Saturday, March 21, 2009

Finished Objects from Last Year: The ASJ

Dear Readers:

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:

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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.
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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).
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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.
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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!
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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?


Maggie Pringlemeir said...

OOOOOoooo, AAAAahhhhhh, this was worth asking for. A perfect example of that cheapie yarn evrybody gets so snobby about .. can be made into something QUITE LOVELY. From your notes, your measurements and mine are .. umm .. shall we say .. twinlike? so I'll be copy and paste-ing those into my own notes.
PRETTY, pretty, pretty!
Thank you for takng time to put it up .. I'm sure others will enjoy seeing it too.
Warm hugs,
Maggie & Ruby C
Knitting & Weaving in Novi, MI
and he says WOOF!

Karen said...

Hi! Lovely jacket! Just found you by way of the BSJ group. I have been thinking about a ASJ for myself for some time - thanks so much for posting the details of yours along with that calculator. I happen to be of a similar size and shape to yourself, and I have been wondering for a while if an ASJ would work for me - I can see the answer is yes!

Nice to meet another Ohioan also. I now live outside Boston, but grew up in Cleveland within a stone' throw of the Cleveland Zoo. My mother, sister and brother still live there (my other sister just moved to Phoenix with a new job).

Thanks again for the information, not to mention the encouragement of your completed jacket!

Diana said...

Thanks so much for the compliment! Good luck making your own, and enjoy the calculator.

One thing I noticed when I went to take pictures of this jacket: the weight of my huge braid of hair actually made the fabric between my shoulder blades pill! Well - what takes priority, hair or knitting? I chopped it off and sent it to Locks Of Love!


Stunning! A very nice fit. The colors you chose are perfect.

catmum said...

absolutely gorgeous, and inspiring!

Dodie on the Oregon coast said...

This is absolutely gorgeous. EZ would have been proud to know that such a beauty was made from her pattern. Dodie on the Oregon Coast

Anonymous said...

YIKES, that's beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Hi, great job on a fun sweater! I've made two- one fifteen yrs ago & last one for a class I taught! You did an excellent job & it certainly can be made with any yarn!!! I'm not familiar with what you used, but it lookd great& the color way is excellent with your skin & hair colors.Sandy Smith in Colorado Springs

Diana said...

Aww, shucks! Thanks, y'all!