This weekend we did what couldn’t be done 2 years ago when she was squarely in the UK – we threw Sarah a baby shower. Sarah is the 2nd of 3 “Canadian cousins,” and she now lives in Montreal with her husband and toddler. I lobbied, and her sisters & Mom made it happen – on Canada Day weekend, no less.
Sarah we were told (and she affirmed) felt cute, and feared that no-one would come. Well, 23 of us did. Her family put on a lovely brunch in her sister’s home. The sheer warmth was striking. Her best friend, Lena, said it best, “I am so happy to be involved this time!” It was a true celebration.
The invitation prescribed the gifts – ‘rock’ [rocking chair fund] & ‘read’ [books for the 2 year old]. I was bad, and decided to knit.
Elizabeth Zimmerman called it the SURPRISE JACKET (caps, hers!). It is a magnificent design. In Elizabeth’s own words:
It was designed on vacation and puzzles me to this day. ALL GARTER STITCH. All in ONE PIECE.
˜Knitting Workshop, p. 100
Julie of the Needle Emporium warned me off my first choice worsted yarn. She was absolutely right that fingering would be spot on gauge for the pattern’s “Jumper Weight wool.” The yarns are both Spud & Chloë Fine, 80% superwash wool; 20% silk. The main colour is 7804, and the lime is 7801.
The first broken ridges in lime were simple to do – *sl1, k1 rows sandwich one continuous ridge. A sock-knitter’s trick! Although I had the book, I swallowed hard and paid for the “Adult, Baby & Child’s Surprise Jacket” instructions + shipping. It was worth the expense, and time-to-arrive worry.
It was easy to follow Elizabeth’s 1968 directions – up to a point. When I hit the lower flap, the row-by-row helped. The pictures were excellent for helping me see the stripe choices, and so were the variation tips. Wading through 20,012 Ravelry projects would have been a slog.
This project is called ‘Sweet Pea Surprise for Sarah’, and is up on Ravelry with additional details. Sarah loves colour, so I had to make those buttons work!
What purer joy than matching new pattern to existing stash? This is Rabbitty from the latest Knitty.com First Fall issue. Made in a long-standing ball of Noro Silk Garden, colour 264 & sundry yarns.
Clearly adorable but not without some finicky bits. To wit: woogly eyes, and appendages. It’s all easy-grade knitting skills if you are used to using DPNs. There is a lot (A Lot) of sewing in at the end.
Here is a piece of my late night knitting mind – lock inclusions for the wee tail would be cool! Plucked from the new-to-me Border Leicester fleece, and knitted in. I needle felted each one for insurance against little boy hands.
The backward lean is part of his charm. Next time, I will place the tail closer down the base & double the yarn. He sits unaided. I did cave to convention, and also got 2 books for the kiddo.