Archive for the ‘Baby Surprise Jacket’ Category

Never a Dull Moment & the Final Surprise

August 24, 2007

Our Thursday night Stitch ‘n Bitch Meet-Up was even more fun than usual, thanks to a visit from WTNH Channel 8’s own Geoff Fox, Ted Koppy, and local celebrity knitter/news anchor Ann Nyberg. Now don’t get excited and think they were there to do a story about our talented and lively knitting group (After all, Geoff Fox is a meteorologist and try as we might, we haven’t been able to get our skeins of cotton and wool to absorb all the moisture in the air and lower the humidity. He wouldn’t want to do a story on us, right?). They simply came in to Panera to have dinner between their 6:00 PM and 11:00 PM newscasts. Being the fun and friendly people they are, they came over to our group of table hogs to say hello.

There’s just something about pictures of people holding socks, so here we go:

1. Geoff holds Val’s new Walk-Like-An-Egyptian sock (her own design!) while Ted keeps a smile on as he wishes he could hold it.


2. Ann looks at Pat’s latest dishcloth (she finished one and started another in the same sitting – Prolific Pat!), probably wishing she could quit her job at Channel 8 and join the Stitch’n Bitch-ers.


3. Ted finally snaps and his attempt at swiping my modified-Monkey sock from Geoff turns into an all-out Tug-of-War. Boys play rough.


4. Everyone calms down as Geoff hands the sock to a very gentle, lady-like Ann.

5. Ann holds the sock while showing it the respect it deserves. It takes a knitter to truly honor the sock.

Geoff Fox asked me to email him the picture of the Tug-of-War, saying there was a possibility that he would show it on the 11:00 PM newscast. In my excitement at the idea of showing my sock to the worl . . . um, to Connecticut, I actually left S’n B early to be sure I could get home in enough time to send the pictures. I sent the requested photo, but also sent the picture of Ann shown above. Sure enough, at the end of the weather forecast, Geoff showed both photos and told the viewers about going for dinner and interrupting the “Stitch and not going to say the word but it’s a rhyming word.”

Big excitement for me! My last brush with celebrity was having Eddie Murphy come through the drive-thru at Burger King where I worked when I was 16. Since I know you want to ask: Yes, it was him. A gold 280 Z. Two cheesburgers, mustard and onion only. There was a real, live cat laying on the dashboard.

And the final Baby Surprise Jacket:

I sewed on the buttons, crocheted a blue edging all around, and finished the weaving-in-of-ends at S’n B. I wish I was tiny enough to wear it.

I’m still not sure which baby is going to be wearing this jacket. There are several bundles of cuteness hanging around. Alphabetical order? Age? Doesn’t scream when she sees me? So hard to choose . . . Need to make more.

I Can See Clearly Now

August 19, 2007

Woohoo! Making progress on the BSJ. I just started the neck shaping and I’ve finally figured out where I am! I can start to test out the folding to get an idea of what this baby is going to look like.



Don’t be fooled by my confident attitude and my calm demeanor. I haven’t reached this point without some sweating, some heart-pounding, and lots and lots of ripping.

Yesterday, I was knitting happily along, thinking I was following the instructions to the letter. To me, M1 = Make One = lift the yarn between the stitch on the left needle and the stitch on the right needle, place it onto the left needle and knit into it. Simple. I did this whenever I was told to M1.

Boy, did I have some big holes. Big ones. My big holes didn’t look very nice. I did a search through many, many pics of finished BSJs and not one seemed to have big holes like mine. Rats.

Then I noticed a little drawing in the bottom right corner of the BSJ pattern. It showed “M1, K1, M1” below the drawing and the M1 was made with a backward loop cast-on stitch. Rats again.

On the next row, I tried this version of the M1 and it didn’t make such a big hole. It made a cute, little, reasonable hole. Rats, rats.

I carefully inserted a smaller circular needle way back into row 45, well before I started increasing and into one of the only rows where I knew I’d done straight knitting without any wacky business. Then, I ripped and ripped and ripped some more.

You know I was successful, because you didn’t see a story about a crazed, vengeful Connecticut knitter on the evening news. What I would have done with those circulars!

Now I’m knitting along happily and things are going my way . . . for now.

But don’t watch the news for the next few days. Just in case.

A Before, an After, and a First Time (and a Lil’ Knitting)

August 17, 2007

M. went for his back-to-school haircut this week. His curls were getting really big – his hair seems to get bigger, not longer, when it grows. Here’s the before:

And the after:

Last night, I did something I’ve never done before. Most people have done this at least once – probably more than once. Probably hundreds of times. At 41 years old, I had never done it before. Never. I was kind of afraid to do it. I’d thought about it, but never dared.

I took a deep breath, and I . . . used my dishwasher. I’m so proud of myself. I grew up in a house with three dishwashers – Kathy, Kim, and Kelley. Why would my mother need a dishwasher when she had three perfectly good ones? Because of that, I’d never had any experience with a non-human-powered dishwasher. I never had one in any of the places I’ve lived before. Now I have one in my current home. Never mind the fact that I’ve lived here for two years. I just didn’t see the need to try it. I’m a good dishwasher. I do a good job. Lately, though, I’d find myself with a sinkfull of dirty dishes, some especially cruddy due to being hidden by M. and then forgotten because he was too freaking lazy to carry them to the kitchen when he finished eating and didn’t want me to see them and yell at him again and go on and on about how I was sick of this and we’re not going to live like pigs and what do your friends’ rooms look like do their mothers let them get away with this what would your friends say if they came in here right now we can’t have anyone over because I’d be mortified. Oops. Sorry about that. Sore subject. Deep breath.

I’d never before felt comfortable going to bed with dirty dishes in the sink, but I found myself starting to do just that. Then I’d get up in the morning to a pile of yuck that I had to deal with before coffee. Not a fun way to start my day. I heard the green bottle of Cascade that I’d bought months before calling my name. It was time. I loaded. I put Cascade in. I closed. I turned the dial. Nothing. Checked the instruction books. Check. Check. Check. Troubleshooting page. Fuse? Power on in fuse box? Check. Fiddle fiddle. Try again. Nothing. Hmmm, what is that switch for? The one on the wall that I’ve never touched. Flip. Try again. The delightful sound of water running through this machine. It’s a beautiful thing.

After the noise ended, I checked the dishes. They were hot and steamy and squeaky clean. Cleaner than ever. I LOVE MY DISHWASHER. I’m so happy now. I just want to get lots of dishes dirty and do it again. I’m hooked.

Now for the knitting. Here’s my progress on the BSJ: (Notice that the monster has not gotten any smaller. Love this monster.)

I’ve finished the section of decreases and now I’m starting to increase. I still have no idea what the he . . . exactly what part of the BSJ I’m knitting, but I do know that it’s pretty. I’m trying to remain confident that if I’m careful, follow the directions, and continue to rely heavily on these notes, I will end up with a beautiful BSJ. I will. I will. (Sheila, are you with me? We can do this thing. Hold my hand and I’ll pull you along with me.)

To all my SnB friends, some math equations:

Long day + tired girl = stay home

Stay home – SnB meet-up = SAD GIRL

I’ll see you next week, for sure! Missed you!

Fell Off the Sock Wagon

August 14, 2007
After I finished my modified-Monkey, I thought I’d cast on right away for its twin. But that Elizabeth Zimmermann Baby Surprise Jacket (from here on to be referred to as the BSJ – I can’t keep typing all of those words) kept waving at me and whispering, Make me next, you know you want to. So here I go.

I’m using my monster skein of Sugar’n Cream cotton in Robin Egg. It was my Michael’s $5.00 bargain – 14 oz. and 710 yards. Now that’s a big ball of string! I cast on the 160 stitches, knit along happily, using stitch markers, but still counting stitches because I never trust myself. I found a helpful set of notes about this pattern and they really helped me to make sense of EZ’s brilliant, but confusing-to-me, pattern. And after 17 rows, I knew I was in trouble. I had too many stitches, so I’d messed up somehow on my decreases. Tried to figure it out. Couldn’t. Darn it. I was afraid to rip it out the bad rows and try to get it back on the needles, so I tried to insert a smaller needle into a earlier row where I was pretty sure I was okay. I went to visit my old friend on KnittingHelp.com and watched the video explaining how to insert a needle into a destination row, before ripping. Her video was really helpful, but I wasn’t successful. I think I missed some stitches – okay, I know I missed 3 stitches and just got frustrated and sweaty and had to call it off. I ripped out the whole freakin’ thing and started over. It was not a happy night. M. had to point out that I had “worked on that all day!” Thanks, buddy. I knew that. That was several hours of my life that I’ll never get back.

I cast on 160 stitches – again. I’m being careful. I’m pretty sure I know what I was doing wrong. To decrease, I’m supposed to slip 1, k2tog, pass slipped stitch over. Decrease 2 stitches each time. I think I was either forgetting to pass the stitch over or forgetting to k2tog before I passed the stitch over. (I know you’re thinking, do I really need to know this? Yes, you do. It helps me to talk about it. Very therapeutic.)

Here’s my BSJ after 13 rows. Lovely.

Here’s an attempt at showing how it might lay when it’s done. I think the corners are the bottom fronts of the cardigan. Maybe. Hard to tell at this point. But I love it anyway.
DISCLAIMER: No cats were harmed in the making of this photograph.
Emmie loves to get inside things. It’s her mission in life to get her entire body inside a variety of small items. She successfully worked her way inside of the zipper bag in which M.’s new mattress pad was packaged. What a goober. Believe me when I tell you that the bag remained unzipped the entire time she was in there (maybe 3 minutes) and after taking this picture, I lifted the flap to keep her from using the bag as a sauna. This lifting action only served to tick Emmie off, and she crawled out, mumbling about how I’d ruined the whole thing for her. Geez.