Tuesday, January 23, 2007


Hello Fellow Zimmermaniacs!

I have been a big fan of Elizabeth Zimmerman for many years and always enjoyed reading her books. What I liked most were her thoughts on wool - (get those little kids into their woolen leggings upon birth! ) and her extraordinary use of language. Challenging, yet supportive, yet strict. What a great combination for a teacher!
So, I decided to finally knit something from one of her books; the Baby Surprise Jacket. I went down to the LYS (because for some strange reason, I thought that I had no yarn in a 6/inch gauge..) and told the store clerk what I was looking for and why. I just about choked when she suggested a "lovely, soft, baby acrylic". (Ackkk!!) That just goes against EZ's philosophy of materials - so I went through my stash from my Fair Isle knitting and pulled out some shetland. (well, duh! many of you must be saying..) What a great fabric! Here I thought that I didn't like garter stitch.. Springy and soft, but not obscenely so. A great hand and so warm and pleasant to work with. I'm really inspired by this project!

Melissa (aka stashmaster)


  • I am also a garter stitch convert! I'm so glad that the idea of garter stitch didn't stop you from making this georgous little jacket. Great job!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:55 AM  

  • It is great, I like it very match. I can not wait to get a book Knitting without tears!

    By Blogger gocce & knitting, at 5:45 AM  

  • I love the opened up view! Great sweater!

    By Blogger Peggy, at 9:51 AM  

  • That's a fantastic BSJ!

    By Anonymous tiennie, at 5:35 PM  

  • THANK YOU! for showing the opened up view so I could see how the striping works. I made one of these in a solid blue and then just did I cord all around the edges in white. It turned out great but I wanted to know how to do the stripes. Thanks again. It looks so great. Great knitting!

    Jo Anna

    By Blogger Jodi, at 10:31 AM  

  • I prefer Shetland wool for the Surprise. Mine are adult size.
    I have even knitted one with 2-ply jumperweight used double. I find that the wool jackets keep their shape extremely well. They are also great "compliment bait" because of their dramatic colouring and shape.

    By Anonymous Judith in Ontario, at 1:03 PM  

  • Thanks for all of the great comments! Figuring out where to put the striping does take a little doing. The first three color changes all coincide with the rows where there is a change (stitches are added or there is a change from decreasing to increasing), except for the last little stripe, which is just after the short rows on the back and before the end edging. Anything to know about knitting the Adult Surprise Jacket that differs from the BSJ? I understand that there are changes made in sleeve length. Anything else to consider?

    Thanks again!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:35 PM  

  • Is his a good project to start on for my first EZ piece? And is it better to do it in a solid the first time, or like you did it...? thanks, I could use some encouragement :)

    By Blogger katemojo, at 6:55 PM  

  • To Katemojo-

    I thought that this was a good first EZ project. It required some reading and interpretation, but not too challenging - until I got "cocky" and got into the decrease rows and forgot to check directions, which resulted in some ripping.. As to whether it is easier to change colors or not, it's up to you. I didn't plan where the color changes happened and I would place them differently next time. A plain one might be the way to go, if you just don't want to have any distractions from the pattern itself.
    Either way - I say go for it!

    By Blogger stashmaster, at 12:04 PM  

  • THANK you, Stashmaster- much appreciated help! Will post it if I do one!

    By Blogger katemojo, at 1:41 PM  

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