Stitches Recap Day 1

I’m feeling snarly this morning.  I am definitely a night person.  I love staying up late, knitting, reading or watching tv.  I just love the house when it is dark and quiet and I know everyone in tucked inside where they should be.  However, I’ve been working really hard to get up at an insanely early hour early to work out several times a week.  I’ve been attending a class, but when I can’t make it to the class I try to run at the YMCA instead.  This morning a got up, and since it was an off day for the class, I planned to hit the elliptical machine.  People had the gall to be at my YMCA taking up all the elliptical machines.  Even the one that I don’t like that has the handles that move back and forth as you run.  I didn’t want to bike and the one treadmill that was open just looked sketchy.  So I decided to do the Nautilus machines instead.  Humph.  I just don’t feel like I got that cathartic, lung searing workout that I wanted.

I’ll get over it.  Let’s talk about something more fun.  Like Stitches.  Like my Bohus Stickning Class at Stitches.  By the way, I learned how to say Bohus.  It’s Boo-hoose and it’s a county in Sweden.  (I’m assuming that if my notes are incorrect, someone will nicely correct me on all this.)  The very condensed version of how Bohus started was that in the 30’s in Sweden they were in the midst of a Depression just like we were.  Most of the men of that county were workers in the quarries. Since quarry production was down due to the invention of asphalt, families were desperately poor and didn’t know where to turn to.  Several women got together and went to the governor’s wife, Emma, for help.

Emma, brilliant woman that she was, came up with the idea of knitting haute couture sweater for fashionable European women.  Each knitter earned 1/3 of the purchase price of the sweater.  The sweaters were distributed all over Europe and the United States for over 30 years.  Now, imagine being a woman in the 1930’s, whose husband perhaps isn’t real crazy with the idea of you earning money.  You’ve already put in a full day; cooking for your family, washing the clothes by hand, milking and perhaps making butter.  Now you have to knit a sweater with laceweight yarn on size 00 needles in poor lighting.  And if you don’t finish this sweater in 3 months, it will be the last Bohus sweater you make.  That’s not a threat, it’s just that Emma figured that if you can’t finish a sweater in 3 months, you don’t really need the money.

Suzanna Hansson was an amazing teacher.  She definitely has a passion for the subject and was able to convey that passion to us.  I loved that we started out the class knitting a sampler.  We each got enough yarn to knit wristers.  I’m hoping to make mine into mittens eventually.  Although I did rediscover that I need reading glasses for fine work like this.  I ended up borrowing a pair from the very nice knitter I sat with because my eyes were killing me.  Now all I need is to discover the money tree in the back yard so that I can buy a kit directly from Sweden.

Sorry for the orientation on this one.  I’m rushing off to get to work.  🙂

3 thoughts on “Stitches Recap Day 1”

  1. I completely understand the snarkiness! I get up at 4:00 AM Monday through Friday to haul myself to the gym and I am never happy when the machines I want are not available. It screws with my mojo for the rest of the day!

    Cure is knitting with best yarn I can find in stash and an adult beverage when the clock reaches the correct hour. Or chocolate in lieu of the adult beverage.

    I love your account of the class and the history. I have never tried this process, so I will be watching (yes lurking) in the back ground to see how it goes.


  2. I love the history lesson! I had heard of Bohus knitting before, but really didn’t know too much about it. I really do admire its beauty, and now I see that it was born of much fortitude as well. Very cool! Oh and it helps to be able to pronounce it correctly now too 😉


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