Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Baby Surprise Jacket in the Works!

I know I haven't posted in forever, but believe me, I have been making things left and right! Not making things simply isn't possible for me.

Right now, I have two big focuses: baby knitting and art journaling. Baby knitting, because my sister (due April 1) and my sister-in-law (March 17) are both pregnant, WITH GIRLS, as well as two friends (March 20 and April 8). I've decided to make baby surprise jackets for the nieces, and hat-and-bib sets for the other two babies.

I've wanted to make a baby surprise jacket for the longest time, but I've lacked an excuse. When I didn't make one for the first two nephews, I didn't feel right making one for the next three. And if I'm not making them for nephews, I couldn't very make a sweater for a friend's baby, right?

But after five nephews, I'm getting nieces. Girls! Perfect excuse.

I took that pic when I was on row thirteen, and I'm on row thirty-nine now. I should take a new photo, but if I wait to do that, I'll never post! So you'll have to use your imagination.

The yarn is Pichasca, a hand-dyed thick-and-thin cotton yarn by Ester Bitran (colorway 901). I bought this yarn in September, but found out today that it has been discontinued! I better not run out, or I'm really in trouble.

I cast on 134 stitches; that's what the directions for the A-B-C-SJ version of the pattern give for a gauge of five stitches to the inch. My gauge is actually eighteen stitches to four inches, but I figure it doesn't hurt if a baby item is slightly large. After all, they grow so fast!

Some people find Elizabeth Zimmerman's directions a bit difficult to follow, since she doesn't present them the way we are used to. But the kind folks in the Ravelry Baby Surprise Jacket group hosted a perpetual knitalong earlier this year, and their clarifications are incredible! Such a big help. That's where I stole the idea of doing single increases on either side of the marked stitches. It seemed way easier than removing the marker, doing a double decrease, and then replacing the marker for every decrease!

This is a very easy knit, since it's in garter stitch. My only error was in going along on autopilot after you switch from decreasing to increasing, which happens on row thirty-nine. I had to rip back to my lifeline, because on a few rows I decreased instead of increasing! Apparently I REALLY got the hang of decreasing on either side of those marked stitches. :)

Believe me, I'll be watching that very closely! But I don't anticipate any trouble getting both sweaters and the other baby items finished on time, even taking breaks to work on my entry into the Sketchbook Project.

That's all for now. Keep creating!