Monday, August 29, 2011

G is for... Gothenburg; or Knit Nation Part the First

So... it's been a while since I posted anything but book reviews. Which is not to say knitting, travelling, spinning, working, etc. etc. hasn't happened; but somehow there just hasn't been time to note anything down.

However; after the recent trouble and violence in London, I thought I'd bring you some of the wonderful London weekend which was Knit Nation 2011. For me, the weekend started on the Thursday evening, with a trip to the National Portrait Gallery, a meal at Rossopomodoro and most importantly a chance to introduce two friends, who previously knew each other online but hadn't met. Franklin and Gavin are both knitters and leading lights of the Archers group on Ravelry. (That's a packet of Duchy Originals shortbread with them; you had to be listening to the Archers in January or February, otherwise it's a long and pointless story)...

After an even earlier start than usual on the Friday morning, I got to the reception desk with SarahAbroad and signed up for all my classes. All very smooth and efficient - thanks, Jaq!

The first full-day class was the Gothenburg connection - Bohus Stickning, with Susanna Hansson who was a superb teacher. Bohuslan, the area where the knitting was done, is north of Gothenburg. What I liked was that the focus was very much on the social justice element of the Bohus project, and also the emphasis that this is not folk knitting, but a completely new style of couture knitting which was intended to compete with the likes of Ralph Lauren and Nina Ricci in the post-war period. Garments commanded very high prices, and knitters were paid enough that in some families, the balance of financial power was shifted from the man to the woman of the household which caused some contention.

Meanwhile, while listening and looking at slides, we started knitting wristlets in the Blue Shimmer pattern. The yarn is lovely to work with - you could really feel the angora content and it was incredibly warm.

In the second half of the day, Susannah spread out the wonderful collection of Bohus garments she'd brought with her, and we all looked, touched (with gloves, of course!) and photographed. What I love is both the colour combinations, and the way these interact with the texture in Bohus (which includes purl stitches on the front of the work, unusual for colourwork), and the gently felting angora content, to produce a wonderful blur of colour...

Susannah explained the construction (no steeks, seamed, cardigans worked back and forth in 20th century style, not the traditional cut-and-edge style in Fair Isle knitting, small couture-type buttons).

We had a show and tell at the end - lots of wristlets. Mine are destined to become the cuffs for a pair of gloves, probably fingerless. One was completed later that day, the other is underway again after a bit of a break for other projects!

One of the best things about the charity Bingo night on the Saturday is that one of my classmates won a fabulous Bohus kit, which was a fabulous coincidence given the numbers of people playing on the evening - congratulations, Elaine!!

More from Knit Nation, Fibre-East and another event soon - I'm on holiday this week so may have more time to sort out photos...

1 comment:

soCherry said...

Aww - thanks! I've finished the swatching (using the wristlet kit) and am about to embarck upon starting my prize won jumper soon :D

Thank you for your lovely report of Knit Nation - the class was def the highlight (or maybe winning the kit...hmmm!)