I actually had someone REQUEST a blog post from me! I feel like quite the rock star... I posted about this jacket on one of my groups, and a gal who read the post went looking for more info, and was saddened not to find any. Well, here it is, by popular demand:
Last Fall I knitted myself an Adult Surprise Jacket, the Grownup Version of Elizabeth Zimmermann's famous Baby Surprise Jacket that I blogged about awhile ago. Here are the specs:
Yarn: TLC Essentials in the Falling Leaves colorway. I think it took 7 skeins. 100% acrylic, bought before I developed my wool fixation, but actually a really nice acrylic yarn. Gorgeous autumn colors, and the sweater is nice and squooshy. I also used a small amount of Caron One Pound in Espresso (a dark brown) for the trim.
Needles: Knitpicks Options, size 8 (5 mm) with the 60" cable.
Pattern: I got it here; it's also available in The Opinionated Knitter.
Cast on 8/19/09; bound off 11/02/08.
I greatly enjoyed knitting this sweater. I made an Excel spreadsheet to do all the calculations - EZ has you knit a gauge swatch then make a series of calculations to determine how many stitches to cast on, and where to place your decrease/increase points. For a bust circumference of 49" and 5" of ease, I cast on 334 stitches and placed markers 74 stitches from either end.
Mods: I wanted some fullness in the back so I added 20 stitches across the back after completing the sleeve decreases. This turned out to be a little more than I needed, and at first there was a slight ruffling on that row. After a bit of wearing, it seems to have eased in, though.
When I had increased back to the original number of stitches, it seemed like there wasn't quite enough room in front, so I kept going for 12 extra ridges (24 rows).
I striped my button band: 2 ridges Espresso, three ridges in the variegated, and two more Espresso, then I bound off with an applied i-cord bindoff as described here and here. I picked up stitches and knitted about 5 more inches on the arms, then repeated the stripe pattern from the button band.
Instead of blind-seaming the top seam, I did applied I-cord there too. This turned out to be a really good thing because the strong, stable band of stockinette along the sleeves did a lot to combat Garter Stitch Stretch - the sleeves haven't grown down to my ankles as garter stitch is wont to do!
Altogether I am really happy with how this sweater has turned out. The things I love about it: gorgeous color, nice and warm, miles of lovely, meditative, TV-compatible garter stitch, NO RIBBING AT THE BOTTOM, so no butt-cup. I still need to add some afterthought pockets, but as the name implies, they're afterthoughts. Maybe next fall?