As 7 people guessed correctly, the strangely-shaped bit of knitting is an Elizabeth Zimmerman Baby Surprise Jacket. To select a winner, I asked D to pick a number between 1 and 7. He picked 4. Nancy was the 4th person to respond with the right answer.
Like Carolyn, I'm an Elizabeth Zimmerman fan. Unlike her, I'm not much of a make it up as I go along knitter. I am much happier following patterns and tweaking them if needed. But, EZ gave me permission as a teenager (I was probably about 10 when I read my library's copy of Knitting without Tears for the first time) to be the boss of my knitting--and to be unashamed that I was obsessed by knitting as a geeky kid. Even when I am slavishly following a pattern, I honor her memory and know that I have permission to change things up if I want to.
Using mitered increases and decreases to construct a piece of fabric that magically folds into a baby jacket amazes me every time I knit this pattern. It usually amazes onlookers as well. I did most of the knitting for these two jackets in public. I cannot count the number of times I carefully spread out the stitches on my circular needle and folded the WIP to show where this odd shaped thing was going.
Pattern: Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmerman. I used the version from Knitters Magazine, Fall 1999. You can order your own copy of the pattern from Schoolhouse Press here.
Yarn: Noro Kureyon #165. I used almost exactly 3 balls for each jacket.
Needles, Notions and accessories: US 7 needles, darning needle, and 5 5/8" buttons for each jacket.
Time:In total, I think I finished all the knitting on both jackets in about 3 weeks. And then it took me over two weeks to discipline myself into sewing them up and sewing on the buttons. It's not like this project has that much sewing up to do--just a quick mattress stitch seam on the top of each sleeve.
Sometime soon my cousins and siblings will stop having babies, and I will get to stay home long enough to make headway on a large spinning or knitting project. If the stars align (sometime in November at the rate my travel calendar is developing), I may finish something for myself besides socks by the end of this year. Somehow, I doubt that I will manage to finish even one measly sweater for myself during 2006. I know that at least two nearly finished cardigans lurk in the wool closet waiting for blocking, seaming, and zippers. Before I can go back to Rogue and my Tweedy Aran Cardigan, though, I need to knit a pair of Socks of Doom. If I do not to get these in the mail on Saturday, I will probably be killed while I'm in Atlanta next week. If that happens, I will not get to finish knitting these fun socks in beautiful Mountain Colors yarn. Photos soon, I promise.