Tuesday, October 12, 2010

FO: Tomten

My very first EZ (for the uninitiated this is an abbreviation for Elizabeth Zimmermann, a very famous knitter and writer about knitting) pattern is this Tomten jacket for Destructo boy.  It was both easy and difficult for me.  The easy part was the stitch pattern, I mean, what's easier than garter stitch?  Having to figure out my own stitch counts based on my gauge and deciding how many ridges to do, well, that was more difficult for me.  I am used to using patterns which practically hold your hand whilst you knit so having to figure it out for myself was terrifying (you could say I am a bit insecure about my own design abilities!).

It took quite awhile for me to get started, I was literally staring at the web for hours, perusing all the projects on Raverly and looking all over the web for sizing guidelines before I finally cast on, about 6 hours later (yes, it really took me that long to work up the gumption to just do it).  I really wish it didn't take me so long to actually get projects started but it often does, remember my battle with the socks?  Once I got it started it moved pretty quickly though taking only 3 weeks to finish, for me that's pretty good as I usually have 3 projects going and of course am often busy keeping the little ankle biters mollified.  Of course I had to restart the hood 3 times as the armholes were too deep and it took a couple of tries to get it right.  Let me say this, attempting to fit a sweater in progress on the 5 year old is difficult enough, on the almost 2 year old it is nigh impossible!

Once I got the hood done I looked at my radically diminished ball of oats colored yarn and said a little prayer that I would actually have enough to finish the sleeves.  This is where my recently purchased scale came in really handy!  Mister Vonkysmeed thought I was silly, but hey, I wanted my sleeves even so the scale helped my figure out how much was left and then helped my to calculate how many ridges I could get out of it by multiple weighings (I was weighing after almost every ridge, overkill? maybe).  In the end it came out just fine, if a bit slim on the oat color, oh well it's probably better to have lots of a darker color on the sleeve hem to hide all the inevitable dirt and food stains that will happen with this sweater.

Can you believe those buttons I found?!  They seem like they were made to go with this sweater, I almost squealed out loud in JoAnn's when I spotted them, the boy sure did when I handed them to him to hold until we checked out (he squealed a little differently when I had to pry them out of his hands to be rung up though).  Once I got the buttons and loops on I tried the sweater on Destructo-boy and he would not take it off.  He even yanked on the hood until I helped him get it up and wore his new tomten for the next 2 days straight, mind, I hadn't even had a chance to wash it yet!  It is terribly nice though to have my work appreciated, so much nicer than all the sob story postings on Ravelry about gifted sweaters ending cut up in dog bed.  Best of all, it fits the boy well now, and he still has some room to grow.  Hopefully we will get another two years of wear out of this sucker before I need to make him a replacement (unless he wears it out first!).

Tomten specs:

Used pattern recipe from Knitting Without Tears, Elizabeth Zimmermann
needle:  US 7
yarn:  Berocco Vintage in the oats, dungaree, and fennel colorways
  • cast on 120 stitches
  • worked for 30 rows before beginning hood
  • made 9 increases on hood which is 44 ridges total
  • for sleeves after 20 ridges changed decreases to every 5th ridge rather than every 4th
  • 65 ridges total on sleeves
  • 3 stitch applied i-cord all around opening, also used i-cord for button loops

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