Friday, July 16, 2010

Baby Surprise Blob

I've finally done it! I knit Elizabeth Zimmermann's Baby Surprise Jacket. Actually, I knit two of them.

I've wanted to try this pattern for a long time. I love Elizabeth Zimmermann's stories and her attitude. I want to knit lots of her patterns. But they require thinking...and thinking, sometimes, is not my strong suit. At least not thinking that involves numbers.

I made up my mind when I found out my friend Sara was having twins that these were the babies who needed Baby Surprise Jackets. Iowa winters, love their mom, etc, etc. All kinds of reasons these babies deserve these jackets.

Sara makes small babies, if her first baby is any indication. And twins tend to be small babies, because while God has a sense of humor, he is also kind and just. So I wanted to make preemie sizes. And I wanted to make the jackets using EZ's own lovely and terse instructions. ( says terse means "neatly or effectively concise; brief and pithy". That's EZ.) I did NOT want to stoop to using the newly released, newly written out step by mysterious step, pattern.

Ha. Remember God's sense of humor? And Elizabeth Zimmermann's pith? I used the new instructions, line by line. And even then, unpithed, I could not make preemie BSJ's. So Sara better cook a couple big twins or Iowa better have an extended winter this year..

Here's what I ended up with after all the knitting and row-following:

Joe and I marvelled at it. We folded it and unfolded it, in awe of the genius who once thought to herself, "Hey. I could knit this shapeless thing, and then stitch it up in two places. And it will be a sweater." I wondered how on earth that could happen to a person. Joe decided she must have taken a made sweater and deconstructed it, then worked backwards. To test his theory, he cut up a t-shirt.

Sort of looked like my blob. Here's what the blobs turned in to....

And won't these babies look great in those sweaters?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Stranded at the Clinton County Fair (or, Sometimes Teenagers Know What They're Talking About)


Heather: How long are my feet?

Elizabeth: If you don’t know I’m kinda worried.

Heather: I’m at the Clinton County Fairgrounds with a sock almost to toe time but no tape measure. And no memory.

Elizabeth: Colleen says as long as your forearm.

Heather: I think she may be wrong this time.

Elizabeth: Oh, you think not….

Elizabeth: 9.5” but Colleen’s method should work better.

Elizabeth: Inside of elbow to wrist is length of my foot…that’ll mess with your brain…do you have 7” dpns with you?

Heather: Nope. 6”.

Elizabeth: Colleen wondered if you had any butter…but then she remembered those are tbsp not inches. J

Elizabeth: Do you have anything that is 1” long? Aren’t any of those dumb booths giving away rulers or yardsticks?

Heather: I sent Joe around on a tape measure search…no luck. I’ll figure something out. Guess I do need that ruler tattoo. Surely one of these farmers will have a measuring tape buckled on their belt.

Elizabeth: Now she says maybe your glasses have markings that tell how long the ear pieces are.

Heather: Left ‘em at home.

Elizabeth:…or European clothing measured in cm and she’ll look up the conversion for you.

Heather: Between my elbow, wrist and thumb I think I’ve got it figured out.

Elizabeth: Colleen suggests a tattoo of a ruler…but for now she suggests trying them on since your feet are nearby.

Heather: They are nearby, but they are sweaty.