Every time I make Elizabeth Zimmerman's Baby Surprise Jacket, I just cannot get past the sheer genius of it. Plus this little jacket is completely addictive to knit, and as I was sewing on the buttons I was thinking how fun it would be to make another one. I don't know if it's the zen of the garter or the puzzling nature of the construction, either way it's almost impossible to put down. And because of that, it's done in no time at all. For first-timer baby surprise knitters, I have this advice: purchase the full pattern from the EZ site, read through it, (come to terms that you really don't understand it), then plunge in anyway. It will continue to not make sense and it will look like a crazy jumble of fabric, but trust in the ingenuity of EZ and continue because eventually a sweet little baby sweater will emerge. I love the increases to accommodate the diaper and baby's big tummy. The silhouette makes me giggle.
I loved finding Canon Hand Dyes at Stitches West this year. Her booth was beautiful, she was adorable, and the yarns were gorgeous. While it was hard to choose only one, I settled on a blue-speckled mini skein set of George DK without knowing what I was going to do with it. On the drive home, a baby surprise came to mind. I paired it with a Rowan Pure Wool DK I had in my stash and cast on that night. Both yarns are very lively--happily bouncing from one needle to the other giving me the most divine knitting experience. I'm thrilled with my new find and I know I'll be trying some of her other yarns. Don't you love discovering a new yarn to love? In a few days I had made a darling jacket flecked with subtle blue and white speckles that reminded me of the pretty blue colors in my small collection of transferware.
Most of my pieces I use quite often. The big turkey platter sits out on the counter and is used at least once a week. Even though it's very big, it's still perfect for my husband and me. I'll put our dinner on it, and we fill our plates from the serving platter. It's so much nicer than serving food directly from the pot or the pan. Some of the other dishes I use less often so it was nice to get them out today for the photoshoot. They are like old friends! They are all vintage and acquired at various times in my life--some many years ago on a trip to England when we were newlyweds, two were gifts, and the rest must have been from local antique shops. I don't think they are very valuable as far as cost, but they are beautiful.
My girlfriend is spending the night tonight; she's in bed now because she has an early flight tomorrow morning. She is in between stops and needed a place for the night. She is expecting a baby girl grandchild in June and wanted to look at my baby sweater stash. She took two! Next she said, "Now let's go though your sweaters and scarves!" Only a good friend can say that! She is taking an armload home and that is good for both of us. Now I have a legit excuse to knit more sweaters for me (as if) and she gets some new clothes. It's a win-win.
And look! The camellias are in bloom!