the suspender sweater

new sweater

What you need to know about the pattern:

The pattern, Suspender Sweater, is from Knit One Knit All (scroll down), the posthumous garter stitch frenzy book by Elizabeth Zimmermann.  I started this sweater over a year ago. Maggie was smaller then, but there were just a few adjustments needed to make it work with her current size without starting from scratch.  The pattern is written as a regular pattern (with regular directions like, “cast on…sts”) but also has all the information necessary to adjust for any gauge and any size. I figured out my gauge using Nature Spun Sport on size US 4 and went from there.

I experienced a lot of trouble with various aspects of this project, none of which were anyone’s fault but my own, I assure you. First I had trouble picking up stitches. Then I misunderstood the meaning of the word “center”. Next I knit the first sleeve too narrow and didn’t admit this until the sleeve was almost fully knit. After that I knit the second sleeve too long, and really there is no excuse for that sort of thing when you have the first sleeve (complete with easy-to-count stripes!) to compare it to. Finally, I had to unsew one of the woven (garter stitch kitchener) side seams and re-do it because apparently the direction in which you do that trick matters.

But from the very beginning of this project I pictured the finished sweater and thank goodness because that is a lot of roadblocks to overcome. I knew this sweater was going to be The Cutest. And finally this morning I saw the results of all that knitting, unknitting, reknitting, ad nauseum. It’s exactly as cute as I hoped it would be.

What you need to know about the pictures:

Maggie likes the sweater much more than she likes modeling the sweater for pictures. I really wish you could have heard the monologue she performed during our 10 minute photo shoot. It was a lot of “Wouldn’t it be good if we went on the tire swing?” and “I’ll be right back, I need to get my bird!” and “Let’s go over here!” and “I’ll put on this bonnet!” until I was exasperated and had to remind her that I was in charge of the pictures and please do what I say!

Maggie did her own styling, including props.

I took a bunch of pictures and a lot of them are posted here. There are even more in the Suspender Sweater set on flickr.

First, a picture of the underarm; the sleeve (top) is a sewn seam and the side (bottom) is the woven garter stitch. Details. They matter.

new sweater

And now the model, my Maggie.

new sweater

new sweater

new sweater

new sweater

new sweater

new sweater

new sweater

new sweater

new sweater

new sweater

new sweater

new sweater

One last picture. When I was ripping out the first sleeve Maggie drew me a surprisingly accurate schematic in order to help me get it right the next time. I was sort of blown away.

Maggie's surprisingly accurate schematic of the sweater I knit her.

I got it right, Mag! Finally!

All Wooled Up

Wooled Up

It was 29 degrees out at the bus stop this morning! I brought the wool basket down, gathered some of the recently finished knits and everyone bundled up against the cold. The newest item being worn was the Noro Scarf that I was working on a few days ago. I blocked it yesterday, and because my room gets super warm with the door closed at night, it was dry this morning!

More info about the Scarf for Jerry on Ravelry. When Jerry comes home today I’ll have to weigh the yarn to see how much was used. The yarn was a gift and already wound into balls, so I’m not sure of the exact yardage. If I had to guess it would be maybe 3 skeins?

Wooled Up

Jerry is also wearing his new Asheboro Hat.  The mittens are the Girdwood Mittens in Cascade 220 knit in the Big Kid size. Remember the Girdwood Mittens? The pattern comes in all sizes and would be a quick knit for Christmas gifts! Just sayin!

Wooled Up

If you’re wondering about the way he’s posing in this picture, he was being a robot. It has something to do with Looney Tunes I think.

And now for Maggie’s ensemble! She beats Jerry by one point because she is wearing a hand knit coat!

Wooled Up

The coat is the recently completed Tomten. Yesterday was a cold morning, too, so I put her Tomten out where she could see it and told her it was cold. I don’t want to force her to wear the knitting, but I want to make sure she remembers that it’s an option. And yesterday she chose to wear the knitted coat! I was so happy.

Wooled Up

Like Jerry, Maggie (doing robot moves) is also wearing Girdwood Mittens and her Asheboro Hat.  Her mittens are undocumented on the blog and Ravelry because they were a Girdwood prototype. She loves them, but the mittens are…imperfect. Luckily for us Maggie is like the honey badger. She don’t give a shit that her mittens don’t match.

The scarf that Maggie is wearing is a simple lengthwise garter stitch scarf knit with glorious Baby Alpaca Grande. On Raverly, it says I finished this almost exactly 2 years ago! Imagine that.

Wooled Up

So maybe Maggie is not technically all wooled up, but partially alpaca-ed up. Even better!

 

TOMTEN!

I’m breaking my own rule. The one that says it’s not finished until it’s blocked. But it’s Sunday, Maggie’s Tomten is done, she’s home and we had time for a photo shoot. We’ll call it “finished” and I promise it’ll get a bath tonight. Can I show you all the pictures?

Maggie's Tomten

Maggie's Tomten

Maggie's Tomten

Maggie's Tomten

Maggie's Tomten

Maggie's Tomten

Maggie's Tomten

Maggie's Tomten

Maggie's Tomten

Maggie's Tomten

Maggie's Tomten

In my previous post about this sweater, I mentioned some of the modifications I’ve made to the pattern. Another mod I made besides those already detailed is that I decreased the sleeves to 32 sts, instead of 28 as directed. Then I added that little loopy at the back of the neck with i-cord that you can see in the last two pictures. Don’t ask how I did it, because I don’t think I could replicate it if I tried.* Also, when I finished the pockets, I put the stitches from threads onto a needle, but didn’t bind off right away; I knit three more ridges then bound off. The pockets are nice and deep.

*Essentially what I did: I marked the center back stitch, and when I got that point in the i-cording I stopped attaching it and knit the i-cord for about 10 rounds. Then I flipped it around and attached it again (this is the part I cannot replicate) and continued i-cording as before. When I was weaving in my ends, I tacked the loopy down so that it would stay in place.

The sweater is big on Maggie. I hope it doesn’t look too big, my goal was that it would fit now and fit next year (and fingers crossed, the year after). Seeing as she has nearly outgrown the jeans that I bought her in August, I won’t hold my breath. This Tomten has room for growing, but please don’t grow too quickly, mkay?

Tomten project page on Ravelry

So that’s the Tomten! It was exactly the knitting project I needed after knitting all those socks a few weeks ago. But now I must face the music and get started on all those Christmas ideas I have. Balls anyone?