So, here we are - my first "real" project since I picked up the needles again. I've been using the squares from the throw as a means of getting used to it again and getting back up to speed. But now I have a real project to get on with - or I will have as soon as I've visited my favourite wool shop for the necessary supplies.
One of my two bosses is eagerly awaiting the arrival of his second child - his wife has had two false alarms in the last week, so it could be any time now. Her due date isn't until 24 February, but I think it's going to be a lot sooner than that! This is a perfect opportunity to make something I've been wanting to make for ages - it's a beautiful item and will be a challenge for me too.
It's called the "Baby Surprise Jacket". The pattern was written by an extremely clever lady called Elizabeth Zimmermann and was first published back in the 60s. It's all garter stitch, and is stitched in one piece which is then folded together and seamed at the shoulders to produce a jacket. Described as "a very entertaining piece of knitted engineering", I've been fascinated by the pattern since I first heard of it, and I'm delighted to have the chance to have a go at it.
There's a wiki page about it here if you'd like to learn more:
The pattern itself is available from Schoolhouse Press:
Schoolhouse Press are based in the USA, but both times I've ordered from them the ordering process has been very quick and easy and the pattern has arrived with me within a week. You can either order just the pattern itself which is $3, or the full leaflet which includes the Baby, Child and Adult versions and gives row-by-row instructions and is $10. I wholeheartedly recommend the second one, I got the original pattern first and found it quite complicated, the full booklet has made it much, much clearer.
I'm going to stop in at my lovely local wool shop on Monday and pick up the right length cable for my circular needles and some wool, then I'll make a start. I'm really, really looking forward to it. The nice thing is that I'm not going to be limited to traditional pastel baby colours because the jacket is more of an outer garment, more like a coat, which offers a lot more flexibility. I know the wool shop has some lovely soft wools in self-striping colours - since they don't know whether the new arrival is a boy or a girl, I shall pick a bright shade that will work for either.
So - as always, watch this space!