Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Pattern: Tomten Jacket, from Elizabeth Zimmermann's The Opinionated Knitter
Yarn: Beaverslide McTaggart Tweed in Sweetgrass (6) and Fisherman Weight in Tamarack (1)
Needles: US 10 KP Options
The Tomten is, most famously, a children's pattern. My husband caught a glimpse of Brooklyn Tweed's adult version and informed me that it had his name written all over it. I was pretty enchanted with the jacket, myself, so it didn't take much convincing. He picked the colors, and off I went.
This was the first time I've knit a large garment for someone else, so balancing the original design against modifications for an adult fit against his desires against my own opinions was a bit of a challenge, but I think it all worked out in the end.
EZ advises that you can adapt the pattern to fit an adult by knitting it at a gauge of 2-3 stitches per inch. I liked the fabric I was getting from the McTaggart Tweed at 3 stitches per inch, but I thought the pattern still needed some tweaking to better fit an adult. In the original pattern, the sleeve circumferences and the neck circumference are each 50% of the body circumference. While that provides an adorable fit and room to grow on a toddler, I didn't think it would be as flattering on my husband.
For the neck, I did two rows of k4, k2tog to bring it closer to the size of the actual neck. He decided against a hood, and these decreases created a mock-turtleneck fit with kind of a mod aesthetic. I think I would have preferred the look of a hood, but it would have added more bulk to what was already a horse blanket of a sweater, and I doubt he would have used it much, anyway. And I definitely would have needed to order an extra skein of the contrasting yarn. As it was, I was down to mere inches after sewing on the buttons.
For the sleeves, I left the armhole deep, but then added a wide mitered border to bring the sleeves closer to the body and accentuate the construction of the jacket. From there, I decreased on either side of the center slipped-stitch ridge after every fifth garter ridge to length and then k2, k2 tog across before joining the contrast color.
The antler toggles were my husband's choice, after weeks of indecision. I lobbied hard for a zipper, but it's his jacket, after all, and the antlers suit both him and the jacket. He asked for buttonholes rather than loops, and I was happy to oblige.
He seems to be pretty happy with the final results, and since he hasn't been shy about asking me to change things that he didn't quite like, I believe him when he says he likes it.
There was a lot of trial and error along the way, and I even took a much-needed break from it for a while, but I'm having some real separation anxiety now that it is finally finished. Good thing the yarn for my next project came in the mail today.
Previous Posts on the Tomten:
8/13/07 A Good Weekend for Knitting
8/21/07 If it's worth doing, it's worth doing three times?
8/26/07 Antlers and Toggles and Tomtens, Oh My!
8/28/07 This is the project that never ends.
9/20/07 Status and Priority
9/24/07 A Very Productive Weekend, Indeed
More pictures on Flickr.