Archive for ‘May, 2007’

The Great Adult Tomten Garter Two Person Knitalong

The garter bug has fully bitten and Jared and I were powerless against the lure of Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Adult Tomten Jacket. The pointy hood! The squishy wool knit in extra squishy garter stitch! Garter edgings in contrasting colors! We discovered we really wanted to dress like gnomes. So, we ordered yarn and waited. It seemed like we waited a long time, because we were really excited to get the excellent yarns we chose.

Rowan Yorkshire Tweed Chunky
10 balls of Stout and 2 of Flaming
Keeping my fingers crossed that’s enough. Jared got really good stuff, too.

There’s been some knitting already.

We’re both making some changes to the pattern, which is found in The Opinionated Knitter and Knitting Workshop. I’ve added a few stitches and am doing waist shaping at the side seam. Chunky yarn + garter stitch can = wearing a barrel, so hopefully the shaping will help in that area. There will be a lot of holding the sweater up to myself to make sure everything fits properly, and buttons need to be decided upon, but other than that, smooth sailing is expected. It will have a brown body with red button band/ hood edging and red cuffs.


SpiderWoman Knits’ version and another view
That kid is appropriately excited about his jacket. I think mine needs split cuffs like that one.

Mama K
The coloring and buttons on that one are perfection.

Jared, go post so everyone can see what you’re up to!


New Project: Handspun Fantom Farm Sweater, Bohus-Inspired

That’s a mouth full. I’ll have to come up with a better name.

If you hang around on Flickr, I’ve been inundating you with photos of this wool forever. If not, then it’s news. It has been in the works since Rhinebeck (NYS Sheep & Wool Festival) last year, when I bought some dyed rovings from Fantom Farm (no website). At the time I was inspired by a woman’s sweater I saw at Rhinebeck, which was cream with rainbow stripes on the yoke. I bought the rovings in rainbow colors, and a brown Rambouillet fleece for the body, then totally changed my mind about the sweater. First, the fleece, which is a gorgeous soft thing, didn’t like being carded. Neps galore. It loves being combed, so all is not lost, but I’ll leave combing a sweater’s worth of wool to a better woman. At MA Sheep & Wool last weekend, I found some gorgeous replacement wool for the body of the sweater. Yeah, I took a shortcut. After washing all that fleece, I didn’t want to repeat the experience anytime soon. It’s just so nice when the bathtub stays clean for more than 24 hours.

This is so soft and squishy. It will make a fine sweater body.

Then I started to change my mind about the rainbow stripes, which is bound to happen after 8 months, right? After visiting the Fantom Farm guys at Vermont Sheep and Wool, Rhinebeck, and Cummington last weekend, I have all the colors I need for the new and improved yoke, and they’re all spun, to boot!

These are all 3+ oz., unknown yardage (I just washed them this morning), worsted weight two ply yarns, some mohair/wool and some all Romney. I’ll have them going from darkest at the bottom up to the acid green at the neck in a yoke with slight Bohus leanings. As much as I covet all the Bohus sweaters people are knitting, one whiff of angora and I spend the rest of the day blowing my nose, so this will have to do. The plan is not to do a full-on Bohus, but just borrow how the colors overlap a little in stripes, with those lovely little peaks and valleys, working those purl stitches in to soften the transition. It’s so brilliant a method. Surely lots will be lost without the use of the angora, but the yarns do have a bit of a halo of wooliness, so hopefully this will work out well.

Swatching will commence as soon as the yarns are dry, then a quick chart, a search for a yarn-cutting implement that the European airport screeners won’t remove from my possession, and this top-down sweater of fabulosity is going to be my airplane knitting. Oh, and I have to spin the yarn for the body. :P

I’ll be back tomorrow with yet another new project that’s well underway.


Maisy Day Handspun Zeebee Hat

Pattern: Zeebee hat
Yarn: chunky weight hand-dyed and handspun by Sarah of Maisy Day Handspun
Colorway: Adrian is a Fancy Pants!
Size: 20″ for my 22.5″ noggin (perfect amount of ease in this chunky yarn)
Needle: Can you believe I’ve already forgotten?

This pattern is super interesting to me, both in construction method and adaptability. Choose your gauge (within reason- you are instructed to use worsted or bulky weight yarn) and size, plug your numbers in, and away you go with a custom pattern. So cool.

I’ve got to say, I had a little trouble understanding the pattern. In the instructions, part 7, there’s mention of wrapping, but you’re not actually instructed to do it on that row. I did and things look fine. Then in part 13, you get “you may need to add one extra row because you must…” ??? I think this refers to a row you might have to add if you are given an odd number of rows to knit, but the vagueness made me nervous! I laid out my knitting at the 1/8 and 1/4 marks and measured to be sure I was on track before continuing, just to be sure. Again, things worked out fine and it was nice to be reassured that the hat would be the proper size. Any problems with the pattern could totally be on my end, but I figured I’d mention what I did and that it worked out, in case you make the hat and have doubts about what to do, as well.

Siri asked in the comments to the last post about what made the Finn wool used for this yarn so special. Oh, let me count the ways. Mainly, it’s the luster. It’s not common to get wool with the great combination of luster and length plus fineness that this particular shearing had. You usually get luster and length in longer-wooled breeds with coarser fiber, and fineness in shorter-wooled breeds. Having them all in one wool was glorious! This wool sucked up the dye and showed colors so well with it’s soft sheen, the slipperiness of the fiber made for a very easy spin, and it was soft enough to wear against any skin. See why we pine for it? The next year’s shearing was like coarse hair in comparison. It was sad day, indeed.

Sorry there’s no photo of the hat on. I’m running around like a lunatic, trying to square everything up for my trip to MA Sheep and Wool this weekend, and I’m not fit for public consumption. I will be tomorrow, though, I promise! Carolyn and I should be there both days, visiting Amy’s booth a whole lot and shopping our heads off. Look for us! I got new lime and orange glasses. You can’t miss’ em!