Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Relief knitting

I´m working on my grey spede and the relief pattern show off much more on this photo than IRL. I´m custumizing this one so I´m making more increases in the front and are going to to some shortrows to make an FBA. I´m still not sure weather I will cut it in the front to be worn as a cardigan or not.
The relief patterns are from an old sock that I bought a pattern for 20 years ago and kept.
The knitting needles are size 1,5 mm, but I don´t mind that at all I prefer the lower range of numbers when it comes to knitting.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Spede sweather

My spede class finally happened!
The traditional peasant costume for women where a blouse or dress, skirt, bodice, skirt and apron. Variation to this is very rich in Sweden and geografi and money have made them very different from each other.

In the south there I live it was common to add a knitted sweather, spede means sticks and means "knitted" It was a tight knitted sweather that was worn under the bodice and maybee with a jacket over ( it´s cold in the winter...)

These sweathers had a vent in front or in the back and where decorated with fabrics and trims, more or less depending on how much money you had

Inger who held the class told us that the lenght varied from over the hip til under the bust. The kit that she sells ( or you can buy a ready made sweather if you just want to do the decoration are waistlenght. It´s important to get the folds even and they should be folded downward so the dandriffs wont´get stuck in them, an old lady told Inger that when telling her about how to make the sweathers.

This is Eva, the owner of "Helylle" the yarnstore where the class was held ( link to the right) She knitted a vest with som lace at the bottom , felted it and decoratet it in a spedeway.

And this is my first spede. I chosed a very untraditional color and found a beautiful fabric in Copenhagen that I´m using together with some velvet trim and who knows what...

It´s hard in the beginning to get the folds correct and neat. I had to remowe the beading of the fabric to be able to do that, will be readded later

Relief knitting was a part of the sweathers too and Inger made this little sample that you can use as a cuff/mudd. Relief knitting is when you use purlstitches to create a pattern.

I also learned to cast on with 3 treads to get this extra twist and a non roll edge

I later bought this band to make them sparkle.

If you want to get in contact with Inger and her work go to

More on Bohus knitting

Bohus knitting was a cottage industri that started 1939 in Bohuslän, a county ( landskap) in the southwest of Sweden. It was a way to earn money amoung the women of the fishing and stone industri communities. The founder was the governer´s ( landshövding) wife named Emma Jacobsson. She employed designers to do the designs that where quite difficult to knit due to many colors and mixes between knit and purlstitches. Yarn where provided, the yoke uses an angora blend. The women knitted and where payed. The sweathers and other items where sold in fine stores in Sweden as well as in the USA and other countries. I can recall a commercial for laundry detergent with a woman wearing a bohus sweather when I was a child. I read in "Poems of color" by Wendy Keele ( Interweave press, discontinued ) that they where not fond of this.
In this book there are patterns for sweathers but with a larger gauge.
If you are interested in seeing sweathers visit she makes kits for knitting bohus sweathers and have ajusted fit and size to what we prefer today. There are right now an exibition at the Swedish American institute in Minnesota. If you are not in the neighbourhood visit there homepage.
Bohus knitting lasted until 1969 but has a revival today, a lot of credit for this has to be given to Solveig Gustavsson ( solsilke )