Sunday, January 20, 2008

You always remember your first time...

Minds out of the gutter folks! I've got a new FO to show you, my first Elizabeth Zimmermann project, a Baby Surprise Jacket for my friend Vivian: I finished this a week or so ago but the baby shower wasn't until today and I didn't want to blog prematurely in case she spied her present. This is, quite possibly, the cutest thing I've knit. I love the yarn, I adore the buttons, and it was just so fun to knit because I quite honestly had no idea what part of it I was knitting at any point, including during the end when I was knitting the buttonbands. You know you're doing that because you're making buttonholes, but even so I couldn't fathom how what I had on the needles was going to turn into a sweater with only small seams to sew. This is what it looked like when it came off the needles:

Can you believe that that lumpy mass of garter stitch turns into an adorable jacket? It's amazing. I can't wait to make another one!

Project Stats: Baby Surprise Jacket for Vivian

Pattern: Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann, from The Opinionated Knitter

Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted, colorway Rainbow. I used about 1.5 skeins.

Needles: Size 8 Clover bamboo circulars. To think I contemplated knitting this on straight needles! Thank goodness I read over the pattern before I was stuck on plane with 9" needles with way too many stitches on them...

Buttons: Purchased at Weaving Works. I think they're my favorite part of the sweater. So perfect!

Time on the needles: December 21, 2007-January 10, 2008. I cast-on for this on the plane home for Christmas - see:

Instead of peanuts we had bananas! Actually, we had a whole little breakfast pack - it was pretty good, thank you Continental!

Impressions: I've already mentioned how fun this was to knit, but it really was, and I'd recommend it to anyone up for a bit of an adventure. The pattern is, shall I say, a bit vague. What you see in the photo is all there is, and the top bit isn't even directions. You have all the info you need, but if you're like me you'll find yourself wishing you had a little bit more. However, if you just trust in the genius of EZ you'll get there in the end. I didn't take photos of the folding process, but Anne-Marie has a really good series of them here. I also really liked this yarn. It's a bit bright but Vivian and John intend to be surprised by their baby's gender, so neutral was key, and who doesn't like rainbows? The yarn is very smooth and nice to knit, which is good because I have a whole sweater's worth in the stash, ostensibly for a Dave sweater, but that is on hold because of the sweater curse. We are not married nor engaged, so no sweater for him. I don't actually believe in the curse, but it's a better excuse than the reality, which is that I'm too lazy, although Dave isn't really much bigger than me. What else can I say? The buttons were a great find. I was unsure of what color/style I wanted, but these jumped right out at me and they were perfect. The sweater has buttonholes on both sides (with the intention that the knitter would gift post-birth, thus knowing the baby's gender and afixing buttons appropriately). Waiting wasn't an option for me so I just went with the buttons on the right. I doubt the baby will care what side the buttons are on, frankly, and neither do I! The simplicity of the garter stitch is one of the appealing parts of this sweater. It creates so much textural interest while being truly simple to execute - no purling the entire sweater! Overall I call this a roaring success, and I think Vivian and John really liked it. Their baby is due on Valentine's Day, but it might be awhile before he/she can fit into this sweater!

In other news, I have finished the hat for Rembrandt and, drum roll please...the Drops Swing Cardigan! It just needs blocking and buttons, but it is seamed and ready to go. I hope to get the buttons tomorrow and have a photo shoot soon thereafter! In case you're counting those make foru FOs already in 2008. Phew - wonder if I can keep this up?


bookwoman said...

How cute. And thanks for the review on the pattern. I know a few people who are expecting soon, and thought about trying to seek out this pattern for a quick and easy knit.

And don't you love that colorway? I did socks for my cousin with it, and had enough left over to make a few pairs of baby socks.

(Sorry if this posts twice...technical difficulties...I haven't had caffeine yet.)

shortoldlady said...

What a fantastic finish! The colors are so happy and the buttons are adorable! Well done.

Angelika said...

That is just TOOOOO cute!!!

Anne-Marie said...

So adorable! Can't wait to see the cardigan!