Wednesday, September 16, 2009


I have had the urge to knit a sweater lately. I pulled out the instructions for the Dollar and a Half sweater from Interweave and the denim yarn I planned to use, but in a fit of sanity, I actually read the directions, PLUS read the inside of the ball band of the yarn, and decided that, yes, I want to knit a sweater, but not one that requires this much work.

So I switched gears and - don't laugh - started a Baby Surprise Jacket. Using Lion Brand Micropun, the splittiest yarn on the planet, a yarn that does not withstand frogging, no, not one little bit. Once knit, there is no going back except tink by tink.

In a second fit of sanity, I read the BSJ directions and discovered that the "surprise" in the BSJ pattern is, while EZ may be the queen of knitting, she is NOT the queen of pattern writing. I love her designs, but hate, hate, HATE her instructions, or the lack thereof.

But this is a really popular pattern and the sweater construction is intriguing and surely if I just knit, the directions will become clear. Right?

Eight rows into the pattern, and I'm feeling insecure. The decreases I get, but where to I put the increases? And on what row? And how do I know I am doing it right?

Internet to the rescue. Sort of.

One resource removed her BSJ notes (boo) because Meg & Cully Swanson have published a line-by-line version that includes the baby, child, and adult patterns (yay) but it's $10 (boo). I already paid for the pattern I have, which apparently is the Cliff Notes version, and now "they" expect me to fork over more money for the unabridged edition? Very annoying. Very Scott Adams-ish. It's like charging for errata or a KAL.

Fortunately, I found some help with the increases/decreases here. The math did not work for me, but I did get past the first hurdle. And there is more help here.

Hopefully I will continue to find still more help online should I need it. But it seems to me that, if a pattern is written in less than clear language, it is up for grabs on the information highway.

What is really ironic is one of EZ's books is titled Knitting without Tears - HAHAHAHAHAHHA!!!


Debbie said...

Ooooohhh, I am bookmarking this post!!! I saw the "Surprise Jacket" on Flickr and after lots of hunting online, I ordered the book that has the adult pattern in it. I keep thinking I want to start it, but I'm worried I'll get lost too... I can't wait to see how yours turns out!

Toni said...

I love the BSJ, but the pattern is really hard to follow. HOWEVER, I have coached several people through it, so let me know if you have any questions on it!

Noelle said...

Knitting without tears, I love it, considering it reminds me of the classic "toilet training without tears."

Qutecowgirl said...

I just started one the other night (for my son's teacher) I know her directions are vague but hang in there. There is a group in Ravelry just for the BSJ and they have tons of info there.