July 03, 2009

Maggie's Surprise

I don't usually knit for friend's babies.  It just takes too long, and my skills still aren't up to snuff.  But, when a working Mom who wanted to learn to knit a sweater for her baby never got a chance, I couldn't resist making one for her.  It also gave me a chance to try out the legendary Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmerman.  The sweater is just as cool as they.  

This is what you have when you finish knitting - a strangely shaped mass of garter stitch.
But then you fold in two places - and have a sweater.  The woman was a genius.  A mad genius.

All you need to do to finish is sew up the two seams and sew on five buttons.  

I really enjoyed making this sweater and I love how squishy and comfortable it turned out.  I used a new yarn, Bernat Cot'n Corn, and the finished sweater does feel really good.  But, I won't knit with Cot'n Corn again.  There were way to many knots in the skeins, the yarn had a tendency to split and it would even come out of the ball unraveled enough to require me to cut away large sections.  Then end result just wasn't worth the hassle, and I'm concerned about how it will wear over time.  Fortunately, the baby won't fit it for long anyway.

Perhaps I can blame the difficulties with the yarn for how slowly I knit.  I don't think so, though.  My jaw dropped when I read the Harlot's comment that she can whip out this sweater in 6 to 8 hours over the weekend.  Seriously, that's what she said.  I read that while looking for some help with a step I didn't understand, and I was well past the half way point.  I knew I had already spent much more time than that on the sweater, so I started paying attention to how my bursts of time on it were adding up.  I spent more than 6 hours on the last third.  I. Am. Slow.  No wonder it feels like it takes me forever to finish anything I knit - it does.  The funniest part is my knitting method is the one recommended to increase speed.  Its a good thing!

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