Monday, March 1, 2010

Adult surprise jacket, perfect for San Diego

Hi, Everyone,

It's a cool, clear night in San Diego. No rain for now, whoopie!   The sunset was just spectacular, all crimson and magenta, and the moon is just huge.  My back is acting up lately, so I have to be careful how I move.  The result of too much vigorous activity with the grandson last week, probably.  I'm sure this is temporary.

I've been wearing the light, fluffy green Adult surprise jacket I finished lately.  This ASJ is just perfect for San Diego, not too much.  I ended up putting a full length shawl collar on it.  It's machine wash and dry, in a light, soft, cuddly boucle.

I can hear you saying, wait, how'd you get the Famous Elizabeth Zimmerman Baby Surprise Jacket to work out in your size?  If you call Schoolhouse Press at 800-968-5648, Meg (EZ's daughter) can hook you up with a version of the BSJ pattern that shows you how to do the math to get any size sweater with any gauge.  Meg and her people at Schoolhouse Press are really lovely and total experts. Inexpensive but brilliant patterns. Best deal in knitting.

This is how the adult surprise jackets are made: you do a gauge swatch until you find the size needles that give you the right texture of fabric you want, measure the gauge from the swatch and then decide on what size garment you want to make and then it walks you through to calculate how many stitches to start with, etc. I'm a big girl (5X) and I have made one to fit me on pretty fine yarn and smaller needles. It's all in the math, many stitches in my version but I got what I wanted. San Diego is a warm place so I wanted a light, thin, soft sweater in a very big size.  I also love the way the long color changes work out in this pattern.
I also used this "mathy" version of the pattern to create a pattern for a bulky yarn baby size jacket. It starts with "cast on 120 stitches" and works up really fast at about 3 st/in on that machine washable bulky fluffy baby yarn. Same idea as the usual 160 stitch version. Great for the last minute invite to a baby shower. I use that one a lot, have one on the needles right now. EZ would hate the synthetic yarn, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do, Ha-ha.

 The "natural" pattern makes kimono sleeves, like the BSJ.  I have one on the needles with slim sleeves.   We'll see how it works out.  I put the usual pattern in a row-by-row spreadsheet and fiddled with the sleeve numbers.

From Daisaku Ikeda's words of the week:
Another name for "Buddha" is
"hero of the world" (hero of society).
We practice Nichiren Buddhism to win
  in the reality of our daily lives.
With faith, we can overcome adversities.
Let's challenge and surmount our problems with
 an invincible spirit.
Lilo is inside tonight keeping warm and helping me post, so goodnight from Lilo and me,

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