[Repost of material originally appearing on 27 July 2006]

After yesterday’s post about the Baby Surprise, Alyse asked if I had any comments or tips on using the pattern as published in Knitters, and whether I’d knit it up before.

I reply that this was my first attempt at a Surprise. I can say that it worked up extremely quickly, and that while how it will all come together was not intuitively obvious at the time of production, once the body was done and I figured out that the single seam on the garment goes across the top of the sleeves and across the back – all doubts were settled.

I think that the proportions of the thing look a little off. If I do another, I’d make it wider across the body. The sleeve width and depth looks o.k., but the body diameter seems a bit skimpy, especially when buttoned. I’d probably do this by adding a few stitches to the center back and to each side prior to starting the sleeve increases.


Uberknits wants to know if I used the white because I ran out of leftover purple and pink, and if the white was Encore, too.

No. I have over 3/4 of a skein of pink left, and about 10% of the purple remaining. I decided to tame the pink/purple with the white and went stash diving to see what I had on hand that was washable and of the same weight. I ended up using some orphaned Canadiana. (There is no such thing as surplus yarn, there is just yarn that is waiting to make it into the next garment). It’s not as soft as the Encore, and it’s just a tiny bit heavier, but not enough to have a major impact on gauge.
As to the proportions of the colors used – since I didn’t have a clear idea of how the thing was going to come together up until after I was half-way through the white, what you see is more serendipity than planning. Still, you can’t go far wrong if you stick to proportions. The pink stripe is half as wide as the buttonhole area of the purple. The mechanics of the pattern itself made the lower purple area come out three times the width of the buttonhole band. The white area to the underarm increases is approximately twice the width of the pink stripe. And when I was nearing the end, I made sure that the final pink and purple stripes (on the cuff) were the same width as the first pink stripe. Overall, in spite of some floppiness of the collar, I’m pleased.

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One response

  1. Good to see you back, Kim. First, Terra Luna? YUM! It’s one of our favorites, too, along with Napi’s, Finely JP’s… (sorry, I’d rather be back up in Truro than in sweltering DC right now).

    On the baby surprise: The collar looks great, that’s clever. It’s always struck me funny that Elizabeth Zimmermann said we shouldn’t be blind followers, but with this pattern, all you can do is blindly follow. But it’s a quick knit, it’s fun how stripes work on it, and parents love it. I use attached i-cord to do the seams, then put i-cord bands on the cuffs and around the front-neck openings, makes it a little more finished-looking, I think.

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