Archive for ‘April, 2007’

Finished Object- Handspun Baby Surprise Jacket

The Facts:

Pattern: Baby Surprise Jacket from The Opinionated Knitter by Elizabeth Zimmermann
Yarn: My own worsted weight (12 wpi) handspun Merino wool, about 5.5 oz., 350 yards
Gauge: 5 sts. per inch
Size: 17.5″ around, 17.5″ cuff to cuff, so, taking into consideration the thickness of the fabric, to fit about a 6 month old baby according to standard sizing
Needles: size 5 Addi Turbo, 40″ long
Buttons: cuties made from coconut (many thanks to the woman at Windsor Button who helped me yesterday)
Started: April 19, 2007
Finished: April 28, 2007, including most of the spinning (The dark brown was a leftover.)

See all BSJ posts for more info.
See my Flickr set for far too many photos of this, including yarn and fiber.

The Yarn:
I spun up three different colorways of Merino wool for this jacket, approx. 140 yards of green, 80 of blue, and 100 of the brown, and used all but a few yards of each. They’re all 2 ply worsted spun from commercial top that I hand-dyed.

The Knitting:

I did what I was told. No mods, except the increases. I used my preferred method of picking up the strand between stitches and knitting into the back. I liked the way the decreases looked from the wrong side, so when I sewed the jacket up, I did so with the wrong side (well, there is no wrong side, but the side I didn’t increase and decrease on) facing out.

From this view, you can see the cast on edge across the bottom.

Here it is flipped over, with the cast off edge at the bottom.

Starting to inch things into position.

Folded and ready to seam.

I was taken by surprise by how thick the fabric is. It’s also super cushy, as the yarn is already bouncy and lush and adding garter stitch to that makes it feel beyond wonderful.

I seamed this with backstitch from the inside, after a couple of failed attempts to crochet and knit it together. I just didn’t like the results from those methods. The result from the back stitch is clean and makes a nice strong seam. (The seam can be seen in my Flickr set.)

When I picked up along those 10 lengthening ridges, from the right side I picked up the front half of the edge stitch, twisting it as I knit it. When I picked up from the wrong side on the next row, I picked up the back strand of the edge stitch and twisted it. The resulting stitches look the same in the right side of the work.

I didn’t do any edgings. With this particular yarn, which has a rustic, organic feel, I thought plain was best. I love the i-cord edgings I see on some. Next time.

Have I missed anything? Ask away if you have a question. I’ve been getting lots of emails about this, so instead of answering privately, I’ll just add to this post.

Thank you for all your kind words about this project!


Baby Surprise Jacket Wiki

No finished BSJ today, as I had to do a little ripping last night. Sometimes garter is a little bit too mindless for me and I zoom right on past the increases or decreases, especially when I’m peeing my pants over Jim pretending to be Dwight on The Office. Whoops!

I discovered this amazing KnitWiki for the Baby Surprise Jacket just now. It has such excellent diagrams and photos of the process. I’d have understood the construction from the beginning had I seen this. How did I not know this existed?

And so as not to leave you photo-less:

Some stashed skeins of Fat Sock. More BSJ’s?


It’s Starting to Look Like Something

It’s kind of funny how long this is taking me to knit. Garter stitch makes this soft, squishy, sturdy, and of course, square, but it sure sucks up yarn and time.

Want something to watch while knitting? We’ve seen some great stuff recently:
Errol Morris’ First Person– These are some interesting people.
Children of Men Just beautiful. Ah, Michael Caine.
Little Dieter Needs to Fly Absolutely fascinating.

And some real duds:
Smokin’ Aces The trailer looked so good! I usually love this kind of thing, but it was lacking something. Possibly humor.
The Good Shepherd Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

In the theater:
GRINDHOUSE. Oh, my goodness, the happiness!