Tomten, with collar

Maggie’s Tomten is getting a collar this time, not a hood like last time. You can’t really tell but the collar is done, and the very next thing I will do is start the first sleeve!

I’m knitting this from the pattern that appears in The Opinionated Knitter. The yarn is Cascade Ecological Wool and on a US 8 needle it’s knitting up at 4 sts/inch. Therefore, I am following the pattern almost exactly as it appears in the book. The finished size should be about 27″ and Maggie’s actual measurement is 22″, allowing for positive ease and room for growing.

I’m following the cast on numbers, but I have have made a few small modifications. My pockets are 18 sts wide (the pattern says 14; I wanted them bigger). Also, as the pockets are wider, I needed to make them longer, too. The pockets are 15 ridges, and I inserted them at 22 ridges. I made the body longer by 8 ridges to accommodate my growing girl. I always say that she has a long torso, but I really have no idea if this is true or not. It seems as if she has a long torso so I made the sweater longer. I also calculated how long the sweater would be if I followed the pattern, measured Maggie from her shoulder to her waist, and decided two more inches would be perfect.

EZ directs you to cast off the underarm stitches, but Meg’s note on the page says she leaves them on a thread and incorporates them as she knits the sleeves. That’s what I’m going to do.

You can see the red yarn that I’m using to hold stitches; I think I will use that color for an i-cord edging and to finish the pockets. I really can’t wait to finish this and try it on Maggie. It’s such a cute sweater. I am perpetually amazed by the genius of Elizabeth Zimmermann. Garter stitch FTW.

everything in its right place

I love this new sweater.


I’m calling it done even though it’s not quite. I have one underarm to graft and a few ends to weave in and then blocking. I made it lickety-split. I swatched then cast on on Sunday afternoon.

Kid sweaters usually come together lickety-split; that’s probably why I knit so many of them.


This sweater doesn’t belong to me. I made it for a class I’m teaching at my LYS (“Custom-sized Pullover for your Kid” is the name of the class). The striped raglan will live at Gate City Yarns for a while, but maybe if I make them another sample, they’ll give this one back to me after a while.

The yarn is O-Wool Balance (organic, how fancy) and it was really, really nice to work with. I am in spazzy love with it. The blend is 50 Merino/ 50 Cotton and it has all this lovely tweediness that I think gives the sweater such charachter.

Can you guess the pattern? Of course, it’s EZ, but I used a Spun-Out design called A Family of Raglans (SO45/WG69 on Rav). I have Zimmermann raglan patterns in the books, but this – a single page leaflet available for $1 from Schoolhouse Press – is a pattern chock full of new-to-me information. Worth $1? Damn straight.

short rows
baby got back

There are short rows hidden in there to make the back longer than the front. I’m terrible at knitting short rows, and if I showed you a better picture you might see how unsightly they are on the yoke. This bothers me only slightly, thank goodness, because what’s really important here is that it’s a highly serviceable sweater.

my Mag

Cute, no?

Some basic notes on the design:

  • I used a smaller needle on 100% of the stitches for the edges. It really doesn’t get any easier than that.
  • The decreases at the raglan lines were suggested in the pattern: Dec rnd: K2tog, p1, ssk. Plain rnd: knit. I’d never used it before and I like it a lot.
  • Um, that’s it. It was a really easy sweater.

Now all that’s left is that other underarm, and blocking! And then I say goodbye to this sweet striped raglan for a long, long time…