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Location: Amsterdam, New York, United States

Friday, October 07, 2005

The BSJ and a personal knitting journal

I am knitting another Baby Surprise Jacket for the Rez and it is coming along very nicely. The pattern is in Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitting Workshop and is also available in a leaflet/SpunOut--both available from


I really enjoy knitting this little sweater as it is done all in one piece and then folded to make the sweater--quite clever! Just two shoulder seams to put together! The size can be adjusted from newborn to toddler very easily--and there is also an Adult Surprise Sweater SpunOut available too. I think I will try that one, perhaps this winter with the cold winds blowing to inspire me to keep knitting!

There is also a Yahoo group call Knit Baby Surprise that offers lots of help and tips as you knit your first one--very friendly and supportive.

I finished my challenge hats but still have a couple more pair of challenge mittens to do. Need to mail them by Dec 1st to make the challenge, but will be done long before that. Want to send ASAP to help those kids stay warm on the way to school.

I worked today reorganizing my yarn and needles. Found a large leather purse that I no longer use as a purse and it holds ALL my needles. I already had them sorted by size and labeled in ziplock bags, so it was just a matter of filing them in order in the purse. The purse fits into a dresser drawer nicely (away from Cora's little exploring hands!) and I always know where it is! Feels good to know where things are and what colors I have available in my stash! For my yarn, I packed it into two soft-sided travel packs with wheels: one large one and one medium size one. They are full! But easy to get to and check out what I need. I already had my knitting books on shelves under my night stands. Keeping everything organized in my bedroom is a challenge after having a whole house to myself, but I have all the essentials and have pared down the clutter. Which is good for my mind AND I don't have to take care of so much STUFF!

I still don't have a sewing table for my embroidery machine--hope to get that next month. Then I can sew little receiving blankets for the new moms on the Rez. But for now, I'm loving my knitting projects!

Tomorrow I have an appt. with a new rheumatologist in Schenectady--Patrick is going to drive me to the appt. so he can ask questions about Dermatomyositis. I'm glad he wants to go as it will help him understand what I am dealing with and why all these appts. are so necessary. I've really been doing pretty good--just get that awful fatigue and muscle aches, but the meds tend to control that and a nap helps me start over again in the afternoon! I rest when I have to, but keep going as much as possible!

I'm enjoying living here with my family very much. And I have arranged for a ride to my church, not this Sunday, but next. There are many women in Relief Society who love to do charity work and I'm looking forward to meeting them and getting involved with some of their activities, too. I ALSO plan to ask for some hats and mittens for the Rez if any are interested!

Many years ago, I ran across a 5 x 8 sturdy little notebook with wire binding. I labeled it KNITTING and started keeping important info in it that I wanted to keep track of--and it has proved to be so valuable over the years! I have my favorite mitten, scarf, booties, slippers patterns in there--anything that I use often. I keep family measurements in there (in pencil!) And just today I added a list of yarn/needle/size changes for the BSJ.

BABY SURPRISE JACKET Yarn/needles/size

fingering/us 2 or 3/newborn

sport/US 4 or 5/ 6 mos

DK/ 7's/ 9 mos

WW/ 8's/ about 1 year

Chunky/1o or 10.5/ toddler

So now when I want to make a new BSJ I can just look through my stash, select colors and needles, get my pattern out and get to my knitting!

If you don't already keep a personal knitting notebook, I encourage you to try it--it has kept me from losing some of my favorite charity patterns over the years--as well as organizing my info in an easy to keep low-tech way. My notebook stays in my knitting bag at all times--along with chatelaine with scissors, yarn needles, markers of various sizes, etc. It is a great little tool to work with!


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