Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Post In Which I Confirm My (Knitting) Insanity

BPG ASJ As though you still have any doubt regarding that matter.

I'm going knit an Elizabeth Zimmermann Adult Surprise Jacket.

I don't know anyone in person who has knit one, but I'm not going to let that stop me.

I do know people who have knit a Baby Surprise Jacket, but I've never knit one myself.

The pattern booklet I have that includes directions for the Adult, Baby, and Child versions suggests you knit a BSJ first to get the hang of it. But that seems awfully sensible and smacks of swatching, so I'm not going to.

Since May
This is not a decision I've come to lightly, and I don't think it should be approached on a whim.

For those people not surprised with the pattern...you cast on and knit it in one piece. As you work, it is an amorphous, amoeba-like blob that doesn't remotely resemble a sweater. Not until you are done and do a little "origami magic" does the sweater appear. It's a leap of faith pattern because you can't really try it on as you go along.

No, I didn't think of this idea last night. I've had this idea in mind since I received that massive box of KFI sample yarn back in May.

Once I realized it was mostly single balls I thought, "What the heck am I going to do with it all?" Because, really, I was only fooling myself with that whole swatch blanket idea. I don't make afghans. And I don't like working single sampler blocks. Which is why that project has died a horrible death.

Really, don't we all prefer to be actually making something? To have a finished item as the goal? I thought so.

It seems to me the ASJ is the ultimate Hoard busting project. Indeed, the pattern booklet even says, "As true knitters you may have boxes of leftover wools of about the same weight."

Prep Work
Hubby was shocked to see me vacuuming last night. However, it was a necessary first step before I could sort my yarn out on the floor.

I spent a couple hours last night sorting all my yarn by weight according to the recommended gauge on the ball band.

Then I made myself a little spread sheet of gauge, yardage, and how many balls I had. I've entered most, but not all, of this yarn into my Ravelry stash, but didn't think I'd be able to get the info I needed easily because I forgot about the export feature until just this very moment.

Oh well, I would have had to clean it up and delete stuff to get to what I wanted.


I discovered that I can make several crazy colored sweaters in DK, worsted, and chunky weight. And by that I mean, I can probably make at least two sweaters in each weight.


I decided to go with the chunky yarn for the ASJ, which required sorting the pile of chunky yarn by color to see if I can really pull this off.
Red topdown
The pile in the top picture is composed of purple, blue, and green yarn that seemed to harmonize. I have a second pile of red and orange yarn. That might become just a top down cardigan in the traditional try it on as you go style. A third, much, much smaller pile is browns and greys. Not sure what I'll do with those. Maybe the swatch blanket will be revived after all.

If things go well with the ASJ I'm thinking I might sort the DK yarns and make myself and crazy striped Schleppy Sweater.

I've organized the yarn into the color sequence I want. I think I'll just work through each ball and not try to do stripes by using part of it and saving part of it for further in the jacket.

Charged Up
For some reason I am so excited about this project that I couldn't sleep last night!

I spent time this morning adding suggested needle sizes to my spreadsheet, because I didn't think of it last night. Then I had to fuss with the order I'll use the yarn.

It's going to be Epic!

Now I have to wind the hanks that need to be wound. I should probably also swatch. grr. Then I can do the math and get started.


  1. Yeah, when I bust out the vacuum cleaner, that will be a VERY serious day. Can't wait to see your progress.

  2. I'm going to live vicariously through your ASJ.