Surprise, Baby!

The Baby Surprise Jacket was the most fun thing I knit all year.  Bold statement considering we have three more months to go, but I’m sticking by it.

This is probably one of the world’s most famous knitting patterns, first published by Elizabeth Zimmermann in 1968. The knitter just knits along, tracking some not-complicated increases and decreases, and when you bind off, you are left with an odd blob, but with a quick fold here and there, the garment’s shape is revealed. A couple quick seams later and you have a really cute jacket.

This pattern has spawn child and adult versions and is a favorite for those who want to use scraps and handspun because the geometry of this pattern shows off stripes and multicolored yarns to great effect.

I was able to see all this for myself in Ravelry under the projects tab for this pattern. Armed with that knowledge, I chose a gender-neutral green and yellow multicolor from Happy Fuzzy Yarn called “Colorado River” in the Superwash Sport base. This yarn is incredibly squishy and dyes up vibrantly thanks to the superwash quality.

It knit up quickly and when I was near the end, I puzzled out the folding just to see what it look like.

The Baby Surprise Jacket in Happy Fuzzy Yarn Superwash Sport

It took my breath away, it was soooo adorable. I think the Baby Surprise Jacket, done up in a sportweight yarn, makes a sweater that fits a 3-6 month old — well, based on standard clothing sizes for babies. YMMV.

If the pattern weren’t awesome enough by itself, my son FINALLY learned to knit one night on a weekend trip by working a couple rows on this sweater.  Yes, I left them in.  His stitches were fine! (Those are his hands in the action shot above.)

The Baby Surprise Jacket in Happy Fuzzy Yarn Superwash Sport

This sweater was a gift for our newest nephew, born at the end of August.  He’s a little bean now; we can’t wait to play with him when he gets a little older!

I can’t recommend this pattern highly enough. It kind of makes me want to go on an EZ pattern bender. Have you made any of her patterns? I’ve knit a few and enjoyed them also; I think it’s time to discover others by her.

  9 comments for “Surprise, Baby!

  1. September 21, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    lovely! yes, knitting BSJs are magic, I also like to give Surplice Baby Jacket. args! now i want to pull out all my EZ books and get knitting even more projects. there are so many wonderful EZ designs, I tend to use a random number generator to choose which one I’ll work up next. 😉

    • September 22, 2015 at 10:43 am

      Oooh, a random number generator — that’s a wild idea! Hmm, maybe…

  2. Charlotte
    September 21, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    The BSJ looks great! A nice color way choice too!

    • September 22, 2015 at 10:44 am

      Thank you, Charlotte!

  3. Cathy
    September 21, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    A lot of circular shawls are based on EZ’s “Pi” shawl formula. But the Baby Surprise Jacket is the only one of her patterns I’ve ever knit. (Although there’s this kind of spirally hat that I’ve been itching to try…)

    • September 22, 2015 at 10:44 am

      I think I know what hat you’re talking about — the one that looks like an ice cream cone? Maybe I’ll make one of those for my fashionista daughter. 🙂

  4. Jules
    September 21, 2015 at 7:32 pm

    That is a perfect pattern for handpainted yard. Gorgeous!

    • September 22, 2015 at 10:45 am

      Thank you, Julie!

  5. September 22, 2015 at 8:10 pm

    Wonderful!

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