Finished Object: Fantom Bohus

Alrighty, then. This one’s been a long time coming, and even longer coming to the blog, after a long and overly warm photo session yesterday during which the hem of the sweater back was tucked under! There was much mirror-looking and checking during today’s.

The Stats:

Yarn: 1 lb. of Fantom Farm natural dark brown wool/alpaca mix roving spun into approx. 710 yards of heavy worsted weight two ply yarn, plus these Romney and Romney/mohair mixes, spun from Fantom Farm dyed rovings:

dk. brown- 132 yards/ 3.1 oz.
dk. olive- 128 yards/ 3.0 oz.
olive- 132 yards/ 30 oz.
rust- 130 yards/ 2.9 oz.
acid green- 78 yards/ 2.4 oz.

There are leftovers of every color except the acid green and the main body yarn. I cut them very close. Like, staying up super late at night to finish because you are pretty sure you’re going to run out of yarn and you won’t be able to sleep if you don’t know the outcome.

Pattern: My own, which will be available somewhere, someday.
Needles: size 8 for the yoke, 7 for the body, and 6 for the edgings
Gauge: 4.5 sts. and 6 rows per inch
Size: 42″ bust (2″ ease)
Started: A loooong time ago.
Finished: August 30, 2007

See all Fantom Bohus posts for more info.
Visit the Flickr gallery for even more photos.

The Spinning:

The yarn is a little bit on the scratchy side. I’m sure some of you would recoil in horror upon touching the sweater: some people already have, though they try to control their expressions as they recoil. It’s definitely what I’d call “medium wool” and I expect it to last a good long time. It’s semi-worsted yarn, spun worsted-style from rovings (woolen prep), which keeps some of the lightness, shows off the sheen well, and keeps a bit of the halo down (there’s plenty as it is).

The Knitting:

This sweater was knit in the round, all in one piece, from the top down. It’s loosely based on Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Percentage System (EPS) and circular yoke recipe. I seriously cannot praise that woman enough. I fiddled with the proportions a bit and added my standard side “seam” waist shaping. It’s got 2″ of ease, meaning it’s a bit loose and comfy without being sloppy (I hope!), making it a good outwear sweater come fall.

The chart comes from reading Wendy Keele’s Poems of Color: Knitting in the Bohus Tradition and looking at how purls were used to soften color transitions and combining aspects from various charts and throwing in some goodies of my own. It took me three tries, I think, to get the yoke right.

Isn’t she pretty?

Ask away if you have a question. If there are a bunch, I’ll post the answers here.

101 Responses to “Finished Object: Fantom Bohus”

  1. anmiryam

    Beautiful. There are definitely times I prefer more “rustic” yarns and softness be damned. In this case it looks to be a perfect fall sweater.

  2. Marybeth

    Wow!!! That is just beautiful. And how wonderful to have a sweater made from yarn you spun yourself. Someday I will have be there, just have to keep practicing the spinning.

  3. Lisa

    Adrian, it’s absolutely gorgeeeous. The colors, shaping and details are spot on. Well worth the wait and hullaballoo!!!

  4. Caryn

    OOOOOOOHHHHHHH SOOOOO PRETTY! Fantastic job!! I LOVE Bohus sweaters, but haven’t had the balls to start one yet…but I think you might have inspired me to do so!

  5. margene

    It is SO fabulous. I love the way the yoke fits and the warm colors you used. It’s a real beauty!

  6. pumpkinmama

    Its more than pretty its gorgeous. My question – there’s a lot of hype about the bohus these days, and I guess I don’t get why its seen as such a challenge (apart from the tiny gauge on the traditional ones) – is it really just color work with purls in it or is there some other aspect that I’m totally missing?

  7. Kimley

    Wow! That is just amazing. I’m so impressed. Are you going to wear it to Rhinebeck? If so, I just may have to stalk you so I can see it in person. Just beautiful!

  8. regina

    Oh, it’s just wondrous! You must be so proud! As to the scratchiness, that’s one thing i remember from the hand-knit sweaters of my childhood. I imagine there will be something between you and that glorious sweater, like a jersey or tee of some sort? I just love it!

  9. Katinka

    Gorgeous, and the fact that it’s from your own homespun makes it all the more amazing! I love the colors of 70s kitchen appliances, and I mean that in all seriousness. :)

  10. jess

    it’s gorgeous, Adrian! I love how it turned out! Your colors in the yoke work perfectly together.

    So, why did you decide on garter stitch cuffs and hem? From what I’ve seen of Bohus sweaters, that’s not a “traditional” choice, so I was curious why you decided on it (other than squishy squishy garter stitch love).

    [and have you started cobblestone yet? Maybe I should check ravelry. ;) ]

  11. Beth S.

    You have just knit my dream sweater! Seriously, I think I just died a little from the sheer gorgeousness of it.

    I want to know about the contrast piping on the edges–is that slip-stitch crochet, or did you just cast on and knit one row before changing to the main color? Either way, it is a brilliant touch!

  12. michelle

    That is beyond beautiful. And for some reason I find the side shaping shots so sexy :) It looks wonderful on you – job well done. Nothing like a good rustic sweater to keep one warm in the winter months. You make it all look so easy.

  13. Adam

    Wow. It’s absolutely stunning!

    I’m sure it feels good to control the whole process from start to finish, and to knit a pattern you designed yourself. I’m working on a Seamless Hybrid right now, with a few nerdy flourishes, and it tickles me to no end to work on it.

    And scratchy wool is so in right now. Merino is for sissies. ;)

  14. Mandy

    I was hoping we would get picks today. It’s gorgeous!

    A question. Do you have a standard rate of decreasing and increasing for the waist shaping? Like, do you decrease at the side seam every 3rd row or every 4th row or something different? I’m trying waist shaping (not from a pattern, EZ style, for the first time) and every 3rd row seems like maybe it’s too quick. Thanks!

  15. CJ

    Absolutely stunning!! You did such a fantastic job and it looks so very professional. I just picked up the Poems of Color book last week and have thumbed through it briefly. The designs are amazing, but I feel a bit over my head. The fact that you made up your own pattern with inspiration from this book blows my mind!! As for the wool you described, I for one LOVE those rustic, so called “scratchy” wools for a good outer wear sweater like this one. It will hold up longer and you should have this sweater forever and ever.

  16. Lori

    The most beautiful sweater ever! I love the colors and the subtle changes! The contrasting hems are really wonderful and a nice touch! It’s even cooler because you did everything from start to finish! This is a sweater to aspire to!

  17. Nanc

    That is so beautiful. I would never recoil from this sweater, no matter how scratchy. As long as I knew that you would be wearing something soft against your skin.

  18. Mandalinn

    Wow, it is gorgeous, I love the muted colors and the pattern is just perfect. Someday I hope to be able to spin enough for a FO that large.

  19. Annie

    Absolutely stunning!! I’m thinking I need to put a Phantom Bohus (or even a real one) on my list!

  20. Mel

    That is a great sweater! I’m now even more motivated to get my Corrie spun and knit up!

  21. Erica

    Wow – it’s just breathtaking… and the fit is lovely, and the details…! Just beautiful Adrian.

    One question I have is related but more of a general one- if sometime you wanted to discuss spinning for a specific project, i.e. how you figured out just how much fiber you would need for your lovely sweater? I tend to use the trial and error method… which doesn’t much help when you are going to order some fiber and fear it is/isn’t enough.

  22. anj

    See I’ve been dreaming of bohus and this fall I am taking a bohus techniques class.. and really really I want one of my own one day. I’m so glad you did all of it.

    Scratchy means to me that it can be worn on the outside and you can skip a jacket. Which just shows off the beauty more and more. I hope to actually meet you in person this yr at Rhinebeck. (Maybe while Clara is signing the book??)

    Is Bohus traditionally knit in worsted? or is it more a fingering weight and that was your re-interpretation?

  23. merete

    it is gorgeous and there is crisp autumn air about it. the rusticness is so gorgeous. i adore it.

  24. Cheryl

    It really turned out well – congratulations. I can’t wait to see/pet it at knitting group some fall night. Nice waist shaping action!

  25. elizabeth

    Very cool! I never would have noticed the purl stitches if you hadn’t pointed them out, and they add so much to the yoke!

  26. beverly

    That is spectacular. I like how your choice in color placement makes the yoke glow. Really fine work!

  27. Jody

    Wow!! I’ve been obsessing over bohus sweaters for months and I LOOOOVE yours! You definitely have to post a pattern for this masterpiece. I want it!!!

    Love it!


    Breathtaking beautiful! I am a new reader to your site, and I am so glad I found it… Your knitting is just lovely. I know all who sees this sweater will love it and will be equally fascinated with your talent…


  29. Ann

    It’s lovely, Adrian. Your attention to detail is wonderful… down to the color kpattern card with bits of yarn tied to the edge. I await the pattern with baited breath.

  30. WiscJennyAnn

    Love love love this magnificent beautiful fantabulous… OMG overwhelmed with the potential breadth of adjectives to describe my feelings for your sweater! Oh, and same goes for the new java popup gallery as well.

  31. Mishka

    Fabulous! I hope you’ll bring it on a Monday night so I can look at it up close in all its finished glory. What will you take on next? I’m so impressed with the design!

  32. Shannon

    Its spectacular, really a beautiful accomplishment. To have spun the yarn yourself makes it even more satisfying I’m sure. Lovely work.

  33. kimchi

    seriously beautiful bohus!!! and an extra gold star for spinning the yarn yourself!
    wow! that is one amaaaaazing sweater!
    and a java pic gallery popup always gets me excited! :o)heehee! ek.

  34. loopykd

    Amazing! Well done! How long did this take? Also, how do you address sleeves and armpits in the round? I am sorry if someone else already asked this but there are FAR too many comments at this point!

  35. Anja

    It’s so beautiful. The colours are killing me. And I too love the scratchy yarn for this sweater – it’s just right for an outdoors sweater & makes me think of walks in the mountains and crisp crisp air. So inspiring.

  36. Thalia

    She’s a beaut! Wow. *sweaterlust*

    Meh, I like the “middle” or “medium” yarns – they wear so well.

  37. alison

    Adrian, it’s just beautiful. Congratulations! And the pop-up slide show thingy was pretty cool. :)

  38. Michelle

    Absolutely beautiful. I’m 650 yds into my own handspun sweater right now, maybe this will spur me into spinning the other half.
    Isn’t it interesting how some people react to any non-merino wool? This is how wool feels people, come on ;)

  39. Grace

    So what does this GORGEOUS sweater weight? I’m guestimating 2 lbs?

  40. Carin

    Beautiful… I love the colors. I just recently checked out “Poems of Color” and will be adding it to my “kntting library.” You have done an awesome job, looks great!

  41. Manise

    Breathtakingly beautiful! Color transitions and all. Super job!

  42. Dave

    Wow, that’s completely and totally freaking gorgeous. Love the colours, and the order of the colours. Love the shot of colour from the hems. Love it!

  43. Lizzie

    Oh man, that is beautiful. I love the colors. Does it have a little stripe of yellow going up the sleeve, or is that something in the photo?

    (I’ve neglected your blog but am back to admire your work.)

  44. Pat

    Your pullover is gorgeous – I loved the slide show!!
    My favorite sweater was knit 30 years ago in very wooly/oily/scratchy Briggs and Little yarn – I wear it every winter and it looks as good as new to this day – I LOVE rustic yarns!

  45. Marlena

    So beautiful!
    And there’s something kind of comforting to me about a scratchy wool. It seems warmer somehow, and cozier on a freezing day.

  46. larissa

    Absolutely gorgeous, Adrian. I love it. I just read about the way that purls pull the previous color up into the new color’s row, I think in Knitter’s Almanac? Your color changes just glow and blend and are totally lovely. Nice work.

  47. Valerie

    I’ve renewed that book (Poems of Color) so many times from the library… I need to just buy my own copy already. I’ve been swatching patterns in bigger gauges, but the grace of the designs has seemed to get lost in the larger stitches. You’ve worked that problem out beautifully in your design–And the acid green and rust? LOVE. You’ve achieved that Bohus glowing quality. You can call it Fantom Bohus if you want; I shall call it The Olive Shimmer. :D

  48. darlene

    wow…..i have been waiting for the FO and i am in awe of how beautiful it is. great job!

  49. Danielle

    I’m a little late to the game, but I love your sweater! The colors, the design, the fit, the spinning. It’s gorgeous!

  50. melissa

    i’m a little late to the congratulatory party, but i’d like to add:

    holy mother of god, that is a gorgeous sweater!
    i especially love the color scheme, those autumnal tones make me want to hop on a hayride or go apple picking. hurry up fall!

  51. jenna

    Holy (insert your favorite expletive). I have nothing charming or lovely or enlightened to say. I am just in awe!

  52. DebbieB

    LOVE it. I’ve just spent a half hour staring and admiring (I like your little java popup gallery too). What an accomplishment, Adrian!

  53. mamacate

    Stunningly, fabulously, impossibly gorgeous. I love Fantom Farm and I have some of those colors in stash, but the way you put them together is profoundly beautiful. Thanks for the inspiring FO!

  54. miko

    absolutely gorgeous! i love the color combination (so midcentury modern!) and how comfortable it looks. the details are so well thought out, and all handspun! very impressive indeed.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.