Sunday, February 25, 2007

It's finished!

The Baby Surprise Sweater is done and ready to mail to NYC. I didn't have 5 buttons that matched, so I decided to go with the mismatched vintage buttons. I think it's kind of a bohemian chic look, which is fitting for a little girl who is spending her first months of life going to classes at Columbia. I hope Anju and Rahul send me a picture of Aruni wearing it.

Now I'm going back to knitting socks for moi.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

BSS is almost done!

This lumpy mass doesn't look much like a sweater ...

... but here's how it will be folded to become one.

I've made a ton of progress this past week, particularly on the snow day when I beached myself on the sofa with cat and comforter and knit most of the day. At this point, with nearly 200 stitches on the needles, a row can take me about 20 minutes to do.
I've made the button holes, and now there are only 4 rows left to go. After that, I'll sew the seams on the top of the sleeves, work in the ends and sew on the buttons and it will be done.

I haven't heard from my knit-along pal in days, so I hope it's going well for her, too. We usually consult when she gets to a tricky row where Stuff Happens. It's been a swell project, and I'm glad Erin suggested it, but I'm looking forward to having this done and going back to knitting socks.

Monday, February 12, 2007

BSS Update

48 rows done!

This is how the sleeves will be formed.

The Baby Surprise Sweater is coming along nicely, although I can't claim that I've been 100% accurate about the pattern. Somehow I ended up with more stitches than I should have around row 48, or I went two rows too far, but then I was miraculously back on track around row 58. It's taking on a very weird shape as I work on the body, but that's what's supposed to happen. The yarn is great -- a much richer purple than these crappy pix show. I'm not stressing about the pattern so much any more. It is what it is. I guess that's the zen approach to knitting.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Freaky Friday Knit-Along

Erin and I are doing a knit-along. We're making Elizabeth Zimmermann's Baby Surprise Sweater -- she for her cousin's new baby-to-be, and me for Anju and Rahul's 10-week-old baby girl. (I'm sure that the surprise will keep as I doubt A. and R. have any time for blog reading between grad school and taking care of baby Aruni.) Erin's plan was to use some yarn from her stash. I ordered the pattern (link above), and on Saturday I ran out to Webs to pick up two balls of Jellibeenz. Arriving shortly after I returned from my Webs mission, Erin came in clutching a Webs bag of her own. "Look what I got in the bargain corner," she said, pulling two hanks of Araucania Pehuen hand-dyed cotton in a green colorway from the bag. I went over to my Webs bag and pulled out two hanks of the SAME yarn in the orange colorway. Of the hundreds and hundreds of yarns to choose from at Webs, we bought the same stuff! (We're both saving it for some other as-yet-to-be-determined project. Any ideas?)

Now, you'd think that a sweater knit all in one piece in garter stitch would be easy-peasy, right? Wrong! Elizabeth Zimmermann, who is, apparently, the knitting goddess of Britain or the universe, wrote this pattern in 1968 in a conversational, tweedy English lady prose that's a wee bit short on the details. We cast on our 160 stitches and puzzled over how to mark the places where the decreases were supposed to occur. Finally getting the hang of it, or so I thought, we knit four rows before heading out to the annual Roe v. Wade anniversary event. Later that night, thinking I was on a roll, I knit another half dozen rows, reaching the tricky row 11 where I totally screwed up. I couldn't figure out how many stitches I was supposed to have on either side of the markers, and I ended up un-knitting back to row 7. Next day I went online and found the BSS notes -- a row-by-row explanation of what the fuck we're supposed to be doing. Now, just what kind of screwy thing is it where you need a pattern to follow a pattern? I think I'm back on track now, and I'll be posting some pix of the WIP here and/or on my Flickr page. Erin and I will give each other e-mail progress reports as we knit along. I'm pleading for words of support and helpful hints from anyone out there who's made this sweater and lived to tell the tale.

Sunday afternoon I put the BSS aside to go to the Silver Chord Bowl, Northampton's a cappella alternative to the Super Bowl. JJ and I met for lunch beforehand and she gave me my birthday giftie -- a little Uglydoll to be the mascot of the Mini Cooper, the SAME Uglydoll (Icebat) that Erin has hanging from her rearview mirror. This is just too weird. It's like I've been reincarnated as Erin and I'm not even dead. I went over to Faces and exchanged Icebat for Bop n' Beep, all the while having this Freaky Friday feeling (although Erin and I don't look anything like Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis). Something cosmic was definitely going on. Comet McNaught? Groundhog's Day? Who knows.