Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmerman (available here as an individual pattern although it is also included in many books, including The Opinionated Knitter which is what I used)
I had been planning on knitting one of these for a while - actually, I'm sure I will knit many, thus this is Baby Surprise Jacket I. Whenever I see gorgeous sock yarn, this is what I knit with it in my head! Anyway, as I have said, I had ordered a bunch of as-neutral-as-possible Silk Garden a while back thinking I would knit a scarf for my teenage nephew, but I decided to abandon that project and I wanted to use up the relatively boring colorways. This seemed like the perfect project, especially when I found out my coworker was expecting a baby boy in September. Armed with some awesome spreadsheets from a blogger and Raveler called Kenny, I completed most of the knitting during a weekend at the Poconos. Colorway 201 provided a more colorful middle section against the 31 which I used to begin and almost end with (I had to use about a quarter of a second skin of 201 to finish).
This is an awesome pattern - simple and relatively mindless to knit, yet so intriguing and ingenious! And absolutely gorgeous in completion. Yesterday was my last chance to give the baby gift before my coworker goes on maternity leave so I woke up at 6am to sew up the seams and attach the buttons. At first the buttons looked a little out of place as I'm so used to seeing and thinking of the piece without them, but in the end I'm really happy with them as a super cute finishing touch - I definitely got that "FO high" upon completion and for once I was organized enough to have an appropriate gift bag and wrapping tissue on hand.
My coworker loved it - she herself is a knitter so I knew she would appreciate it, but she showed it to so many other people as well and I received a ton of compliments... well, not even compliments, more like astonishment! Everyone appreciated its "architectural" construction and the beauty of the yarn. And of course my amazing workmanship! I think the clever pattern makes the knitter look really clever even though all they did was a bunch of garter stitch and a few increases and decreases!
It's lovely to go away, but sometimes it's nice to have a few things to look forward to upon returning home. A few hitherto unconsidered benefits to our home:
1) It is NOT home to hordes of tenacious and single minded large black ANTS!!!
2) It IS home to our beautiful queen size mattress
Ok, we have been made aware of 2) before. The downside to having a really amazing bed is that even nice hotels generally can't match it. The upside is, well, I think my single piece of advice to newly weds since purchasing the mattress shortly after we got married is... get an awesome mattress! Matrimonial harmony will surely follow as all enjoy a good night's sleep. Our mattress has individual coils or some such thing which means that movement in one area of the mattress does not get transmitted to other areas. Even if one spouse tosses and turns, the other can sleep in blissful unawareness. Come to think of it, this can be annoying, leading to conversations such as:
Me: I couldn't sleep last night so I got up in the middle of the night and watched old Sex and the City episodes
Hubby: I didn't notice at all.... I mean, I really missed you!
But all in all, totally worth it!
As for 1) and the ants, well, we got used to it, so used to it that even though we've been home for several hours, I keep expecting to see a stray ant cross the periphery of my vision... overall, it was very buggy in the Poconos. It was only a few steps up the ladder from camping. But at least the mosquitoes stayed away and there was of course the whole aspect of it being totally and utterly gorgeous and a lovely getaway.
We escaped the city on Thursday night and by the time we arrived, it was chilly enough that quick use of the gas fireplace in our cabin was not totally ridiculous...
...and the next morning, we wasted no time hitting the lake, which was only a few steps, literally, from our cabin.
Our cabin, the woods and the lake, all viewed from my knitting spot.
Hubby of course was there for the fishing...
...which as you've seen from my multiple posts, left plenty of time for knitting...!
(By the way, in case you're wondering what's up with the one post per photo thing, well, when I post from my iPhone via Flickr, it's the only way I can.)
I had started my first (and undoubtedly not my last) Baby Surprise Jacket last weekend, so that was the first order of business, shown here with spreadsheets created by a blogger and Raveler named Kenny. I was considering making my own, then thinking maybe I should just wing it when I noticed a thread on the Baby Surprise Jacket group on Ravelry and lo and behold, someone had already done all the work! I'm a bit of a spreadsheet fanatic at work so don't take it lightly when I say that there was not a single modification I would have made to these spreadsheets.
It was really quite delightful sitting in the woods, knitting my first EZ pattern and reading about her fishing crazed husband while mine was out fishing as well! It only goes to confirm my suspicions that knitting and fishing and perfectly complementary hobbies!
The pattern was the perfect combination of mesmerizing and mindless. I could read and enjoy my surroundings while knitting, yet it was fascinating to see the unusual construction take shape. I used 2 skeins of Noro Silk Garden 31 and just over 1 skein of 201... I had bought a bunch of Silk Garden thinking I would try a Noro Striped Scarf for my teenage nephew and 31 was the plainest blackest colorway I could find! I ended up abandoning that project and I wanted to use up the 31. I figured the BSJ was an exciting enough project to make up for the relatively boring colorway, plus a co-worker is having a baby boy in September and this would be perfect. The 201 provided a more colorful middle section.
Hard to imagine now, but it was still pretty chilly on Friday, and then it turned into a burning hot weekend! I'm not sure how my husband survived out on open water. It was a good excuse for afternoon naps!
After the BSJ was more or less complete on Saturday, it was time to move back to the Print O' The Wave Stole which had been put aside for over a month:
I got a good part of the border of the second long side done... not much longer to go.
I didn't really knit on my clapotis while out there, but I couldn't resist the chance for a few shots.
Yes, I did like those "horizon" shots...
Here's my set up, complete with citronella candles and bug spray! Cabin is in the background.