Saturday, December 29, 2007

Back to the Tomten

Now that all of my holiday projects are complete I am back to working on the Tomten. I've ripped out the badly shaped shoulder and sleeve and was about to try a different shaping on the shoulder when I remembered a favorite sweater from a long time ago that was T shaped, and decided to skip it. I now have the whole right arm knit and am almost done joining the left shoulder. I will post pictures if we ever see the sun again.

Amy- in response to your question (that you actually addressed to Gerry) we are both making adult sizes. Coincedentally we are both working at 3.5 sts to the inch and started with 160 sts. The plan was to add a button band at the end, and I think we have both decided the jacket would be too wide, and are probably going for zippers instead.

EZ has instructions on how to size up the Cast-on number (although I can't remmeber where right now), but the rest is guess work. I would be happy to go back and deconstruct my exact pattern for you leter, if you would like, as mine seems as if it's going to fit quite well as I had intended it to be worn [over other sweaters]. Also, there are some specifics in earlier posts.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

New and improved Tomten

This is the Tomten I started for my son and if I were British I would say it's coming along swimmingly. A note on the yarn: I am using cheap Bernat yarn at 2.49 a skein and I don't feel the least bit guilty. I've decided it's ridiculous to spend big bucks on, although fabulous, finer yarns for garments that kids are a) going to outgrow and b) possibly wreck with any number of substances.

Also, I'd like to point out the pockets. I don't know why but it seems like very few knitters put in the pockets. I urge everyone to give it a try. It's amazingly simple and a really nice touch and if I can do it any knitter can. Or maybe there are good reasons the pockets are skipped? Please blog on the topic.

And the reason I know so much about the details of Tomtens is that I am absolutely obsessed with this particular garment and I think I've viewed every posted photo of completed Tomtens in all of cyberspace.

A Tomten by any other name...

I can't begin to describe the numerous mistakes I made in attempting this Tomten for my daughter but I will try and put it succinctly: bad yarn choice (do not use fine light yarn to knit sturdy sweater jacket for active toddler), got wild and decided to take EZ's advice and do my own thing (basically changed the proportions of the pattern to get right gauge--not a good idea as now I have right gauge width-wise but not length-wise), and now have a huge mystery hole where arm and jacket meet (I KNOW this has something to do with how I picked up the stitches around the armhole but for the life of me I could not fix it and I tried three times).

So I put this one aside for several weeks and started a new one for my son (see other post).  Now after giving it a good rest and thinking on it, I've come to the conclusion that I must take it apart--an agonizing decision as I am definitely one of the slowest knitters on the planet and coming this far on any garment is a real achievement for me.  But I know this is beautiful, quality yarn and would probably make a much better scarf or hat.  Any advice or comments are welcome.

I tried to post a photo of the big hole at the arm but I couldn't get blogger to cooperate.  Update:  I was able to post a photo of the hole--any advice or comments are welcome.

Monday, December 17, 2007

in for a penny, in for a pound....

or, in this case, 2 pounds! here you can see where i am with the tomten, after using two 1 pound cones of P&C double worsted. have slowed down on this, as i was doing some holiday knitting and making new mittens for my son, but hope to have this finished by the first of the year. i think i'm going to like it :)

just a little more to go on that middle section, then on to the sleeves and hood, and maybe i'll finish with a purple i-cord edging instead of the mosaic button band i had planned or maybe gray, or....

Maybe i'd better get there first, then decide.

Monday, December 10, 2007


I haven't received the buttons I ordered yet, so I've tied a scarf around his neck to hold the hood on. He's in a baby carrier strapped to my chest so the front is staying closed that way. I love the shape of this hood.

I'm thinking about adding a blanket stitch edging in royal blue or purple. I have to see what the buttons look like when they arrive. I love the Rowan Big Wool in garter stitch, and I love the shape of this Tomten. I just halved the numbers EZ specified and skipped the short rows and the jacket is perfect. The sleeve length is great to just unroll and use as mittens.

more photos of the front and back of the hood at my blog.

woohoo! i want to make many more of these.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

december 5 progress note

well, i've been working on a few other items, so i've slowed down a bit on the tomten. i have made some progress- i've finished both side panels and soon to finish the back panel.

i'll have to do another photo- no lovely NE foliage now- just lots and lots of white! that can be pretty as well, though. (unless one is in the act of (or recovering from the act of) shoveling it.)

i had intended to do a mosaic button band, but considering that the jacket is plenty wide, and plenty heavy, i may relent and save that for another project. i am thinking of an i-cord border for this one- maybe purple.