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The Knitwit Papers, Chapter XXIII: Baby Surprise Jacket #1

Date Begun: 12/24/2008
Date Completed: 12/27/2008
Yarn: Bernat Softee Baby in White
Needles: US7 DPN (metal)
Source: Baby Surprise Jacket from The Knitting Workshop
The Story:
As I mentioned in a previous entry, there are patterns in the knitting world that are famous for a variety of reasons. And just like any other hobby, there are legends of knitting whose work is revered and who are credited (rightly or wrongly) with establishing the hobby in its modern form. In knitting, one of those people is Elizabeth Zimmermann, and her work is famous. Really. Not every knitter gets a page on Wikipedia, I can assure you of that.

"EZ" has one pattern that is arguably her most famous and is something that virtually every knitter bumps into at some point in her (or his) knitting career. That pattern is the "Garter Stitch Surprise Baby Jacket". Why "surprise" you ask? Well, it's actually pretty easy to tell why. The first three pictures on the right are what the jacket looks like immediately after it's bound off and pulled from the needles. More specifically, the second and third are what happens when it's just dropped on the table. Looks like a jacket, right? Ha!

But magically, by just folding in a couple places, you get that first image - taken before I actually sewed any seams - where the only sewing required is along the top edges of the arms. That's it! Really! And as most knitters will swear, the finishing at the end of the knitting (sewing everything in place and tacking all the ends down) is the worst part. So any pattern with that little sewing for something so cute and complicated-looking is immediately destined to become an immediate smash-hit.

So why did I knit this particular little marvel of knitterly engineering? Well, there's something of a baby boom going on in my world these days (Not me! just everyone I know!) and this jacket is the first of many I'll be completing over the next few months. This one was knit for a coworker whose wife just delivered twin girls last week. I just hope this jacket (and its sister) are put to good use.

I threw in a picture of the two jackets all packaged up and tagged with my personal logo (yes, I am that vain... er... proud of my work) as I presented them to the expectant father, who assured me his wife loved them. I'll be posting a separate entry for the second jacket, and alllllll the others that I'm seeing in my future. My hope was to make one for each of the babies due to all my friends, but fate conspired against me and the number of babies far outstripped my limited free time. So I've scaled back the number and (sadly) had to pick some people to receive non-handmade gifts, but I still plan to make at least 5 more of these before the dust settles.

All hail Elizabeth Zimmermann!!

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