Adult Surprise Jacket, after ripping it back

Posted on October 19, 2011. Filed under: Knitting |

ASJ after rip back 1 by tygger428
ASJ after rip back 1, a photo by tygger428 on Flickr.

I decided I didn’t like how long the jacket was getting. It gets long and gets wider around as you work back and forth across the right front, the bottom and then the left front.  Fortunately, I was able to put the two fronts and the bottom back on circular knitting needles before it “frogged” itself without my permission.  “Frog” is an inside knitting/crochet “joke” meaning to “rip it, rip it, rip it…”  It is funny ONLY when it happens to someone else, as is the case with most humor LOL

Plus the one error I committed on the original was in having the increase/decrease “flipped” on the collar corner on the right side so that chain “loops” were showing on the right side whereas they were hidden on the left side (as I believe they were intended to be, hidden). I ripped past that point so I can fix that.

It was getting too long in proportion to being wide enough, so I ripped it back to remove most of the length.

I will work back and forth across the left side, and back and forth across the right side until it is wide enough, and THEN work back and forth across the bottom until it is at the proper length. Evidently, my body “type” is not what the designer (the late Elizabeth Zimmermann) had in mind. Oh well. LOL

The next post will show what I am CROCHETING (yes, CROCHETING LOL) with the yarn I ripped out of it.

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ASJ collar boo boo closeup

Posted on September 10, 2011. Filed under: Knitting |

ASJ collar boo boo closeup by tygger428
ASJ collar boo boo closeup, a photo by tygger428 on Flickr.

This is the only “real” error I don’t like in the Adult Surprise Jacket I’ve made thus far, but I’m not ripping out all those rows. On the left side, the collar “line” is a proper seam. On the right side, it has come out as almost a crochet “chain” stitch. I will simply embroider the left side so it looks the same as the “boo boo” and call it a “design innovation” LOL

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Finally got Flickr and WordPress back “on speaking terms”

Posted on September 6, 2011. Filed under: Knitting |

1st ASJ progress 090611 003 by tygger428
1st ASJ progress 090611 003, a photo by tygger428 on Flickr.

Couldn’t get Flickr to “talk to” WordPress, so hopefully this works now.   Yes, it finally does.  Had to do some clicking around, but finally got Flickr to recognize WordPress again.  I had updated Flickr by purchasing a version of their photo editing “interface”, Picnik, then suddenly, it wouldn’t recognize WordPress.  I had to re set my WordPress password because it had been too long for me to remember what it was.  Technology, nothing you can do about it…  Even working for the county you better know as Silicon Valley has its’ “issues” with technology.

Forget about technology.  Its’ irritating anyway.

Now you can see my current progress on the Adult Surprise Jacket, three 40″ circular needles can barely hold it all (why the newest “writeup” suggests three 24″ will do it I HAVE NO IDEA, she must have made a very small version.  Plus, I don’t know what she’d think of me using (gulp) cheapo Red Heart off the shelf from Michaels.  The colors appealed to me at the time.  What else am I going to do with FIVE Michaels gift cards for Christmas???)

I like the pattern, it forced me to THINK.  It is not so much a knitting pattern, but a formula.  The original designer, the late Elizabeth Zimmermann (or EZ, as she is better known to knitters) daughter, Meg Swanson, has taken on the task of continuing her mother’s knitting legacy, at  There is the baby surprise jacket (BSJ) Meg advises you to do first, to get the idea down, then you can make the adult version (the ASJ).

A supervisor at the county agency I work for asked why I knit/crochet, I told her, “So I don’t punch holes in walls”.  And its’ the truth.  Many of my co workers are still alive because I knit/crochet.  Otherwise, I would have killed them outright before now I’m sure.  Lotsa hot tempers.  Lotsa hard heads.  Lotsa tin horned dictators with delusions of grandeur.  But, I digress:)

I have enough of both colors left over to knit/crochet a cushion cover, it is from an old couch that I never “consented” to being present in my apartment, it came from my boyfriend’s brother’s backyard.  Ick.  But we have no room for a proper headboard for our bed.  I finally managed to “banish” that couch, all that remains is this one cushion, reupholstered once, but disintegrating yet again.  So the couch cushion is my sole source of back support.  In our (tiny and ancient) studio apartment, the bed is my office, my dinner table, my computer workstation, my arts and crafts table, my photography display area, and the one place I’m reluctant to leave at the crack of dawn just so I can rejoin the aforementioned hot heads, hard heads, etc.

There is actually a crocheted version (offered by Annie’s Attic, designed by Australian designer Jenny King).  It calls for Noro Yarn, which makes me giggle a little, it is expensive, scratchy yarn, not yarn I would choose for a baby sweater.  Once I get the “gist” of it, I will attempt to do an adult sized version. (no, you aren’t getting a pattern for it; you will have to buy Jenny’s version and figure it out, all by yourself…)

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Adult Surprise Jacket (ASJ) progress

Posted on September 6, 2011. Filed under: Knitting |

I am finally in the “home stretch”, picking up the stitches all around.  It has three 40″ circular needles in it, one on each front, and one along the bottom.  One error I know is here, I messed up the collar area increases/decreases on the right side, the stitches show.  But I’m not pulling out all those stitches to fix it.

This post I had to put the photo in manually, because Flickr is not “speaking” to WordPress at the moment and at the time, I didn’t have time before I left for work to figure it out.

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Adult Surprise Jacket 07/22/11

Posted on July 23, 2011. Filed under: Knitting |

It is not sewn together yet. I had to lay it out to see where the pattern was going. Next step is to “work even” across the bottom until it is long enough. The buttonband (plackets?) stitches are held on cords. The two sides of the collar area are held on stitch holders.  Until you put more circular needles into the stitches and allow the pattern to “stretch out” to its more natural shape, it is difficult to understand exactly where it is going.

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Adult Surprise Jacket up to underarm (before increases start)

Posted on June 17, 2011. Filed under: Knitting |

As I finished two Baby Surprise Jackets as “practice” first, I thought I would show off my progress on the Adult Surprise Jacket, which was the sweater I really wanted to do. These patterns are probably the best known of the late Elizabeth Zimmermann, known and beloved to a lot of knitters, known to most of us simply as “EZ”.

Her daughter, Meg Swanson, runs Schoolhouse Press, which publishes Elizabeth’s designs now that EZ has passed away. Meg herself emailed me back to advise that I do the Baby Surprise Jacket first as practice before taking on the Adult Surprise Jacket. Both of these patterns are also known best to knitters by their initials, BSJ and ASJ.  All of EZ’s patterns and books can be purchased at  They are available at other places, but I prefer to give Meg a hand as she has been so kind with her advice to me.

This photo is taken right after the last major decrease, the point at which the fewest stitches are on the needles, and thus the ideal time for a photo.

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1st BSJ with buttons on

Posted on May 31, 2011. Filed under: Knitting |

1st BSJ with buttons on by tygger428
1st BSJ with buttons on, a photo by tygger428 on Flickr.

This pattern looks very weird on the needles, it isn’t until you actually sew the two very top of the sleeve seams that you finally “get” how the design works. I just started the Adult Surprise Jacket this weekend, with the same yarn, same colors as this one, Red Heart yarn, the orange solid is Carrot, the variegated is Marrakesh.

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1st BSJ completed (AFTER sewing)

Posted on May 4, 2011. Filed under: Knitting |

1st BSJ completed by tygger428
1st BSJ completed, a photo by tygger428 on Flickr.

Now that the top edge of each sleeve is sewn up, you can see how this pattern “comes together”. The striped yarn is Red Heart in Marrakesh, the orange is Carrot. The pattern is sold by Schoolhouse Press.

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1st baby surprise jacket done (BEFORE sewing)

Posted on May 4, 2011. Filed under: Knitting |

FINALLY got to the last bind off row and sewed it all together last night. It “may” not look like much here in its’ pre-sewn state, but as my next “after” post will show, like origami, it magically will transform itself.

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Baby Surprise Jacket at row 40

Posted on April 14, 2011. Filed under: Knitting |

BSJ row 40 other side by tygger428
BSJ row 40 other side, a photo by tygger428 on Flickr.

What pics I took before now represent “frogged” (ie ripped out, as in rip it, rip it, a common crochet and knitting “euphemism” for the one thing ALL knitters and crocheters loathe doing, right up there with “weaving in the ends” on our “to do” list). The picture posted above represents what I managed to redo, just about twice as much done this time around than on the first attempt.   I frogged the first attempt because the count was “off”.  I always tell newer crocheters and knitters, if you ain’t willing to frog it back to the cast on (knitting) or foundation chain (crochet), DON’T BOTHER picking up the needles/hook or yarn in the first place.  Something worth doing is something worth doing CORRECTLY (I’m a school teacher’s daughter, remember…)

As for what needles, they are Kollage square knitting needles (yes, you heard that right, the needles are SQUARE in shape, NOT round) on the firm cables, they also have a second cable style, I bought two of these circular needles in size 7, one in each cable style, from an EBAY vendor.

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