Friday, April 30, 2010

Surprise!

No, not the arrival of Teddy! But rather, the completion of a Baby Surprise Jacket! I'm pretty sure Teddy has enough knitwear, but I couldn't resist making one of these anyway - just for the experience, if nothing else!
And I'm so glad I did!

Details
Pattern: Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmerman - the most clever little pattern in the world! About a page of pithy instructions and a few pictures and diagrams, and that's it!
Most amusingly supplemented by a 16 page BSJ wiki on Ravelry! Which, I must admit, is very helpful (even if the length of it does make me giggle). I'm sure I would have gone wrong at least once, if not a few more times, without the wiki. So yay and a big thanks to all the contributors!
Yarn: Handspun by my buddy Donni (Moggy and Me) - featured previously on the blog here - about 370m/100g, in what I estimate is a light sport weight. Lovely stuff - do love knitting with handspun, and it worked out fabulously with this pattern.
Sticks: 3.75mm KnitPicks Harmony options

Time: 13 April - 30 April 2010 (although I did finish all the knitting in a week, I took my time seaming the shoulder/arm seams). And thanks to my mum for sewing on the buttons (I HATE sewing on buttons!). I had these buttons in my stash and I think they match perfectly!
Modifications: I wouldn't call this a modification exactly (it's hardly rocket science or a new idea), but I added a crochet edge around the neck, because the garter stitch edge was quite uneven. I also tossed up about putting all 5 buttonholes in (as many people only do the top 3) but I figured I'd put them in, and if I don't want to do them all up, then I won't! But at least I have the option.
The neck looks a bit small to me too, but I figure I can leave the top button undone too!

I really really enjoyed knitting this clever garment. From all the attention it gets on blogs and ravelry (over 11,300 projects!), I know that many people consider it a "must knit" for all knitters. And I agree!
And that got me thinking about what other patterns might be considered a "must knit" - I'd also include Kate Gilbert's Clapotis, and a top down raglan jumper pattern (but which one?) and probably also EZ's pi shawl (and no doubt at least one more of her patterns), maybe the Lady Eleanor entrelac shawl, definitely at least one pair of socks (probably two - toe up and top down) and definitely something fair isle and something cabled - I just can't decide on which patterns would be considered to be "the definitive" fair isle or cable pattern!

What would be in your top ten?

24 comments:

Bells said...

ooh it's lovely. I'm so glad you snuck one in before he arrives.

OK, definitely clapotis. Definitely pi shawl, Definitely BSJ even though I haven't done one yet. I reckon icarus for all lace knitters. Or Shetland Triangle maybe. Yes maybe that one instead. I could go on and on and on.

drkknits said...

Gorgeous little jacket, ive never done one but I should. We know I love the clappy, and the Shetland triangle is my must knit shawl. Featherweight and lily are must knit cardis, and probably monkeys for socks. I can't think further than that, and I'm sure I'm being boring....certainly food for thought!

Bells said...

not boring Drk. All patterns I got up from the computer and thought of immediately. Unless that makes us both boring! I came back to see what you said!

Gidgetknits said...

He's loved by knitters - he's supposed to have lots of knitwear! And the jacket looks great - especially the cute buttons.

Still haven't done a BSJ. Agree on Monkey Socks, amazed at how few of the other suggestions I've done. I need to knit more...

Jan said...

EZ's February Baby Sweater has spawned many other garments even for adults. I've now done that one, thanks to Ailsa's new wool, but haven't done the BSJ. Yes, her directions are pithy. Oh, I've done her pi shawl. It's big enough to cover a double bed.

MadMad said...

Ooooh, good question! And I love your choices, too. Don't have any ideas of my own to contribute (though maybe because it's 5:30 in the morning here and I have no ideas at all...) And I love your cute BSJ - I've made them a couple of times, more, like you said, for the experience than anything else. Mine never seem to come out as cute as other people's.

Janet said...

It's so lovely and sweet! It certainly must add to the anticipation as well -- kudos on knitting a BSJ too.

m1k1 said...

I think the BSJ is a Perfect match for Donni's beautiful wool. How could you not make it.

Donna Lee said...

Kniting with handspun feels really nice. Very different.

I'm probably the last knitter alive who hasn't made a clapotis (and I'll admit, I don't like the pattern) or a bsj. I'm fascinated by the bsj but have no desire to make one. As a rule, I am not an EZ fan. I think she was very clever and an amazing knitter but I like a little more instructions with my patterns!

I guess I have to turn in my KnitterCard now that I've publicly admitted I am not an EZ fan.

Roxie said...

The BSJ is such a showcase for hand-dyed yarn. It looks awesome and the buttons are perfect. I always crochet the edges of mine when I finish them. They look so much tidier that way.

10 must-knits? Geeze, I'm a certified Master Knitter and I've never done Clapotis. Aaaannnd . . ., I just don't feel like doing it. I think you MUST knit whatever seems like fun to you. I'm nuts for miters.

LynS said...

I think the BSJ and hand-spun are made for each other - I'm so pleased you've knitted it.

I'd agree with most suggestions so far for the 10 top knits, though I've not made many of them. I think I'd add a log-cabin blanket of some kind, a jumper with a fair-isle yoke, and a classic cardigan in a fine gauge - though again I'm not likely to make any of these in the near future.

Alwen said...

I've always thought the BSJ was so clever, like a little origami fold in knitted fabric.

del said...

I'd say the Monkey and Jaywalker socks, neither of which I've done!

The wee jacket is adorable. You can never have too many baby knits.

amy said...

Renegade me. I've never done a BSJ and doubt I will. I much prefer the Tomten and the February Baby Sweater. The BSJ just doesn't do it for me--although yours is cute. But I've seen a lot of really hideous ones. I think it's a big gamble. I've never done a clapotis, I don't like shawls (so probably no pi), I've never done monkeys. I fear I don't have ANYTHING on my "all knitters must do" list. In the true spirit of EZ, I think knitters should knit what they darn well please. ;)

(Although if I had to pick something, I'd say everyone should do the sampler in The Sweater Workshop. Then they'll know how to do what they want to do when they want to do it.)

Diana said...

I was looking at this pattern just yesterday. I now have a grandbaby on the way! I love the colors of yours. I hope to make one in non-babyish colors too!

kgirl said...

lol, my top 10 changes monthly! I"m little to no use to you there ;)

your BSJ is darling, I love the colours in Donni's wool

Lynne said...

Gorgeous! I love that yarn!

Tomten by EZ (Knitting Without Tears) is another fabulous garter stitch knit! I've made at least three.

catsmum said...

Lovely colours there RR and no Donna Lee, you're not the only person who has nevr done a Clapotis - nor am I likely too.
The only thing that sprang to mind was Fetchings as the go-to glove.
I've done several BSJs and also her SBJ [Surplice Baby Jacket, not as well known as the others as it was in Vogue Knitting and not a book ]
I love Broad Ripple as a sock and Forest Canopy or Kiri for Shawls ]

TinkingBell said...

So sorry I haven't been by for a while - it was lovely to see the blanket (I did the trees)

I've done Clapotis x2 , Monkeys (although mine have a hole and I want some more)and FLS. I have yet to pi shawl - although I will and I love my shetland triangle - which is biggis - and my Ishbel and I loved loved the Damson.......

Linda said...

Thats lovely! Everytime you post I think is going to be a teddy post!

mildawg said...

Gorgeous in that handspun!

Ann said...

Your BSJ is gorgeous & I love it. This pattern is a must knit & I have it on my list for a long time. I just need a baby to knit for. EZ's patterns are a must knit especially the Pi shawl & the Pi is not square shawl.

1funkyknitwit said...

I noticed this the other day hanging over the back of your lounge but had no idea it was the baby surprise as it lay out flat, but VOILA!.
Love the handspun and the buttons.. well done looks lovely :D

Leonie said...

I'll have to bookmark this post so I can keep on coming back to these suggestions!

While I have no plans on making the BSJ at any point I can see how so many people like it. Yours looks beautiful in Donni's wool, great match.