Sunday, July 17, 2016

Thoughts on Jamieson and Smith, Baby Surprise Jacket, and Circular Stranded Baby Surprise Jacket

It has been a big year for the Baby Surprise Jacket pattern (BSJ) at my house.  I completed one as a baby gift, and that started the roll.

In an attempt to use up some yarn and send more BSJ to Salaam Cultural Museum for donation to Syria, I made a decision to repurpose some yarn that I had purchased in Scotland. It wasn't much, four little skeins of Jamieson and Smith  2 ply jumper weight that I purchased AT Jamieson and Smith. The repurposing/giving away of yarn I bought ELSEWHERE is a big deal to me.

I also added in some Harrisville Shetland purchased in North Carolina. The bottom line is that it's JUST TOO HOT where I live to own a lot of wool shawls (or Fair Isle colorwork) , likely the intended use for all this yarn.  So, here are some results:

This little one I worked on while in Ireland this May....more on that trip in future posts~

The sweater below one requires some explanation:  while searching for a BSJ child size pattern (as I also have a stash of heavier weight wool around here) I found an interesting variation. Apparently Elizabeth's Grandson, Cully Swanson, has been part of the family business for a while and he is a knitter. He came up with the Circular Stranded Baby Surprise Jacket. I thought the pattern pricey, a bit over $11, but I bit. Here's my explanation from Ravelry:

I love stranded colorwork and doing the bsj in circular fashion sounded intriguing. If you love interesting construction, don’t let the three steeks put you off. Cully has made his Grandmother proud. There are notes for three sizes here plus a blank graph so you can design your own Fair Isle.
There are some things I might have changed. Where stitches are increased, after the cuffs and in the back, there is a pattern break due to the increased number of stitches. To deal with this, I lined up the center of the pattern before and after the increase on the back, so it doesn’t look bad or off, and isn’t very noticeable. I think that’s what Cully did however he does not mention it (at least I didn’t see it and I read it pretty well). However, I would suggest doing a different pattern on the cuffs, perhaps a k1p1 rib, which would contrast but not interrupt the pattern.

My other small issue is that it turned out short, so I wound up continuing on the live stitches at the hem for another 1.5 inches then I did a turned hem at the bottom, rather than the continuous garter edge.

That said, I really loved the project and will do it again.

 So the other day, My friend J (who lives in Canada and who I will meet some day) put up on Facebook that J&S is now producing "Shetland Heritage Naturals" in jumper weight.  

When in Scotland I also purchased natural color roving and  spun and knit this, my pride and joy  Hap (note to self, better label this) 

J&S, who I hope will forgive me for scooping photos from their website, also produced Shetland Heritage  which reproduces the naturally colored yarns from 19th century Fair Isles. 

I LOVE this stuff! So...yes, there will be more in my stash at some point.   Here is a photo of a sweater taken in Scotland of similar colors and tradition.