Christa and Mandy exchanged a lot of design talk on Thursday about the Adult Surprise Jacket and Christa agreed to tell you about it . . .

Wheee! So, after much poking around on Ravelry for other Adult Surprise Jackets, and falling in love with the subtle pinstripes that many knitters chose, I chose a lovely dark blue/purple Mountain Mohair to be striped with Silk Garden in shades of blues, purples, greens, and ambers… yummy!

You’ve already seen the swatch … which let me wrap my mind around how the construction of this neat jacket would work. Mandy and I spent about half an hour in the shop today, debating various approaches to shaping: between the boxy line across the shoulders and centre back, and my rather curvy measurements, I thought I wanted to do a fair bit of altering. However, after that half hour had passed and I STILL hadn’t decided on how I wanted to do the shoulders, I realized that I was killing half of the joy of this sweater: mindless garter stitch, and near-instant gratification. Screw it! I wanted to cast on!

So, following EZ’s instructions, I got two measurements: One, my gauge, taken by measuring across the bottom of my little sweater swatch – I actually measured it in three different locations, just to get an average number. I got 14.5, 14.5, and 14.25 stitches over 4 inches, so dividing 14.5 by 4 gave me a stitch gauge of 3.62 stitches per inch. Next measurement was the chest width (NOT circumference) from my jacket – a boiled wool, unlined coat that I thought was of a similar weight and size to my dream Adult Surprise. Measurement from armpit to armpit was 24.5 inches (yes, I know doing decimals in inches is weird.. but that’s just how I think). This chest measurement multiplied by my gauge, then divided by 3, gave me “K” – MY Key number. All the calculations EZ gives are based on K, so.. I was ready to go! 24.5 × 3.62 = 88.69 .. rounded up, K=89.

The instructions: cast on 9xK, placing markers after 2xK from each end. I used a provisional cast on (that’s some taupe Mission Falls you see along my cast-on edge) that will allow me later to add on to the sleeves so they go down to my wrists instead of ending at my elbows, and cast on 261 stitches, placing a marker after the first 58, and the next 145, leaving 58 on the other side of the marker.

The colourwork plan is easy: knit two rows with Mountain Mohair, and two rows with Silk Garden. I’ve put six balls of Silk Garden aside for this project, might need to get more later.. but two of them are the same colourway, with green, purple, orangey red, and amber…. a bit lighter than the rest, and I’m using one of these as my first ball, so the lightness will be across the top back and at about elbow length, and then I’ll use the second lighter ball at the end, for the button band and hem. I think this colour placement will highlight the interesting construction, while not placing bright/light bands of colour at my waist!

Small amounts of shaping planned: a bit of decreasing at the sides (no seams, I’ll just be popping them in under the point that I know will fold into an armpit) and I think a few across the center back, to counteract the lack of shape I see in some photos on Ravelry. Bust shaping still needs to be figured out – the construction is already really interesting in this area, so I don’t think I want to try to pop darts or short rows in.. but I may swap up to slightly bigger needles just through the chest section, so I get a bit more ease for my DDs!

I have a feeling this will take a few more shifts to finish than the Dream in Color Tulip cardigan did, but since this is a shop sample that will finally be in MY size (and I’ll eventually be able to keep).. I’m pretty stoked :) Come by and watch my progress, or stay tuned for blog updates!