Surprise (for a baby)

I like knitting for the little ones for a couple of reasons.  First, the stuff is very cute – you can buy yarn that you’d never wear yourself, but on a very little person, it looks terrific.  Second, it’s fast – these projects could sometimes be called “samplers” because the amount of yarn used is quite small to that of full-sized people wearing things.

This week, I’ve been knitting for a very (Very!) young mom to be who’s a family friend, who’s due in early May.  The first thought was to punch out yet another Buttons Baby Sweater, but I was kinda burned out on that pattern, and then it hit me, I had not knit another Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann in years.   It’s strange – I had a great time knitting it, but hadn’t returned until now.  This is the one I knit in 2007:

BSS with buttons on
This is a pretty famous pattern. Just on Ravelry there are over 14,000 projects, and since you imagine there have been so many more knit by knitters over decades before that, I’m kinda wondering why the US Government hasn’t taken any steps to limit its procreation.  I first knit one a number of years ago for Afghans for Afghans, out of some worsted leftovers.  It came out ok.

But the new baby will be living in the San Diego area, and with a very young mom, this item has to be machine wash and dryable.  So I got some lovely Berroco Pure Pima cotton in a couple of colors, added in a bit of Cotton Classic in another, and yes, we have a sweater (sans buttons at this point)

Baby Surprise Jacket2c
I have to say that I find this very cute.

But in the midst of finding the pattern, and the print-out of some row-by-row stitch counts that apparently are no longer available online, I discovered that there is simply an overwhelming amount of information on this pattern.  It has its own wiki on Ravelry.  Anything you want to know – how to cast on, what weight of yarn to use, where instructions (for free!) from Meg Swanson, daughter of EZ, for a collar can be found.  Let’s just drop to our knees and experience a bit of knitterly community awe, shall we?

It’s a good thing it was garter stitch, too, because at Chez Revknits we have had illness of the messy sort – the kind where food does not stay down.  It got so bad that I went to the little ER yesterday (the basic one, at the small hospital up the road), and got some iv fluids and meds that have made life a whole lot better today.   I didn’t take my knitting, but I was glad for the iTouch so I could tweet friends that I was ok from the ER (and so big brother Apple will have recorded this visit in my data file).   Maybe it was a sympathetic Holy Week kinda thing.

Anyway, the beauty and simplicity of garter stitch was absolutely perfect.

Baby Surprise Jacket2d