Bountiful Bohus Cardigan and an ending

My Bountiful Bohus cardigan is officially finished.

Bountiful bohus cardigan in cascade 220

Sometimes as a knit blogger I have this sense that a project isn’t really done until the wrap up is complete and the final story is told. I’ve been blogging for most of my knitting life in the last decade and the act of writing about my knitting has become something of a habit, and one that for the most part I still enjoy, but I do occasionally wonder what it would be like to, you know, just knit stuff and wear it/give it away without an audience.

Part of what brought me to this experience was the desire to be part of the global sharing that is blogging. I read other blogs, first in Canberra and then more broadly, and felt so inspired, so creatively awakened, that I had to join in. There’s a synchronicity then to the fact that as I move on from knit blogging, I’m doing so by writing about a method that takes me back to the roots of my knitting life/experience. One of the first knitting blogs I ever felt drawn to, SamuraiKnitter, inspired me to try the wonder of steeking and seven years on, we’re still in touch and look at me, I’m steeking again!

I truly loved knitting this cardigan. That it took me four months is not a reflection on the pattern but more a reflection of the fun of winter knitting. There’s always something to be knitting, something to be planning. My head was turned all winter by the lure of quick knits like gloves and hats and other small items. So Bountiful Bohus lingered right up until the moment I joined the sleeves to the body and whipped through that fair isle yoke.

Bountiful bohus cardigan in cascade 220It’s not perfect. What knitted garment ever is? I for one never really strive for perfection in garments (other than lace shawls – you can’t really be half hearted about perfection there) – I strive for wearability, comfort, warmth – all the things that make a cardigan something you’ll wear and love and enjoy for a long time. So the steek inside is a bit wobbly – but it’s holding and that’s great. The waist shaping is a bit odd – the bits just above my hips have this way of sticking out a bit, the band doesn’t sit entirely flat but it’s fine. It’s warm. It’s so warm. Even the slightly longer than I planned sleeves have in the last few days come to be something I enjoyed.

I met some friends for knitting and beer at lunch time and Olivia took a few photos for me. The glass in my hand is empty, but it was just a prop. The Ballyragget Red I’d drunk was long since gone. My cardigan may not be perfect but my lunchtime knitting friends saw none of that. We admired the detail, the fact of the knitting that had been cut, the colours and the warmth.

at the arboretum in new cardigan

The winds in Canberra in recent days have been fierce. They feel like they’re coming off the snow up on the Brindabella Mountains; they cut through you at the bus stop and in the wind tunnels of the city. I walked through those wind tunnels today at lunchtime feeling a lot warmer than I might have. My cardigan was doing its job. Even Olivia said, when I arrived at the Wig & Pen that she thought I must be wearing a warm cardigan since I came without a coat.

I feel so pleased I’ve made a cardigan I’ve admired for several years online. Sometimes, the wait is worth it.

Bountiful bohus cardigan in cascade 220

It’s pretty. I love it.

It feels to me like the right place to end my knit blogging life. At least in this incarnation. I’ve come full circle, enriched by creativity, connections, inspiration and sharing. That won’t stop. It will just be directed elsewhere and I’ll of course still share projects on Ravelry where I am sure I’ll see many of you.

In time there may be another blog, another creative outlet. I’m not sure.

I’m thankful for the experience of my blog. Blogging came to me early in my knitting life and there are rivers of understanding and experience that run beneath the surface of what you see here, things I know as having been real and powerful for me in the last seven years. You can’t fabricate that. It’s very special and the experience will stay with me forever. I crossed the line between creative and personal blogging many times – lines that were self-determined in some ways. When I lost babies, when I experienced joys, when I felt part of a world that was meaningful and inspring, I had creative connections and people who read and cared and that meant a lot.

If you have read, commented, shared, experienced this with me in anyway, big or small, I’m grateful. If there’s a new outlet after this, I’ll come back and say so and if I find you there, then I’m sure it’ll be wonderful.

I’ll leave you with a photo of Alice, the little marvel who has a massive part of my creative and emotional life for the last four and a half years – over half of my blogging life.

I have known for a while that with the advent of her schooling life next year, blogging about her had a limited shelf life. I don’t write about her life, her family, her experiences other than the fun things we do together but I do put her name and her photos up. I think that she deserves privacy and to not be recognised on the streets of Canberra any more – when that’s happened it’s been lovely and respectful but it might not always be the case and so that aspect of my blogging life was always going to have to end. It’s been wonderful sharing her with you. Her place in my life and heart is unspeakably important and cherished. Celebrating the richness she’s brought to my life (with Sean) and to my knitting life has been fantastic. A most unexpected joy.

Alice at the creek

Blogging was the same. An unexpected joy. Thanks for being part of it with me.



52 thoughts on “Bountiful Bohus Cardigan and an ending

  1. What a beautiful sweater! I have enjoyed reading your blog over the years and will miss your blogging and your stories. Best of luck!

  2. The sweater looks great on you and as usual you have done a beautiful job. It’s a shame that you will not be blogging but I do understand as I also recently stopped blogging. All the best for the future and I am sure I will see more of your projects on Rav.

  3. It’s been a treat reading your blog over the years Bells! Even though I’ve mostly been a silent reader, I’ve been following your blog almost since the beginning (since we met at stitch n bitch way back when!). Your posts have always been wonderfully honest and positive and inspirational. Thank you, and good luck with whatever life brings you next! Neet

  4. Oh Bells,

    It’s been too long since I last wandered over here.

    Your blog was one of the first I bookmarked – simple, honest, entertaining and sometimes just a little jealousy-inducing.

    The cardigan is beautiful, you are beautiful.

    I will miss your online stories.


  5. Oh Helen, I’ve just seen this and it’s brought a tear to my eye. Endings are sad, but i hope to stay in touch with you via facebook and instagram and rav of course. Take good care, Suse x

  6. I’ve been reading your blog since about a year before Alice was born. I know I’m not a prolific commenter here, but I’m sure going to miss it 😦 Good luck Bells in your future endeavours & wish Alice good luck starting school πŸ™‚

  7. Thank for the time you’ve given us with your blog, which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. And the best of good luck for you future endeavours.

  8. i really like the long sleeves on your cardy and the pretty way it sits at the neck.
    well done, on it and your blog.
    Bye Blog! (sniff)

  9. You will be missed. I look forward to your blogs because I enjoy reading about your life in Australia and your knitting projects. What is your (ravelry name if you don’t mind sharing it) so that I can keep up with your knitting projects? They have never failed to inspire me.

  10. Well, Bells, it has been fun. I joined you about the same time Alice did and have loved watching her grow to such a beautiful young lady. The chicken stories were great too, from tiny eggs to the giant ones that left me crossing my legs in sympathy.
    I know that keeping up with producing a blog requires time, effort, and commitment. Sometimes we have to choose where best to spend those minutes and the energy.
    I will say hi on Ravelry!

  11. There has been a plethora of blogs ending lately. I started reading with a steek and now I’m finishing reading with one too. Your cardi is lovely, and I do think that Alice starting school would have been a great blogging topic!!!

  12. Sad to see you go, but understand completely. Beautiful Cardi, to finish on. Best wishes to You, Sean and the rest of your lives together.

  13. Thanks Helen for a great regular read that cheered me … It was great to spot you in Sammy’s and to know we’re connected through a school friend … Canberra is all about six degrees … I hope you will let us know where to find future writing, whatever the medium and inspiration.

  14. Oh Bells! I’m with Madmad on this one! I’ve so enjoyed your eloquent insights into knitting and life. Wishing you the very best, and I’ll continue to follow your knitting adventures on Ravelry. Jxx

  15. I’ll miss you – and Alice (she’s the same age as my granddaughter). I’ve knitted so many things after seeing them on your blog, I just had to find you on Ravelry so I can stalk your projects (in a nice way of course!).

  16. Well, this is bittersweet. I certainly understand the need for Alice’s privacy. I wonder how you will feel finishing projects and not writing them up? I guess there is still ravelry (and the other social media).

  17. Best of luck Helen, I shall miss your blog and miss hearing about the gorgeous Alice. I hope you both have a happy life, you have inspired me to attempt knitting I have never done before and I thank you. Love Anne xxx

  18. Thank you for the blog over the years. I have enjoyed it. Miss Alice to start school? That surely can’t be right. LOL. However, it is right and you have made the right decision re her presence online.

    Best wishes for the future.

  19. Aw sad to hear you’re calling time on the blog but its been a great read, even as a non-knitter. I’m lucky I’ll still see you online and IRL when I’m in the ‘Berra. Thanks for a great blog and being a most excellent friend. I’ll miss reading about the chickens though!

  20. Lovely post to mark the end of an era. I’m sure in a lot of ways, it’s another beginning. Thanks for sharing yourself with us for all of these years. You will always be one of the first knit bloggers I discovered, and I look forward to keeping up with you elsewhere!
    xo Sonia

    • Thanks Sonia. I feel like it’s the beginning of something new, too. Just not sure what but I look forward to seeing!

      And I’ll still be reading blogs too so that’s another way to keep in touch. πŸ™‚ After all, Alice and your little one are practically blog cousins, as you once said πŸ™‚ Helen xo

  21. I’m sorry to hear you are leaving blogging. I have admired your knitting as a fellow knitter. I sat next to you at lunch at the first bloggers conference. Your cardigan is just gorgeous. Good luck in your future ventures.

  22. The sweater looks wonderful. So sorry to hear that your not blogging anymore as I love to see what you have been up to. I think more people are instagramming now instead of blogging. Alice is adorable and I totally understand why she wouldnt be blogged about anymore. My 12 yr old doesnt like it anymore either so I stopped a while ago now.

  23. oh, dear Bells. I will miss you posts.

    it’s been wonderful reading along, and though I’m certain Ravelry.will show us your progress, it’s not quite the same a reading your eloquent musings πŸ˜‰ Your blog was one if my “firsts”, and will akways hold a special place in my heart. As will having the privilege of knitting for you, and meeting you at Bendi!
    thank you for these years of sharing not only your knitting, but your thoughts, highs and lows, and your life. I’m sure this won’t be the last end here, so see you down the road xx

  24. I’ll miss reading your blog, Helen, but totally understand your feeling like winding it up for now, at least in this iteration. I’ll keep seeing you on FB, which is where I put most of my energy these days. Life does have a way of moving on, changing and shifting directions. I hope not to lose touch with you and sharing thoughts, ideas and knitting projects. You are so generous for sharing with us your life for the past seven years, and for introducing us all to Miss Alice, Sean, your sisters and your family. I wish you all well.

  25. I’ll miss seeing your blog pop up in my blog reader. :sigh: I’ve loved following your knitting and Alice adventures. Glad to know you, if even just a bit. If you ever come to Portland, Oregon, I’d be happy to take you around this knitting mecca!

  26. Wait, WHAT?! There I was, reading along, do-be-do-be-doop, sweater, knitting, beer, do-be-do-be-do and then BOOM! WHAT? NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

  27. Life changes and we change with it, new directions and new beginnings, insightful of you to acknowledge this. You have generously shared things with strangers, all of whom have been enriched. As for the gorgeous Alice, yes she needs privacy, and it is important she flourishes without any hindrance.
    Still hope we might meet though, when I come on the Big Adventure next year !!!

  28. You are going to be much missed, Helen. I’ve been coming here since “meeting” you at one of the first Tour de France KALs and I’ve loved peeking across the world and reading your thoughtful words. Crossing my fingers you’ll be back soon!

  29. Lots of love. I’m thrilled we’re still in touch, too. πŸ™‚

    There’s so much to say, between the two of us, but I’ll settle for saying I’m really glad we’re still keeping up all the time, through other methods.

    Happy knitting, and Alice-hugging.

  30. Oh, you’re leaving? But I’ll miss you. Thanks for the peek at knitting Down Under and for the chance to watch your life from afar. Glorious knitting, always was. Gorgeous sweater. Bye, chickens! Bye, Sean! Bye, Alice and Willem! Bye, Bells!

  31. Yours was one of the first knitting blogs I found and has always been one of my favourites and over the years it has been very special for me getting to know you a little. Enjoy wherever your creative impulses take you next. X

  32. I’ll be sad to see the end of your blog. My knitting skills are far behind yours so I seldom have anything intelligent to say beyond “pretty!” but I have enjoyed reading your posts over the years. All the best with whatever comes next πŸ™‚

  33. The cardigan looks lovely. I, too, am sad to see the end of your blog. Maybe I’ll be lucky enough to bump into you one day at a local yarn shop in Canberra and tell you how much I love some of your knits!

  34. Well done, Bells, in knowing when to call “time”. I’ve loved reading about Canberra (one of my previous homes – well, Queanbeyan, but I worked in Civic) and your life with Sean, Alice and the chickens.

    I look forward to the next phase of your creative life.

  35. I love the photos for this post. And the sweater looks fabulous on you.

    I completely understand the desire to stop blogging. Stay in touch, Bells! xo

  36. First off the sweater is gorgeous. I love the colors and it fits you beautifully.
    I’m so sorry that this will be your last blog post. I’ve been reading your blog almost as long as I’ve been blogging and I’ve always looked forward to seeing what you, Sean & my dear Alice have been up to.
    I wish you the best always. And if you’re ever in NYC, you know to contact me for a fun day of knitting & shopping!

    • Thanks Susie! You were one of Alice’s earliest long distance fans. It was lovely! I went to NY in the late 90s and have longed to go back. You never know!

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