Thursday, July 5, 2007

Finally a FO!

Well, the Baby Surprise Jacket is finished! I finally decided on buttons, and went with my gut feeling:

Option #2 Buttons

These are the ones I originally chose at the fabric store. They are a natural shell with a nice little design etched into the material. The shell has hints of both shades of pink when the light reflects off of it tying in nicely with the overall design. I also liked how the more complex buttons give the more simplistic sweater an unexpected detail.

Now on to the sweater:

Finished BSJ

Pattern: Baby Surprise Jacket from "The Opinionated Knitter" by Elizabeth Zimmermann
Yarn: Bernat Cottontots in "Strawberry" (darker pink) and "Pretty in Pink"
Gauge: 20 sts - 26 rows = 4"
Needles: US 7 Knit Picks Options Circs.
Amount Used: Strawberry : 2.25 skeins. Pretty in Pink : .25 skeins.
Mods: Used an applied I-cord for edging and cuffs.
Buttons: Etched Shell from JoAnn Fabric.
Size: Toddler Size (?)

My thoughts:

Pattern: This pattern is truly ingenious! You knit this semi-rectangular blob and a few origami folds later and you have a baby sweater! In true EZ fashion the directions are a bit...let's say sparse. At first this confused the shit out of me. But after reading and re-reading I got the hang of everything and was able to figure it all out. It truly helps to knit this on a longer circular needle. This allows you to fold it as you go:

Baby Surprise Jacket

If I would have done this on straights I don't know if I could have figured it out on my own. I am a visual learner and not being able to figure out how to fold it and see it in action as I went along would have totally driven me nuts!

Yarn: I used Bernat Cottontots for this project for a few reasons. First, the recipient lives here in Virginia and the baby is due in August. I feared that if I used a sock-weight yarn (for a 0-3 months size) the baby would grow out of it before properly wearing it. It does get cold here in VA, but it seems if summer lasts forever sometimes. The cottontots is 100% worsted weight cotton. Hence reason number two, I wanted something machine washable and dryable. Now I don't have kids, but the thought of having to take time out to hand wash something while trying to take care of two kids seems like a really huge hassle. I mean, I have a hard time hand washing stuff (like store bought wool socks, I've felted a few of those in my time, I'm getting better though). And thirdly, cottontots is cheap. Way cheap, and readily available. I got it at Michael's for under $4 a skein. The downside: It's 100% cotton and pills like none other. It was starting to pill as I was knitting it. It's now finished and it isn't so bad. An appointment with the sweater shaver before gift giving is in order though. I know a lot of people hate working with cotton because it hurts their hands etc. I've never known this phenomenom, perhaps I have hands of steel, I don't know, but it's never been an issue for me. The yarn itself is nice and soft and the garter stitch of the pattern really makes an extra cushy fabric.

Needles: Like I said before, the circs really make a difference with this pattern. If you value your sanity, use them.

Mods: At first I was really tempted to use a varigated sock yarn. I really love how the bright variegated colors look. I bought some Socks That Rock in Sherbet. After doing some research on Ravelry I found that those made with sock yarn came out really small. I waffled for a bit, and then decided to use the Cottontots. I was really enamored with the BSJ I'd seen with and applied i-cord edging and took this into account when trying to pick colors. The variegated cottontots was a bit barfy looking to me so I decided to go with solid colors, and being drawn to pinks, naturally that's what I chose. I am really happy I went with the applied i-cord. It was the first time I have ever done this, but I think it was worth the extra time and aggravation as it really makes the jacket.

Size: In choosing a worsted weight yarn I knew it was going to be a bit bigger. It ended up being more of a toddler sized sweater than an infant one, but I am totally fine with that as babies generally only grow bigger right?

Overall, I am very happy with how this sweater turned out. It is cute, and totally genius in construction. I'll definitely keep it on my baby knitting list.

Finished BSJ No.2

One last gratuitious shot.

Just to let y'all know my little brother is in town for a few days so I'll be regrettably absent from the blogosphere. See you next week.