When I attended the Interweave Yarn Fest, I took a class on Bohus knitting. Honestly, I didn't know anything about the style until a listener wrote in to the podcast with a question. When it was time to pick classes, I noticed the teacher's pattern was one I had earmarked years ago. At the time, I assumed it was fair isle.
I took the class thinking I would learn a new technique, but was surprised to find out the history of Bohus knitting is unlike other knitting styles and history. Courtney Kelley gives us more detail in episode 47 of the VeryPink Knits podcast.
What I find interesting here is not just that it was a created style, but that it was an opportunity for women in the area to support the economy. While exact figures aren't known, it is part of the history of Bohus that they did help support the area's economy until new industry brought it back to a more sustainable level. I wonder, did the women receive the recognition for their efforts? When the economy came back around, did they go back to staying home and caring for the family or were they respected as innovative business professionals?
I find an interesting story developing in all these conversations - the role of women and fiber arts and a lack of recognition and respect for the craft. Throughout history, knitters have supported their families like this Bohus movement, helped troops in wartime, and recently waged protests with handmade knitwear. It may be quiet work, but it's important and we should continue to recognize its influence. We will keep exploring and connecting the dots.