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?

Collared

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.

Old Tomten

Time passes quickly, doesn’t it? It is hard not to be weepy as I search out these old pictures and put them into this post. My babies aren’t babies. They’re actual people with thoughts and ideas and personalities and insight into the world. Life just flies by.

The dates for the pictures are below each one.

tomten
Just learning to walk. January 14, 2007 (original post)

tomten: unzipping
Still zipped (from the “Zipped, Unzipping, Unzipped” Series) September 11, 2007

handspun mittens
How big is Maggie? SOOO BIG. (post about the mittens) December 3, 2007

Tire Swing
Tire swinging. April 7, 2008


the sled is bigger than Maggie
Big snow, with Tomten (you can see the hood) under the coat for warmth. January 20, 2009

Tomten
Still fits. January 9, 2010

What a sweater! It’s part of Maggie’s life, and a dear part of my memories. She hasn’t worn it much over the past year, but I’m pleased to see it still fits. It desperately needs some zipper attention. When I put the zipper in, more than two years ago, I had not yet developed my patience for finishing.  If I were to fix the zipper, I think I would take it all the way out and start over.  Do it right this time. Maybe even get a better zipper.

I wonder, will it fit in another year? I hope it will. Good old Tomten.