Pengweeno Jacket (Stephen West)

Has anyone knitted Stephen West’s gorgeous-looking but daunting-sounding Pengweeno baby jacket? Just wondering if any of you out there feels as lost-in-a-stitch-storm as I do; I know his “Say yes, don’t stress’ saying, but it might be a bit easier if he was just the teeniest bit more explanatory in his instructions!

Hundreds of people on Ravelry seem to have made this, an hundreds of people can’t all be geniuses, so my hope is that it’s easier than it seems; I’ve taught myself the welting bit (really fun) but goodness it does go off in so many directions, and if only there was a schematic that made clearer which bit you are actually working on at any one time. That would make colour choices much easier, too.

Forgive me if this has already been tackled on the site; I did do a search but got a ‘no results, why don’t you start a new topic’ message, so here I am, with apologies if it is NOT a new topic.

Stephen West’s patterns are always an adventure. Sometimes they are more of a recipe than a pattern but it’s always an exciting ride.
If you scroll down on the main Ravelry page, the 8th and 9th photos may show the order of making the various sections of the jacket. Also the pattern notes on this page indicate that the pattern gives you some help with color and placement of the various sections. If you like a bit of improvisation then this is a fun pattern to work out like other Stephen West patterns.
No problem starting a new topic. There’s always a fresh take on a pattern and this is a new one.

Thank you so much, Salmonmac - you are of course absolutely right that Stephen West’s patterns are always an adventure, and your very sensible description of them as a ‘recipe’ rather than a pattern is so helpful - it sort of frees one up to get into the spirit (and goodness knows it’s one big spirit!) of Stephen West himself, and just, as he advises, to think “say ‘yes’, don’t stress’. In which frame of mind the hurdles becomes challenges that are actually fun. I think Pengweeno is one of those little jackets, like Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Baby Surprise, that are tough on the first go, but really fun when you get to Take 2. I’ve made several of EZ’s now and can relax and enjoy them and fiddle around with making a few personal adjustments; which is what, in the end, designers like EZ and SW want you to do. And at least with baby jackets the scale of the mistakes aren’t too enormous! So I’m struggling on, but greatly cheered by your very helpful and useful advice that has tipped me into a ‘can do’ mode and out of a deer-in-the-headlights ‘help!!, I can’t do this!”, frame of mind. And thanks, too, for the encouragement re new topics!


Also, you are quite right about the pattern notes; my printer, for some inexplicable reason, failed to print the final page which has a very helpful version of a schematic, numbered to match the numbers in the written instructions, which is the Ravelry page you directed me to, so that has improved life immensely, and ‘sorry Stephen’ for doubting your pattern-writing helpfulness!

1 Like

I was thinking of exactly the EZ Baby Surprise Jacket too! That’s so much fun to knit.
Can’t wait to see your Pengweeno.

I love the geometry of both; well, the SW geometry is certainly quirky (a good reminder of my own dear school days!), but both have an unpredictable and fascinating outcome. I almost want to knit an EZ BSJ and not sew it up, so as to enjoy the confusion on the faces of people to whom one shows it - I’ve yet to meet anyone who can easily put it into proper shape.
I seem to have managed to download a profile photo, so perhaps that means I’ll manage to do the same if ever I reach the end of my first Pengweeno - I have a sort of suspicion it won’t be my last, but might have to rely on my husband’s son’s family to have another baby first! Which, at my present rate of stumbling progress could be about right, timing-wise!!

1 Like

Finished it! Clung as to a raft to Stephen West’s “Say ‘yes’, don’t stress” mantra, and learned an important lesson about the difference between not over-thinking but not, either losing concentration, and how you can pay close attention without either stressing or thinking ahead. Some good life-lessons in there! Knitting is not just about yarn - it can teach you so much about coping mechanisms needed for other aspects of life’s rich pattern, never mind a Pengweeno pattern! I’ll try and get my head around posting a photo or two….

1 Like

Uploading: E503326D-A1E2-4D24-897E-857AA7509BCF.jpeg… Uploading: 2EEDEE80-29C6-401A-8B2C-E5E0092A4C84.jpeg…

Seem to get stuck on the uploading at this point….I’ll have another go….

Uploading: 164D9112-DAF6-4E99-BB7F-D4DDC0D01435.jpeg…

Lalla, it could be that the file is too large. You may be able to resize or you could use this site.

Congratulations on finishing! A Stephen West of any sort is indeed an achievement.

Thank you very much, Salmonmac, I’ll try that; even a baby jacket is an achievement for me!

I’m obviously being hopeless, Salmonmac, I’ve resized it ok but can’t now download it from the wretched download file; giving up, it’s not that important!!

I’m sorry. If you post to Ravelry send us a link to your page please.

Well done for finishing.
Shame the photo isn’t being cooperative.

Here’s a link to the Ravelry page, Salmonmac; I hope it works, and that you think it’s ok!!

1 Like

Perfect and perfectly lovely. The colors you used are even nicer than the original Stephen West!

Thank you so very much, Salmonmac! Your more-than-kind words mean such a lot to me! I’ve posted some other projects to my Ravelry page, but it’s going to take me a very long time to come anywhere approaching your output or talent!! There is a lot to admire, and also a lot of inspiration.

1 Like

Have linked to my Ravelry page now, Creations, if you want to view the Tiny Triumph!!! (Triumph to me, that is, for getting through it!!) See link in reply to Salmonmac.

1 Like

It’s truly fabulous.
I have no idea how difficult this pattern is, but you’ve made it look a breeze.

I don’t honestly think that it’s all that difficult, as long as you don’t fret too much in advance about any of it, and take each step as it comes; I’m sure any experienced knitter would take it in their stride; it was more of a typhoon than a breeze for me, but if I’ve made it look like anything less than a force 10 gale, I’ll at least feel that I’m good at pulling the wool over someone’s eyes, if not over my own needles!! Things can seem easy once you know how, can’t they; it’s the finding out how that’s the tricky bit! And oh, how grateful one is for pattern-writers and teachers who remember the time when things were tricky for them. Stephen West’s tutorial videos on YouTube are really helpful, and anyway he’s so entertaining that everything seems possible!!