The Tomten Jacket

EZ's Tomten Jacket

Pattern: Tomten Jacket from EZ’s Opinionated Knitter
Yarn: Manos 113 & W (5 balls, 1 ball)
Needles: Addi Turbos Size 9

Had it not been a sample for my friend’s shop I would never have truly appreciated the great knit Goddess that Elizabeth Zimmermann is.  I mean I did a bit with the Norwegian Mittens but now I’m a true loyal devotee. What a cool freakin’ pattern!  I mean it was all knit stitches which at first I thought would make me be bored to tears BUT NO! I was enthralled up to the last bit of I-cord.  Oh sure, The beautiful colorway of Manos 113 also helps.  I knew from the cast on that a gold border would just pull it together and boy,  it really did!  However it was so easy to change your mind to a pink or a blue border because the colors in that yarn just allow so much creativity.

Of course knitting this jacket in a little over 7 days would not have entirely been possible without me being off from work. (although we all know what happened when HP came out – a girl’s gotta read too you know!)  I also decided against making the hood because I just loved the the look of the ‘popped collar’ – it’s the Jcrew prepster in me.

The applied I-cord was a first time for me. I couldn’t quite picture the concept at first but once I got it going there was no turning back.  I’m surprised I haven’t i-corded the couch cushions yet!

I must thank my model for being too cute for words while enjoying her lollipop.  She is my friend Patricia’s niece and just such a good sport for wearing the coat in 90 degree weather – even though we did put her in front of the air conditioner.  ETA: Her sister also got in to it by sporting the jacket

Abbytomten_2

Also a huge thanks to J a r e d for posting his gorgeous adult version which sparked the inspiration.
This humble knitter truly wonders where she would be without the knit blogs… they have proven time again to be such a source of energy, inspiration and support!  Thank you a million times over.

I’ll be vacationing in LBI next week and therefore won’t have much connection to the internet! See you all in about  a week 🙂

M

If it wasn’t for Potter

this jacket would be done already!

Tomten almost there

It was a truly rainy Monday here. One that was perfect for curling up on the couch knitting, drinking a nice iced tea not really feeling guilty once getting off the couch.  I  had obtained my copy of the last HP the day before and had told myself that I would read a few chapters, knit, and read a few more chapters. 

Are you all following what happens when I tell myself, when I Give myself a plan?  Oh right – I never can seem to follow it.  I ended up spending most of the whole day reading and page turning – finishing the book last night.  I find the HP books completely entertaining. I mean yeah, they’re no great feat in literature writing BUT they tell a great story.

Now I am back to normal, I’m no longer a page turning fiend with Goldfish cracker crumbs on my shirt.  I showered,  brushed my teeth (flossed!), gave my hair a little tossle, took a deep breath and got back into knitting mode.  I have just an I-cord border and some buttons to sew and this puppy can be slapped onto the FO list. 

It’s my first almost completed EZ project. (I never did complete the Norwegian Mitts, I will be giving that another go this fall).  To be quiet honest at first I thought she was so wordy and I didn’t really give her patterns much thought.   But now having truly sinked my teeth into this project, my taste buds are craving for more.  Oh that beautiful Norwegian Yolk sweater will be mine, and maybe one day so will the Aran Coat and a few of those Hybrid Sweaters… Oh,  EZ’s infected me and infected me good and I’m glad that there’s no spell or potion out there to cure me!

Imitation is a form of flattery*

So, I’ve started a new project that was so off the charts and off the lists that this thing has no business being on my needles.   However when one has access to a huge internet full of knitting blogs your mind can go from one direction to the next faster than Lindsey Lohan can get from club to diner to club.

Wildflower Tomten 113

It, my friends and wonderful readers, is the Tomten Jacket from EZ’s The Opinionated Knitter.   I am fulling and utterly ensconced in this pattern – I want to finish it like yesterday.  I was sitting at Patricia’s yesterday just hanging out when she asked me what she should make with her beautiful Manos 113.  At first we were thinking a little Mac & Me blanket, which was winning until I went to my Bloglines.

Enter one the most influential and prolific knitters who has a fantastic blog, Brooklyntweed. (hi j a r e d!)  He just finished his Adult Tomten jacket – so gorgeous and yet so simplistic and stylistic it just was screaming to be knitted (kid size, of course) in Manos 113.  I grabbed her copy of  EZ’s OK and casted on that very moment and haven’t looked back since.  I thought maybe after the first shot of new knit project adrenaline I would be tired of it, but Oh No.  I’m burning down my Addis Turbos!

My mind is a Buzz with all the trim colors I can choose by using with 113.  Right now I’m thinking a beautiful yellow-gold for the i-cord trim and cuffs – but who knows things might change.  I’ve also decided to do it sans hood and just rock it with the collar.  We’ll see as I go what transpires… hee hee!

My other almost done project, Cherry is now blocking and will be seamed this weekend.  I’m making a trip to M&J Trimmings on Friday to get some buttons and ribbon.  I am also indulging in NYC’s restaurant week.  I’ve been click happy at Opentable.com making lunch and dinner dates.   That is such a dangerous website – I could book my heart out around New York if I could!  Perhaps you’ll see me working my Tomten at a table in Maloney and Porcelli’s or maybe Salute, or Trattoria del Arte, or.. well,  if I got a huge smile on my face it may be the food – be we all know it might be the knitting 😉

*Other considered title "I want to do everything that Brooklyntweed does"

The Readjustment

It’s taken me a bit longer that expected to get back into the flow of blogging.  I’ve been feeling a bit restless this past week like I needed to be doing more with my time. The result I’m sure of going cold turkey from a trip that was scheduled minute by minute.   I was so overly happy to be home that I became numb.  My mind and body were in denial that trip was over.  As a result, I really have been quite lazy these last few days but I think that’s just to compensate for the get up and go at 7am mode I was in in Italy.

Sunshine

I have been working on Cherry, happily getting back into the project after getting her out of my safely home checked luggage.  I didn’t chance taking the project in my carry on via Heathrow considering the circumstances at the time.  I am done with the back and sleeves and am working on the fronts at the same time.  I have to be very mindful of the pattern though as the increases/decrease and the pattern repeat are all somewhat unique with each side.  It’s all matching but you have to multi-task. Increase here, cable there, etc.

Now though is the fun part of deciding which buttons to choose!  A trip to M&J trimmings is in order I think.  As for the "belt", I’ve seen so many pretty versions of this sweater and really loved the ribbon substitute for the i-cord.  Perhaps I’ll pick a few different ribbon colors to change up the look a bit.

I’m also on the hunt for my next big knit. Frankly I don’t think there’s ever a time where I’m not thinking about what I want to knit next. I am constantly having a click fest on Ravelry and it seems that my queue is being added to everyday and yet I’ll probably cast on next for something I didn’t even see coming.  It excites me a bit that I too may be starting some obsessions – I
love how popular the "Fifi" pattern has become! Yea! KNIT IT. It’s
truly a fabulous and simple satisfying knit.  I saw that it’s been
linked on many blogs and the designer’s website too! (www.frenchgirlknits.com

As for what’s in my knitty brain right now… I have yarn for the Razor Cami that just may be on deck but I’ve also been eyeing some really pretty cherry Koigu at my LYS that is tempting me to make either socks or a head band.

Who knows maybe I’ll finish the 2nd Monkey sock that’s been waiting patiently for me to get over my second sock syndrome?  Or maybe a gift for my dear mom who’s birthday is in two weeks… Or that Fitted Knits tube top that I so know my friend Dana is going to want to make with me (no need to finish Glee, we’ll save that for the fall – this is just screaming summer knit!) …  oh there’s lots floating around this poor head of mine.

This restless mind must try to take things knit by knit. But knowing that I don’t have to set my alarm clock for anything work related for a few more weeks now that makes my little lazy heart smile.

When life gives you Lemons, make Lemoncello.

Biglemons

Big, mutha lemons that is….

Oh Italy, where can I begin?  Alluraa… It was such a mixture of emotions.  Wows and "you’ve got to be kidding me’s", buzzes and soberiety, heat and chills, health and sickness all with not one stitch of my knitting done.

It all started with the two our delay on the tarmac at JFK airport.  Something BA called, "evening out the gas tanks".  This delay caused a domino effect that wouldn’t end for the next two weeks… Our connecting flight out of Heathrow did not think it best to wait for the 53 passengers that were on our flight.  Instead, re-booking 53 (46 teenagers mind you) on 3 different flights seemed to work best for them.   I happened to be on a flight that didn’t leave Heathrow until 10 hours later…

Once in Rome, 29 of the 53 people in my group did not receive their luggage. One of which was me.   If you’ve ever lived  in Italy or are familiar with Italian customer service then perhaps knowing that I didn’t get my luggage until a week later wouldn’t be a surprise to you.  All others, yes the shock hit me hard too.  Though, if you were to talk to my parents and boyfriend and friends you would know that I had the best possible attitude ever.  I mean how could I be any less in front of 17 year old girls who were also waiting for their luggage and they were the ones who paid for the trip. I was just the hired chaperone.  I needed to be the positive reinforcer!  I washed clothes in the sinks of my hotel bathrooms and dried them with their handy automatic hair dryer.   

I must not say though that the entire trip was spoiled due to this because it truly wasn’t… Italy is stunningly gorgeous and no words can truly express how I was moved by the sights we saw… I cannot wait to return there and I solidifed that with the coin over my left shoulder at the Trevi Fountian.  But for now, the photos – just a few of the hundreds I took.

the Vatican – Sistine Chapel, oops, i didn’t think my camera was on 😉
Sistinechapel

St. Peter and St. Paul’s Church. Simply wow.
Stpeterpaul

some interesting "street signs" in Pompeii
Pompeiip

Beautiful Capri

Capri

Amalfi

Almafi

At the Four Corners in Old Palermo, Sicily

Lamppostpalermo

Me and the ladybugs on Mt. Etna, Sicily

Mtetnabug

No lost piece of Luggage was gonna bring me down! A little bit of that lemoncello does help though as does the many glasses of local vino I drank.

It just feels so good to be home – to blow the dust and dirt off my knitting needles and to do my own thing.

Ciao Italia. Can’t wait until next time.