Friday, March 6, 2015

My First Knitting Project Ever: Elizabeth Zimmerman's Baby Surprise Jacket

This is my first ever completed knitting project!

I'm a good crocheter, but I seem to have inherited a block against knitting from my mom. My mom is a master crocheter-- she made the most amazing, complex crocheted blankets, we each had one on our beds when we were growing up, and she always makes a gorgeous crocheted baby blanket for her grandchildren and often the babies of our cousins. As a kid I started out with granny squares and later made fancy doilies for fun. 

My mom also taught me to knit when I was a teen. I never saw her knit anything, and I never finished my first project... a purple scarf. A totally endless project, made with local craft store acrylic yarn, that I've carried around with me for years. It is soooooo ugly!

Somehow when I was browsing for baby things, Elizabeth Zimmerman's Baby Surprise Jacket jumped out at me as such a cute little sweater for a newborn. I walked into our local yarn shop and asked the owner if I was crazy to want to knit that as a first ever knitting project. To her credit, she said no, it was a fine project for a beginner! She had a copy of Elizabeth Zimmerman's book with the pattern in it, and set me up with bamboo circular needles and Berroco Alpaca yarn. She even encouraged me to try striping, which turned out to be not too difficult on this pattern.

I relied heavily on the help of Youtube videos to get my knitting skills up to date, and also to help me through the project. The series of videos by City Knitting on making the Baby Surprise Jacket were fantastic, I doubt I would have completed the project so well without their help!

The only small disappointment is that the sweater is actually sort of large for a newborn! It probably won't fit him until next fall. My gauge is sort of off-- it was about 5 stitches per inch, when it should have been 6.

Therefore... I've started another one, in a sport weight yarn with a smaller gauge. People did mention that this pattern was addictive!

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