Sunday, 28 August 2011


I am usually the last one to find out about a trendy knitting pattern and am always one of the last to get ambitious enough to knit patterns that are considered "standards" amongst knitters. I have yet to finish a pair of "Monkeys" despite the fact that 14,747 other people have knit them (I get to a certain point and screw up, then frog, then they languish in the pile of neglected projects), I have yet to knit a "Clapotis" (and probably won't until I can get my mouth around how to pronounce it, despite the fact that 18,721 others have not let that deter them), only started knitting dishcloths a few years ago (prior to that, could.not get the increases to line up - mental block, I guess), over 6,675 people have knit "Bella's Mittens" which I actually got started then filed into the depths of the UFO basket, the "2 stripe Noro scarf" craze of two winter's ago came and went without me producing even one of the pretty scarves, even though there are more than 9,500 of them out listed on Ravelry, and other fantastic pattern trends come and go without me casting on or completing one.

It isn't because I don't like the patterns (I usually study all the project pages, and dream about "what I would make mine look like"), or that I think I am not a sheep following the herd to whatever the masses like (quite often, the masses and I have very similar taste), and it isn't because I don't have the time to knit what everyone else is knitting (heaven knows, I have time on my hands - I knit non stop in my spare time, and like new challenges). I think it might be because of fear - I think I am a nervous knitter. I like for my projects to turn out the way the pattern intends them to - I want my project to turn out like the picture, and get nervous that if "everyone" is knitting something, maybe I will be the one knitter in the whole knitterverse that doesn't get it, doesn't understand the pattern or arses it up beyond recognition (see Monkey's above!). I want my FO's to be as nice as everyone else's ... and before I knit something, I scour the project pages on Ravelry for all the tips, tricks and techniques I can to help me be sure that I get a FO that doesn't cause me grief along the way. It takes me hours, but dammit, it is going to be RIGHT! LOL!

One total knitterly classic that I have liked from afar for a very long time is the Elizabeth Zimmerman Baby Surprise Jacket - it has been a favorite for years ... I love stripes, like the idea of using up scraps, think it is cool that it is origami of sorts, and adore the idea that it has now been modified to fit adults (and have lusted after some of the adult ones I have seen. I threaten quite often that one day, I will knit an Adult Surprise jacket for me - a Coat of Many (Bright) Colours - possibly visible from space, if you are familiar with my sometimes loud taste in colours). I have never tried either pattern, despite the fact that 15,409 other people have indeed knit the baby version and only 572 have knit the adult version, most with great success.

I bit the bullet the other day, after seeing Nova Knitter's BSJ (that's what the cool kats call it! ;) and decided that I NEED one for me. I went home that very night and ordered the pattern, and waited patiently for them to mail it to me. Then, encouraged the Knitterpudlians (our local knitting group) to have a BSJ KAL (Baby Surprise Jacket Knit A Long) with me, ASAP. EZ recommends that before knitting an adult version, that it is beneficial to knit a Baby version first. I wanted my version to fit a 2 year old ... and was so concerned that it turn out correctly, and that I not be embarrassed in front of the Knitterpudlians (and the 18,000 + other people who knit the thing too), that I actually knit a gauge swatch ... yes, you read that correctly!! I knit a gauge swatch (admittedly my first, but I did it!). Mind you, I guessed the needle size correctly the first go at it, I can't say honestly that if I didn't get gauge the first time, I would have done a second gauge swatch. Luckily, the swatch gave me the gauge I wanted. In exactly a week ... I went from having three balls of yarn in a baggie to having this ...

I did it ... it looks like everyone else's and I think it will actually fit a toddler! YAY! (I found it kind of funny that it resembles another project I worked on last Fall
- I guess I like this colour combo - ha ha ha!)

I am still looking for buttons (I am fairly sure there is nowhere in my home town to buy them since our LYS closed it's doors - so will search my button jars or head out of town for a look see) ... and it is currently soaking so will follow up later with the post washing, Blocking and buttoned up pictures in a day or two.

People have said this is an addictive pattern ... don't believe it! It is easy to stop. The fact that the minute this sweater went for its bath, I cast on for a second one is purely coincidence! Stayed tuned for the results!


Donna M said...

Not addictive at all! As you know, I am knitting my second and anticipate trying the child size in the near future.
Great job!

lexa said...

Matchy - matchy with the socks, that's cool!

Yvette said...

Great job!!
And don't worry about knitting the trends. I too have never done a Clapotis and don't intend to because I don't like it. That's right! I said it! I also don't like Noro. Snap! Buck the trends.
One of my favourite things to do is knit something few have done before. No pressure. If your piece is the first on Ravelry then everyone else will be comparing their project to yours, instead of the other way around.