Friday, July 10, 2009

Baby Surprise Jacket

Look! I finished a whole entire knitting project!

This is the Baby Surprise Jacket (Ravelry link) from Elizabeth Zimmermann. This is one of the most interesting knits I've done... you have to just trust the pattern and go along, because it doesn't look like anything useful until you're done and you fold it up. Then, POOF! A lopsided stripey garter-stitch thing magically becomes a baby sweater.

I used a DVD from Schoolhouse Press to understand how the thing goes together, and I highly recommend this approach. Meg Swansen explains all the steps very plainly, and the DVD's menus make it very easy to directly jump to the parts you need to see again.

The yarn was 2 full balls of Swish Worsted in Wisteria, a little less than half a skein of the bare Swish and maybe 2/3 of a skein of leftover pink Swish. This is a great use for leftover yarns. The worsted weight appears to have made about a 9-12 month size sweater, and I'm looking forward to seeing what size it comes out with sock yarn and sport-weight yarn.

Here's the back: I love how the design makes a right angle. I also love how Elizabeth planned a row of increases to create fullness for the baby's diaper (mine fell right above that first bottom white stripe). Now that we're all environmental and cloth diapers are more widely used than they were a few years ago, that just makes the sweater that much more practical.

It's really too bad that I don't have anyone to give this right would be the perfect gift!

A helpful hint: The pattern requires you to increase on either side of a neutral stitch for many consecutive rows. I found this difficult to see in the garter stitch, so I put a ring marker on either side of my neutral stitch and did the increases before and after the marker. This eliminates the need for bright light and enabled me to knit this and watch TV at the same time.

If I make this again:

I will use snaps or velcro for closures. These bunny buttons are very cute, but I'm quite sure are a choking hazard as well. Maybe snaps underneath and for a little snazz some i-cord knots sewn down very tight, or something...just probably not bunny-buttons of death.

And, I will save enough of my lightest color to sew up the shoulders. I did it as neatly as I could, but the purple still shows through. I don't love that, but I don't hate it enough to rip out my neck treatment and buy a whole new skein of white in order to fix it.

If you haven't made one of these, I highly recommend it. It's not only a cute garment, but it makes you feel smarter once you're done.


TLC said...

Wow, really cute! It was knit all in one piece? I might have to try that one in blues for my nephew, and I'll stay away from buttons-of-death..velcro is a great idea!

nrsmoo said...

Very did a great the colors.