto. It felt really cold because it's been unseasonably warm lately and suddenly the temperature dropped to like -15C. I wasn't ready.

On a day like today, I did what all good knitters do and loaded up on the knitwear. My Gretel beret, Nordic mittens, a seed stitch cowl and my Grey Mist Bohus; one of the nicest, most complicated things I've ever made (and also hacked to make smaller).

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What non-knitters notice today? Compliment the most? Talked about as an example of my fine work?

The seed stitch cowl.

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A project I made with a bunch of leftovers on a whim. The thing I made without a pattern or much thought. Sure it's a nice big squishy neck piece and it keeps out the cold. It's even sorta soft.

But it's not knit with angora/merino at 8 freakin stitches to the inch.

There isn't colour work where you have shades of white, bone, fawn, silver and pewter so subtle you have to knit it in full sun to be sure you're getting it right!

And, truth be told, that cowl isn't as warm as my Bohus.


Really, non-knitting people? Really?!


I just needed to get that out. To feel appreciated by my knitting-folk. I knew you'd understand.

Perhaps the cowl is the pinnacle of knitting when you're surrounded by piles of white acrylic scarves at the mall and when you look at them, they don't look all the difficult to make. It's familiar compared to a sweater that one can't even comprehend someone sitting down and knitting.

Yeah, thinking that will keep me warm...

Bohus Repair in 6 Steps

Not a good way to start the morning:

I must have been a bit rough when I was putting on my beloved Grey Mist Bohus. I heard a bad ripping sound and it looked like this.

It was knit top down and I had broken the yarn on the hem bind off. Some stitches had started to unravel.

Not. Good.

To add to the complexity, I had modified the sweater awhile back to fit me better and the sides are steeked. This means I couldn't just rip back the whole bind off and do it again.

I will also say that at 9 sts to the inch that didn't seem necessary to fix 2 inches of hem, so I concocted a different plan.

This morning I made the repairs. It was easy enough that I took the time to have fun with the Halftone app and did a little photo essay.

Step One: Capture all the stitches.

Bohus yarn is 50% merino, 50% angora so the stitches aren't really going anywhere, but I needed them all on needles so I could have something to work with. I put the last bound off stitch on a marker and picked up everything not worrying if they had unravelled more than others. I just needed to get everything on the needles.

Step Two: Fix All the Stitches

Now I took the time to arrange all the live stitches, knit up any that had dropped and to make sure I got them all. This is not so easy with tiny fuzzy yarn, so I made sure I was thorough.

Step Three: Unravel the Bind Off a Bit More

I didn't have a lot of yarn on one end of the broken bit so I unpicked the bind off about 10 more stitches so I had something to work with. Since I was "going backwards" this meant undoing the stitches manually with a tapestry needle and catching the live ones before I pulled out the yarn--no sense in having to wrangle more live stitches.

Then I transferred each stitch back to the left hand needle, checked again that I didn't miss anything and was now back at my orange marker.

Step Four: Attach New Yarn

I decided to use the Magic Knot to attach my new yarn to bind off. It figured at this gauge it wouldn't show. It was also secure. Spit splicing would also have worked.

Step Five: Bind Off

The original bind off was a regular one, but since this must be where I put pressure on the sweater when I put it in, I decided to use Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off for these stitches just to be on the safe side.

When that was done I had two ends. The end of my new bind off and the end where I picked out the old one.

Since both ends were already secure (picking out the old one was challenging so I figured it was staying put), I just prettied it up and wove in the ends.

Step Six: Admire

No one will notice unless they inspect the hem up close.

If anyone does that, I'll know they're a knitter.


Extreme Makeover: Bohus Edition Part II

I finally did it.  

I got held up because I had to seam the sides a second time because I decided it wasn't small enough.  I took off another inch total at the hem and chest so it ended up as 39" around.  I couldn't do more, even if I had wanted to because it would start affecting the yoke.  I'll need to think about that proportion when I knit my Wild Apple because I am broad shouldered but not chesty or very large in the middle.  

As you can see above, there were two seams.  I decided it was easiest to just cut up the middle to start.

Notice I said "easiest"?  It wasn't easy cutting into those pretty, hard won, tiny stitches.

But once I got started, there was no turning back.

I kept cutting until I was at the end of the sleeve stitching up and then I had a pretty large, floppy bunch of extra knitting.

I then cut just inside the second seam to remove the excess.


What's left is a nice smaller seam that just folds out of the way and doesn't leave any bulk.


Here I am in the improved Grey Mist Bohus.  I love it all over again.


Extreme Makeover: Bohus Edition

My super awesome Grey Mist Bohus is too big.

A lot too big.

The reasons?

1. I got smaller (hooray me!)

2. I was off 1 st per 4" in my gauge when it was all over (instead of 8.25 sts to the inch I was 8, this is a problem over a few hundred sts).

3. The sweater grew a bit (because they do that, but in the nicest, fuzziest way).

So while I love this sweater and love that it's a knit item that is very work appropriate (as opposed to sorta work okay), it makes me sad that right now it looks like a 1980s box with sleeves and fits in an old sweatshirt way.

So I'm getting out the tools and doing a bohus makeover.

Step one:

Agonize over what to do with this sweater for months.  If you ever need to do this to a favourite handknit, I've done all this worrying for you, so proceed to step two.

Step two:

Determine the ideal finished measurement.  For me this would be about 39" which is 5 inches less that the current size, but which also seemed a bit too much to remove with the yoke as it is (and really, it's not easily modified).  So I'm going with 4" less for a 40" sweater from the bust down.

Step three:

Find the side "seam".  I knit this in the round so I looked for the spots where I decreased/increased for the waist shaping and put a marker in the middle of that. 


Step four:

Using your finished gauge (ie measure the sweater in it's finished state), count out the number of sts that you need to "remove" to make the sweater the size you want. For me, the gauge was 8sts to the inch and I want to remove 2 inches at each side seam, so I need to remove 16sts per seam, 8 on each side of the centre seam.  Place markers on either side of your side seam.

Step five:

Start mattress stitching on the ditch of the marked seam.  (Yes, on a bohus it's a lot of mattress stitch).  I found it helpful to move my markers up as I stitched so I wouldn't lose the line.  

Step Six (optional):

I didn't like the waist shaping I put into this sweater.  Truth be told, I don't like waist shaping; it doesn't suit my shape and plain old looks weird on me.  Since my new seam was well beyond the waist shaping I just kept stitching up and the waist decreases disappeared.  If you wanted to add waist shaping, you could mark it out with stitch markers and take out more stitches where you wanted the waist.  Whatever you choose, plan ahead.

 Step Seven: 

This part is tricky--the arm.  If you just need to adjust the body and not the sleeve, you can carefully work your new seam toward the original seam and end up at your armhole seam.  This will all depend on how much you need to remove.  Since I was taking out 2 inches, I noticed that I needed to adjust the sleeve too.  This meant working out how to take in the underarm stitches.  I just kept stitching until the arm seam and noticed there was a natural fold, I just followed that for a bit, but it wasn't decreasing enough, so I went out one stitch on each side each mattress stitch until I got to the desired decrease.  I can't tell you how much it was though.  I measured the sleeve against a sweater I liked and went with that.

Do mark where you reach the biggest point, so you know where you need to stop moving out from your centre stitch on the second sleeve.

Step Eight:

Follow your markers and keep stitching.  Since your sleeves will decrease as you move toward cuff, this means the number of stitches between your markers will get smaller.  I went until I had one center stitch and followed this until I hit the cuff.  Do what looks right and what works.

Step Nine: 

Try it on (you should do this while your sewing up too--but this is the final "I'm finished!" try)


Not too bad eh?


I think the 39" would have been a bit better, but the armpit area would have been tricky.  The nice part is how wearable it is.

I bet you're wondering what the inside looks like now.  On a Bohus, the extra fabric isn't so thick, but there is 2 inches folded over hiding in there.

And the armpit is interesting--I really did make this sweater too big.

I bet you're thinking there's a Step Ten. Yes, yes there is.

Any guesses about what it might be?  

I'm going to leave you hanging because I haven't done it yet and it really is worth photographing for posterity and educational purposes.


Grey Mist--My Knitting Nemesis?

I have been putting on my knit-kicking boots and getting down to business with my Grey Mist Bohus.  The second sleeve is a few inches from completion and I spent some time this weekend evaluating what's left to do.

  1. Finish sleeve in progress.  Do a ribbed cuff.
  2. Rip back hemmed cuff from first sleeve, lengthen sleeve to match, do ribbed cuff.  (Note to self: don't measure sleeve in the car--it is too short that way--you must be standing)
  3. Rip back hemmed edge of body, do ribbed hem.
  4. Wait, try on to see what's up with the body.  The hem is flaring out in an unflattering way.  Why is that?  What the hell is going to fix it?  How many stitches am I supposed to have anyway.
  5. Stop.  Take off sweater, get big 2000watt halogen used for construction and count teeny tiny stitches.  346. 
  6. Check pattern.  How many stitches should I have?  Why don't I have any notes?  Shit, I shouldn't take nearly 3 years to knit a sweater, it always leads to disaster.
  7. By my calculations I should have 346 sts.  That's good.  So why does the hem flare after the waist shaping.  Did I increase to quickly?  Is the sweater not long enough?  Shit.
  8. Take a deep breath and rip out body hem, and 20 rows of the body.  This eliminates 8 increased sts.  That should cut down the flaring.  Should.
  9. Pick up all live sts and count.  346.  Phew.  Decrease 4 more sts on next round.  The ribbed hem should take care of the rest.
  10. Pray to all deities that there won't be an unslightly pucker when I switch to ribbing.  (I'm flirting with aethism but at this moment I'll take whatever divine intervention there is).
  11. Revise plan as follows:
  12. Knit 20 (or so) rows of body, switch to ribbing, finish body
  13. Finish live sleeve (have the dpns in my hand sock knitting tube so they don't fall out), do a shallower ribbed edge
  14. Take care of first sleeve
  15. Stick to the plan. 

What's Steph Knitting?

Really, even though the blog is pretty silent (work is mostly to blame), I'm still doing a bit of knitting.

I finished a beret last week.


Chevron Lace Beret (Ravelry link) using Manos Silk Blend.  I really like it, but the colour looks horrible on me. It's going into the Christmas gift pile.  I've started a cowl to go with it.  Probably won't keep that either.  Sigh.  The yarn was very nice to work with and I would like some more in the future.  Silk really does make everything better.

And I'm working on the ugliest socks ever.  I'm pretty sure the yarn is a STR Rare Gem (can't find the label) and it was my mom's choice for her curling socks (she has a hot pink vest to match), but the pooling is making for some serious ugliness from my vantage point.  Perhaps the sight of her ankles whizzing by will distract the other team.  


She'll like them because she's my Mom (and very appreciative of my knitting) and they're fine to knit (just plain old socks) but man, they're ugly.  Too much yellow I think.

The Bohus continues.  Kim practically dared me to have this done in the next three weeks, and I'm up for the challenge.  Hopefully my life will make way for my need to get this sweater done.  I'm itching to cast on a new sweater (something aran weight on big needles) and I told myself I have to have Grey Mist done first.

Angora Milestone

Grey Mist is off the needles!

It's not done.  But the body is complete.  All those stitches are off the needles and I'm down to the sleeves.  I consider what's left to be comparable to finishing a pair of socks--and I can certainly manage that.

I even used some of the leftover yoke colours on the hem (I apologize for the crappy photo).


Woohoo!  Getting close to getting this baby done.