The American Swedish Institute's “Bohus Radiant Knits,” a Swedish explosion of color and texture, opens January 23, 2009, and runs through April 5.
Bohus knitting, which flourished under the aegis of the Bohus Stickning knitting collective in Sweden for 30 years (1939 to 1969), is well-known to American knitters through such books as Wendy Keele's Poems of Color.
It reminds many people of Fair Isle knitting, since it too features color strandwork on fine yarn, but it uses textured stitches as well, and sports the signature colors of hand-dyed yarn. The ASI event, which runs January 23 to April 5, marks the first time that Bohus couture garments have been on exclusive exhibit in the United States since the 1964 World’s Fair in New York. Of special interest to MKG members are the select Bohus knitting kits on sale at the ASI museum shop from Solveig Gustafsson, a luminary in the field. Some are expected to be exclusive kits, for sale only during the exhibit at the ASI (but available through Gustafsson's Web site after the exhibit closes). The kits cover a range of projects, from wrist-warmers to sweaters.
This exhibit opens on Friday, January 23, at the museum, the Turnblad mansion at 2600 Park Avenue in Minneapolis. During the opening weekend, the ASI offers a variety of opportunities to learn about Bohus knitting and its history, including workshops, lectures, a knit-out in the museum, guided tours, knitting workshops, and a film premiere. A number of special guests from Sweden and the U.S. will be present to share their expertise.
A schedule of the weekend's events (with a link to a downloadable registration form) is at the ASI Web site. Many require advance (paid) registration, and as of this writing these are all sold out. They include a lecture by master dyer Gustafsson and two knitting workshops by internationally known Bohus knitting instructor Susanna Hansson. Check out the ASI museum shop for the Bohus project yarn kits mentioned above. The museum is open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from noon to 4 p.m, Wednesday noon to 8 p.m., and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m. General admission is $6 for adults, with reduced prices for students and seniors.
The Minnesota Knitters’ Guild is a proud sponsor of the ASI exhibit. Check out www.americanswedishinst.org, or call the ASI at 612/871-4907 for more information.