Thursday, November 20, 2008

No More Secrets

At long last I can reveal some super-secret knitting I did over the summer.

Pattern: Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann
Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash Handpaints (100% superwash wool), colorways Arctic Ice and Spring Meadow, approximately 1.5 skeins each
Needles: US 5 (3.75 mm) Addi Turbo circs
Started/Completed: August 15/September 10
Recipients: "Luke" and "Leia," Jen's newborn twins

When Jen announced to us that she was expecting a boy and a girl, I knew I wanted to make coordinating sweaters as a gift for them. The BSJ has treated me well before, so it didn't take me long to settle on it as my pattern. My idea was to choose gender-neutral colors so that either sweater could be worn by either baby. The only thing standing in the way of making the jackets truly interchangeable was the placement of the buttons. So I eliminated the buttons altogether.

Instead of buttons, I used applied i-cord around the entire border of each sweater (including the cuffs) using the other color of yarn. It was a bit slow going at first, but I love how it turned out!

I must say a few words about this yarn, because it made for a truly wonderful knitting experience. Everything that there is to love about classic Cascade 220 is true of this yarn. Wonderful yardage, great hand, consistent quality, excellent stitch definition, and a great price point. I was planning to do a regular superwash when I was pointed in the direction of this gorgeous handpainted variation. The variegation behaves -- and I mean really behaves. Absolutely no pooling or flashing to be seen. I couldn't be happier.

As happy as I was to present these to Jen last night at Hurricane Knitting, I was a little sad to see these go. I have a strong feeling these are not the last BSJs I will knit!


  1. Love the colors, very cute - as are the Saartje booties from your last post!

  2. There is nothing bad about Cascade 220. It's my "stranded on a desert island" yarn. Nice job! I'll have to try the BSJ one of these days!

    verification word: "loutism" Love that they're starting to go with semi-real words!

  3. I really like the look of the applied i-cord, it makes a very tidy edge!

  4. I meant to ask you when you brought those adorable sweaters into the store what method you use for applied i-cord. The one time I've done it, I used the Purl blog's version, but I'm wondering if there's a faster way.

  5. I'm not sure if there's a name for the method I used, but I used the instructions from the pattern for Sheldon (from Knitty). CO 4 sts on a dpn, K3, Sl1, pick up one stitch from the edge of the fabric, psso. Repeat. I think it's a little faster that picking up stitches all the way around the edge and then knitting one edge stitch together with one i-cord stitch, which is another way to do it. I think that way might be faster if you had live stitches, though.

  6. The contrasting i-cord is such a great detail!! These are fantastic. I love Cascade 220 as well and wish that a store around here sole it:)

  7. Anonymous1:49 PM

    Those are absolutely precious!

    Have I been living under a rock? I had no idea that there was a superwash handpaint. I'm going to definitely keep my eye out for some. It looks amazing.