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Baby Surprise Jacket

11 May 2009

Last summer, when we vacationed in Colorado, Wendy and I took a little drive to Ft. Collins to go to a yarn shop called My Sister Knits. In addition to buying way too much yarn (none of which I have knit with yet), I bought a copy of Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Baby Surprise Jacket. The shop was selling it for $3, and it came with notes on what to do on each row of the pattern. Knowing that many people have had trouble with the pattern and it’s lack of row-by-row instructions, I thought having the extra info would be good.

I finally had a chance to make the sweater recently. My boss is having a baby in June, so my department threw her a baby shower last Thursday. I started knitting the sweater for her several weeks ago. I only finished it last Wednesday night at about 10:30 pm. How’s that for working ’til the last minute? It turned out nicely despite my exhaustion at time of completion (I was working on about the third night of little sleep). I have to say that the pattern wasn’t nearly as complicated to make as I’d heard. I glanced at the row-by-row instructions only once. I found the pattern otherwise to be pretty logical and intuitive. And that origami construction? Genius!

BSJ front

The yarn is Vanna’s Choice. I was at Walmart one day and saw giant 7 oz. skeins of this yarn for only ~$4 each. Can’t argue with that. I was really pleased with how soft it was; definitely not your garden variety acrylic. Not squeaky or rough at all. I bought the 2 skeins – one of each green color – and there is enough left for me to be able to make a hat for my niece in the fall.

I used size 8 needles. I read somewhere on Ravelry that to make the sweater large enough for a 6 mo. old, you had to get a gauge of about 5 st/in. Size 8 needles got me pretty close to that. I figure if the baby is born in June, then by winter, he/she will be big enough to wear the sweater.

You’ll notice that there are only 3 buttons instead of the 5 called for in the pattern. I really didn’t want to sew on 5 buttons, so I made only 3 button holes. Actually, what I originally planned was to do attached I-cord around all the edges and I-cord bobbles for “buttons”. I realized as I was sewing up the shoulders at 9:30 the night before the shower that I-cord wasn’t happening. I tried to do the bobbles anyway, but failed miserably. That’s when I just about had a heart attack because I didn’t think I had any suitable buttons in the house. Then I remembered that at one time I had an old spice jar full of the extra buttons that often come attached to store-bought shirts and sweaters. Thankfully, the desk where the jar was stashed was in the garage and easy to get to. I retrieved the jar, emptied the contents onto my lap, and breathed a sigh of relief when I found 3 matching buttons.

So there you have it, my first Baby Surprise Jacket.

BSJ back

Cleo wanted to help take pictures.

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Welcome to the new digs!

10 May 2009

After signing up for this new WordPress blog last fall (gasp!), I have finally had some time to set it up. My hope is that I’ll be more motivated to update more often with this new blog.  It’s a bit simpler than what I had before, so less upkeep. We’ll see…

Anyway, welcome to my new home. Pull up a chair and grab a beer.