Friday, January 9, 2009

Answer to Baby Surprise Jacket Question

Baby Surprise on Baby Kevin
Originally uploaded by sunasak
Jennifer asked in the comments to the previous entry whether this pattern (shown without my son mangling the doll, at right) is as hard as everyone says.

My answer is no, it is not difficult at all. It's fun and easy, and quite fascinating. You do have to be a person who can deal with some ambiguity, though--a confident knitter. I am never sure in the pattern exactly which row Elizabeth Zimmerman means for you to do things: " 172 stitches, do this..." Well, is that after the row with that many stitches, or ON the row that WOULD have that many stitches if you weren't increasing? But, I realized that it really didn't matter exactly which row, as long as you interpreted the instructions consistently. It's a very forgiving pattern. (And there is also, somewhere on the Internets, a list of exactly how many stitches to do on each row. If you go through the finished BSJs on Ravelry, you will find references to it and can use that to help your drive for precision--I just wanted to do it with no "help" the first time, to have an authentic EZ experience.)

It does help to DO one. Then you can tell what parts of the jacket your stripes are going to affect., for example And you can decide how to do some things differently without ruining the pattern. For example, in the next one (which, coincidentally is FOR Jennifer the question-asker) I am doing the increases and decreases in a more decorative way, since I did not like how they looked very much. I'm going to have a nice line of knit stitches in both places, and do more attractive increases on the front. I have seen others use YOs for the increases, too.

That new BSJ, shown here in its infancy, uses DK weight yarn originally intended for making thick self-striping socks. I got a bit farther along on it last night, and I am finding I like the stripes better on these longer rows than I did when I was trying to make a scarf out of it.

Really, my main difficulty with the original BSJ pattern (from the Opinionated Knitter book) was reading it, since it is all squished onto a page of very dense typing (literally, typewriter typing) and all folksy-like. I think there may be versions of the pattern laid out more clearly, but I have not gone out of my way to find them.

I plan to make an adult version. But, heh, you know, I have a lot of projects lined up. I've mentioned that, haven't I?


  1. It turned out great! Much better than my first attempt last fall. So I will bide by your advice(thank you!)and try again....

  2. I'll be here to help if you need it, knittergran!

  3. Lovely BSJ and really hilarious on that baby doll!

    Thanks for Wednesday's Wonder post. It says a lot about people, who they choose as their heroes. She sounds like a fine example.


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