13 April 2008

More Than One Way to Skin a Sweater: Baby Surprise

This is the classic pattern by Elizabeth Zimmermann. The cast-on edge is at the cuffs and across the back. Double-decreases lead to arm shaping on the back side of the sleeves. Then double-increases lead to shaping on the front of the jacket. There is a little bit of neck shaping by casting-on and off stitches. Extra rows are worked at the back for length across the diaper-clad tush. Buttons and button bands are at the end. The last step is one seam -- the top across the shoulders and sleeves. And the whole thing is in garter stitch.

If you haven't knit one yet -- why not? This is one of the classic, top 10 patterns of all time. This is my second baby surprise jacket. Last year I knit both a baby surprise jacket and an EZ surplice baby jacket (see Vogue Knitting, spring/summer 2007, pp. 28 & 30) for a friend who was expecting twin boys. For this second time around, I used a provisional cast-on so that I would have live stitches for the i-cord edging and seam at the end. The color choices are to help me see the construction and to use up leftover yarn. The bright blue line between the sleeves and the body of the jacket (it extends across the back) is the row of work after the sleeve double-decreases and before the body double-increases. The plain rows to add length are a block of white near the bottom of the sweater and bordered on both sides by fuzzy yarn. There is another blue line that separates the body portion from the bottom & button band.

Do notice that this is a great project for using up leftover and stash yarn. I think it looks better in multi-colored stripes than all plain. I used:
royal blue = Lion Brand Microspun 100% microfiber acrylic, color 910-109
yellow = Red Heart Kids 100% acrylic, color 2230
fuzzy = Yarn Bee Italic 50% acrylic, 50% polymide, colorway 002 Florentine
light cream = Red Heart TLC Amore, 80% acrylic, 20% nylon, color 3105
For those of you wondering what this stuff (horrors!) was doing in my stash, it was left over from another project that was meant to be outdoors for an entire month. Thus, the choice of indestructible acrylic to weather the elements. You can also see why I had to knit it up and get it out before it started to breed or something.

1 comment:

Emma said...

So pretty! I am just starting my first BSJ and am in search of inspiration. Yours looks great.