(Actually only the first of my two current blah-blah-secret-projects-blah-blah, but a boy's got to have some secrets right?)
Now that I have given this to my blogging and knitting buddy, the oh so preggers Disco Knitter (aka Lara), it's time to post some pictures. I wanted it to be a surprise for Lara, which is why I hadn't posted any pics of this as a work in progress.
If you haven't already, go check out Disco Knitter's blog and then come right back. I'll wait... [think music] ...so, the bright colours and the sparkles make sense now?
This pattern is the "Baby Surplice" variation on the famous "Baby Surprise Jacket" by Elizabeth Zimmermann, which was published posthumously by her daughter Meg Swanson in Vogue Knitting a few issues ago. I won't bore you non-knitters with the technical details, but Zimmermann was the queen of cunning construction and patterns that were really more like formulas. Designed to be interpreted any way you see fit.
The 'surprise' in the "Baby Surprise Jacket" comes from the fact that you knit it flat, and when it's a work in progress it looks... well it doesn't look like much of anything. When you cast off and it's finally off the needles, a couple of quick folds and voila! it becomes a jacket. It's like a small scale miracle or something.
I've been knitting a bunch of things at the same time, so I actually started this just after Lara announced her pregnancy and it was my first shot at following a pattern. It's been a nice little project and fun to knit.
It has sweet features like a row of small buttonholes all around the bottom edge of the jacket (which you can't really see in this pic) so you can shrink or expand the jacket to fit a growing bub, and even flip the way it's buttoned (right over left or left over right).
The sort of piped edge along the jacket is another fun thing, i-cord trim. It's like a braid that is knitted right onto the garment, and I'm so in love with the cunning construction of it that I want to apply i-cord to everything! Even things that aren't knitted! Sit still long enough and I'll try and neaten your edges with i-cord!
Also, I was about as excited as a grown man can be about buttons when I found the glitter star buttons. Seriously.
So I was finishing this off at knitting with The Sydney Sity Klickers on Saturday afternoon, when Lara arrived and I decided to give it to her on the spot. Fini. (Oh, and she loved it thankfully.)
[Updated: Pattern info! This pattern was in the Spring/Summer 2007 issue of Vogue Knitting, but you can buy the pattern (teamed with a baby blanket pattern) direct for US$1 from Elizabeth Zimmermann/Meg Swansen's publishing company "Schoolhouse Press" here. Scroll down and it's #43 "Baby Surplice Jacket & Blanket"]