Friday, August 24, 2007

Elizabeth Zimmermann's Baby Surprise Jacket in Stockinette Stitch

After testing my notes by making another of these wonderful little sweaters, I found that a few things needed some editing. I wanted to be sure everything was as accurate as possible so that nobody would have any trouble following along! :o) Now that I'm sure these Notes are correct, I feel more confident in sharing them with all of you! I hope you Enjoy making this and PLEASE consider making one for a charity of your choice! :o)

Specifics of sweater shown in photo:
Finished Chest Measurement - 19½" (buttoned)
Length - 11½" from shoulder seam to bottom of waistband
Gauge - 5 sts & 6½ rows per inch
Yarn used - Worsted Weight; about 5 ozs (143 g), 282 yds (258 m)

These NOTES are posted here with permission of Meg Swansen of School House Press, holder of the Copyright of the Original pattern by Elizabeth Zimmermann.

Original Pattern Copyright © 1968 by Elizabeth Zimmermann

Stockinette Version NOTES Copyright © 2007 by James G. Davis

Materials: Original BSJ pattern available from Schoolhouse Press; any yarn and needles* you require for desired size; 2 split-ring markers (or coilless safety pins); 2 large stitch holders or waste yarn.

*I normally use either 24" or 32" circular needles

The beauty of the original pattern is that you can use any size needles and yarn to adjust the desired/needed finished size without making ANY changes to the pattern. This should work for the stockinette version also.

Stitches I used:

Knit Row Double Decrease (kdd):
knit to within one st of marker, slip next 2 sts together knitwise, knit next st, pass the 2 slipped sts over last st made

Purl Row Double Decrease (pdd): purl to within one st of marker, slip next 2 sts together purlwise through back loops, purl next st, pass the 2 slipped sts over last st made

Make 1 Left-leaning (M1L): make e-loop on Right Hand needle in such a way that the Front strand leans to the left

Make 1 Right-leaning (M1R): make e-loop on Right Hand needle in such a way that the Front strand leans to the right

Notes on Stitches used:
Since the decreases will be on the back part of the sleeve, you can make your double decreases any way you like. I worked them as described because I wanted to keep the center stitch on the top - and I like the effect! :o)

When working into the M1L on the following row (whether knit or purl), you will need to work into the back of the stitch so that it will twist properly and avoid any "hole" that will spoil the continuity of the stockinette stitch.

The theory here was to work 4 stockinette rows for every 6 garter rows. Therefore, in order to keep the proper angles needed, you will work 3 decrease (or increase) rows, then a "plain" purl row (except as indicated) - up to the "extension" part. When the extension is complete you will finish in Garter stitch as for the Original pattern.

Cast on number of sts required using long-tail cast-on and mark sts as stated with split-ring markers (place markers Around sts indicated).

Start by working decrease rows:

Knit Row 1 (Right Side) making kdd as described at each of the 2 markers
Purl Row 2 (Wrong Side) making pdd as described at each of the 2 markers
Knit Row 3 same as Row 1
Purl Row 4 without making decreases

Repeat these 4 Rows (making sleeve fullness increases on Row 7) until you have decreased to number of sts stated in pattern (you will have just finished a knit row), then work 1 more "plain" purl row. You now have 30 rows.

Now begin working increases:

Row 31: *Knit to marked st, M1R, k1, M1L, Repeat from * once, knit to end
Row 32: *Purl to marked st, M1L, p1, M1R, Repeat from * once, purl to end
Row 33: same as Row 31
Row 34: purl across without making increases

Repeat last 4 rows (making back fullness increases on Row 37) until you have increased to number of sts stated in pattern (you will have just finished a knit row), then Bind Off for neck edges at beginning of next 2 rows while also continuing increases. Again, you've just finished a knit row. You now have 49 rows.

Work 5 more rows as follows:
Work 1 "plain" purl row, *work 1 Knit row increasing at marked sts, work 1 "plain" purl row, repeat from * once. Make sure you have number of sts stated in pattern. Do Not Cut Yarn!! Leave it "dangling"! :o) You now have 54 rows.

With Right Side facing and starting at beginning of row, place sts up to (but NOT including) marked st onto holder or waste yarn. With new yarn, knit marked st and all sts across to and including next marked st and remove markers. Place remaining sts on holder or waste yarn. You've just worked Row 1 of the "extension" (or lengthening) of the BSJ. Continuing in Stockinette stitch, work 13 more rows ending with a purl row and cut yarn. You now have 14 rows of extension.

(Quick Note: I like to use waste yarn and just knit the sts directly from it when I need to, rather than transferring them to a spare needle then knitting them. However, feel free to work the next part however you wish!)

With Right Side facing, return to "dangling" yarn and knit across sts on holder or waste yarn. Pick up 10 sts from side of extension just made (3 sts for every 4 rows), placing marker around Last st picked up. Knit across extension sts and pick up 10 sts along other side of extension, placing marker around First st picked up. Knit remaining sts from holder or waste yarn. Make sure you have number of sts stated in pattern!! :o)

Next Row (Wrong Side): Knit across.

Finish in Garter stitch according to Original pattern, working increases at markers on Right Side rows ONLY and making buttonholes where indicated. Bind Off as pattern states.

For Sleeve Cuffs:
With Right Side facing, pick up sts along cuff edge (from end of row to the "point" made by the decreases) and work in Garter st until you have a total of 3 or 4 ridges on the Right Side (Including the ridge created by the long-tail cast on) and Bind Off in purl on the Right Side. Repeat for other sleeve cuff.

Sew up sleeve/shoulder seam as shown in Original pattern.


For Crew Neck (quickest and easiest):
With Right Side facing, pick up sts around entire neck edge and work in Garter stitch (decreasing in "corners" as needed to keep work flat) until you have 3 or 4 ridges on the Right Side. Bind Off in purl on the Right Side.

For Shirt Collar (I LOVE this one!):
(NOTE: Keep in mind that this collar will be folded over, therefore the Right Side of the BSJ is the Wrong Side of the collar!)

With Wrong Side of BSJ facing and starting from 2nd ridge (after stockinette), pick up sts around neck edge ending at 2nd ridge on other side of neck.

Row 1 (Wrong Side of collar): Knit across
Row 2 (Right Side of collar): k1, M1, knit across to last st, M1, k1

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 until you have 2 or 3 ridges on Right Side of collar. On next Right Side row, work as for Row 2, increasing 5 or 6 sts evenly spaced across back of neck area only. Repeat Rows 1 and 2 until collar is desired length. Bind Off in purl on the Right Side.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

BSJ in Stockinette - Finished!

Finally Finished! I think it came out quite well and I'm itching to cast on another one! LOL The yarn I used for this is called Classic Worsted from Universal Yarn Inc. in colors 647 (Dark Gray) and 651 (White) available at LYS (Local Yarn Shops). This yarn is very similar to Encore by Plymouth Yarns and I like it just as much as the Encore! The only thing is that both of these yarns seem to work up more like a light worsted, in my opinion - but then again it could just be me! LOL :o)

This one is very "boyish", so I'm thinking that the next one I make will be with some Encore I have on hand in more "girly" colors! :o) In the meantime, I'll be writing up how I accomplished this BSJ in Stockinette stitch in a "legible" format! LOL Hopefully, I can get that done sometime over the weekend! :o)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

BSJ in Stockinette - Part 2

Here is a pic of my BSJ so far. A few more rows and the extension part will be complete, then I'll finish with the garter stitch edging. I'll add some garter rows to the sleeves since they normally are a three-quarter length and a couple extra rows won't make a huge difference. :o) I'm also going to add a garter collar, but I'm not sure if I want a crew or shirt style - guess I'll decide that when I get there! Hmm .... maybe a shirt collar - that would be TOO CUTE!! LOL :o)

BSJ in Stockinette stitch

This is my current project - making the famous Baby Surprise Jacket in Stockinette stitch. The original pattern is done in Garter stitch and I've made several of them that way, but there had been some talk on the Knit Baby Surprise e-mail group about a Stockinette version, so I decided to try my hand at converting this classic! So far it seems to be working out well, although it is hard to tell in these photos due to the curling that stockinette naturally does. My plan is to finish the entire sweater with garter stitch edgings to counteract all the curling. :o)

The first pic is the BSJ after only a few rows and shows how the decreases all line up with the center st of the double decrease always on top. It also shows how I've marked this center stitch. In the next pic, all the decreasing is done and I'm about to begin the increases. In the last pic, I've folded the BSJ so you can get a vague idea as to what this is going to look like when it is finally all done. :o)

Hopefully soon I can get a pic of where I am on this sweater now. I've actually gotten all the increases finished and I'm working on the bottom extension (or lengthening), so I'm not really all that far from finishing this Adorable little sweater! :o)

A Falcon Lands in Jacksonville

This Beautiful Peregrine Falcon landed in our back yard recently. She perched on a post next to the fence by the next-door neighbor's house (in the background) and I was lucky enough to be able to snap a couple of pictures! :o) It seemed to me that she was posing for the camera, which prompted Mom to think she may have been someone's pet that somehow got loose. She's been seen a few more times in the neighborhood since these pics were taken (about two weeks ago) by both myself and my Dad.

I think she may be relatively young or very well taken care of because she didn't look as though she had been "in the wild" for any length of time. Whatever the case, I think she's a gorgeous creature and I hope and pray she has a L-O-N-G, Happy and Healthy life! :o)