b r o o k l y n t w e e d
  BSJ Brigade
One of my favorite things to do is watch the number of Baby Surprise Jackets crawl higher and higher into the thousands over on Ravelry. It stands as a testament to the timelessness and genius of this pattern. Whenever I'm finishing one, that annoying Lays Potato Chip slogan always comes into my mind, you know it - betcha can't eat just one? Yeah. Now that I've defiled the glory of EZ by comparing her to greasy snack food, I think we should move onto the knitting.

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Today is a two for one - two handspun BSJ's - and represents a few things: my new found knitting time with the official end of my semester (glory!), spring cleaning and the finishing of way too many WIPS (I'm taking them down all around me), and what may serve as a good segue back to knitting from all that spinning talk.

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There's not much to say about the pattern that hasn't already been said hundreds of times. If you've knit one, you know. If you haven't, you should. The pattern can be found in Knitting Workshop and The Opinionated Knitter, and is also available as a stand-alone pattern from Schoolhouse Press as well as a DVD walkthrough with Meg Swansen.

BSJ II (by b r o o k l y n t w e e d)

These are BSJ #2 and #3 for me (Fall Version and Spring Version seem more appropriate titles). The first was made last year in early summer, and happened to be the first time I ever officially knit with handspun. Domino effect?

BSJ III (by b r o o k l y n t w e e d)

I think this pattern is a great match for handspun yarn - the self-striping nature of handspun accentuates the shaping of the garment and the slightly irregular texture suits garter stitch wonderfully. Not to mention you can knit a whole one using between 4-5 oz of yarn, and spinners usually have a lot of small batches of handspun lying around. They're also great at classing up all your scraps. Very versatile.

BSJ II (by b r o o k l y n t w e e d)

The Autumn (Red/Orange) Version was knit with merino fibers dyed at Spunky Eclectic. The colorway is Burning Bush and came out fantastic - it was a pleasure to both spin and knit. [Solo yarn shot here.] I actually knit this about 9 months ago. I remember because it was my portable knitting during that hellish move in September. I also remember channeling all my desperation for the onset of Fall into it. But alas, it sat completed and without buttons all of these months, until the other one came along and prompted me to get over to the button shop.

BSJ III (by b r o o k l y n t w e e d)

The spring version is fine shetland dyed by Krista at Pigeonroof Studios. I actually ran out of yarn right at the buttonband and subbed in some leftover merino from a previous spin, which also turned out to be Pigeonroof. [Both yarns here and here].

BSJ II (by b r o o k l y n t w e e d)

Buttons were purchased at B.E. Yarn in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Everything was sewn up and photographed a couple of weeks ago. And I think that about exhausts these two for things that I can blather on about. Are you still with me?

BSJ III (by b r o o k l y n t w e e d)

As I said before, my schedule has taken a dramatic change this week, in favor of my knitting. I should have a normal life for a while, which means I can actually check e-mail (crazy, right?), read blogs, and best of all knit. I have a lot of catch-up to do, but things are looking up. Thanks to all of you for sticking with me through this sadly sparse year. Onward and upward.

both are beautiful! the pattern just screams for handspun, doesn't it?

These are gorgeous! I'm especially fond of the orange one.

Both are absolutely beautiful. Nice work! Congrats on finishing the semester and HOORAY that you can enjoy your knitting again at your leisure! Feels good, doesn't it? :) I finally picked up a copy of this pattern at my new favourite LYS (can't believe it's taken me so long!) so I'm hoping to have one done in time for their BSJ contest in August. Wish me luck! In the meantime, enjoy your time to knit, you deserve it. Looking forward to more knitting and spinning stuffs from you. Take care.

It was jealous envy of your beautiful handspun BSJ that promted me to spin and knit my own. Thanks for the inspriation!

There is little that so expands our possibilities as the end of Spring semester! Both of your BSJs are wonderful...I, too, am particularly fond of the orange one. But, then, I do love yellows, oranges, coppers and teals!

My knitting has expanded exponentially with the end of the spring semester -- and I've never knit a BSJ. And I have babies soon to arrive. Hmmmm. I'm off to track down the EZ book.
Gorgeous photos, as always.

hello from seattle! I really do need to get this pattern and knit this jacket. Love your yarn choices.

You're worth sticking with, no matter what!

your stitches and color choices are spot on. Glad you have time to knit and catch up

Your posts are worth waiting for, however few and far between. The photos of your work are so beautiful and inspiring.

I'm trying SO hard to resist the lure of hand-spinning (frankly, I don't have time to take on another obsession), but you're making it very difficult for me. Your yarn is so freaking beautiful!!!

Enjoy your increased knitting time. I'm sure we'll get to reap the rewards in more beautiful posts like these.

Well the spinning/knitting stars are in your favor - Krista's having an update today, latish for you but heavenly!! Those BSJs are gorgeous, I'd love to be able to ogle them in person :) Have lotsa fun w. your break! Terry

OMG! They are absolutely beautiful! What an inspiration! Your posts are always worth waiting for. Enjoy your knitting break now.

Both BSJ's are absolutely gorgeous. :)

Well, you've proven again and again why it's worth "sticking with you". They're a fabulous pair. Lucky baby/ies!

Are these all for the same baby? I just finished making a BSJ too, and want to make another one right away!

You make me want to knit and have a baby....but I think I will just knit!

That Fall one is stunning - I love the shot of the back where you can see the different colours on each row. I must get my act together and check this pattern out.

As always, inspiring. So far, the only fiber I've spun has been more or less single colored... but those jackets make me want to spin more color and make more jackets.

Lord have mercy they are amazing...

Oh those colors look fabulous on both those gorgeous baby jackets. You always make me want to add more things to my "to do" list too, and it is nice to see you knitting again.

"Sadly sparse" ? ! !
With all this glorious handspun garter stitch?
I should be so sadly sparse.

Beautiful BSJs! They look great in your handspun. Your posts are definitly worth the wait! Your photos are always so amazing and you always have something great to say!

Bravo! I must knit a BSJ soon.

I'm sticking with you. Your handspuns are GLORIOUS! Haven't made a BSJ yet, but it's on my list. Our local guild is thinking of checking the video out of the library and following it during a meeting this summer.

Not only is your knitting exquisite, your photography is beautiful as well. Bravo.

Thanks for ALL the beautiful photos of the surprise jackets -- the pattern appeals to me much more in your multi-hued handspun.

I just posted, last week, a picture of my new grandson wearing my first EZ's Baby Surprise. He looks adorable. I will make him another next winter as he grows.

I did a BSJ almost 20 years ago, when my youngest was under construction. Yes, truly a classic, and these are luscious!

You inspire me! I am dying to knit a BSJ. I'm just looking for the right yarn. I Love your work.

I just came upon your blog and am quite inspired to do a BSJ! I have the pattern, I have the handspun, now all I need is the gumption.

I am one of those spinners who knit rather than a knitter who spins. So, right now the yarn is taking up too much precious fiber space! I have some handspun around 4oz that should just do it, although that seems like such a small amount of yarn. Or is it a small jacket? I guess I'll find out.

Thanks again for the inspiration. Love both the jackets and love the idea of seasonal wear. :O)

I found your blog recently through ravelry and am enjoying it very much, thank you! I just finished my first bsj and truly loved every minute. Just like the Lays slogan, I will be back for more.

Gorgeous work. Is there an adult version of this sweater? You know...GSJ (Grown-up Surprise Jacket)?

It's beautiful

I love the baby stuff in the not-typical-baby colours. So much better than bland pastels.

Also the beauty of garter stitch. I may be making a BSJ sometime soon. Very inspiring.

They are absolutely gorgeous and the handspun is perfect for the pattern. I'm just beginning to learn to spin, but I can see using my new handspun for these. I'm on my fourth now using commercial yarn.

So cute !

They are just so lovely. I have never done spinning before and I must say I wasn't that interested in it but looking at your picture for ten minutes, I am THINKING about it! You are a star!

The colors on both the Fall and Spring version are stunning.

How funny! My friend just found out he and his wife are having a girl so I was planning on casting on this evening for a pinkish BSJ.

both so lovely. if you need a recipient, count me in. my bundle is due in 5 weeks!!

You, sir, may be soley responsible for my finally purchasing a wheel. I've been dickering for nearly a year but seeing your handspun and the beautiful knitting that comes out of it gives me a pang and sniffle. Economic Stimulus.....Maybe. Many thanks for all the encouragement.


OK, you convince me, I'm off to find some homespun. I have some STR but it is light weight and a hunk of worsted weight from Rhinebeck and I am not sure of the yardage......that is what has me stuck.
Love you blog and photos!
Keep up the great work,

beautiful bsj's...
i HAVE to knit one of these! :)

Beautiful - you really do this pattern justice with your handspun. Thank you for sharing.

As always, Jared, your work is very inspiring. I have a number of upcoming "births" to knit for....now I think is the time to try this pattern.
Thank you for the "nudge". :)

These are beautiful pieces of art!

I never thought of using my handspun leftovers for one of these - thanks for a great idea!

I am so glad to hear you will have more time to blog. Ever since the Yarn Harlot posted a link to your Cardiganized Urban Aran sweater post, I've been checking to see your blog regularly. Thanks for the wonderful post on the Baby Surprise Jacket. Your homespun really made these jackets special. You also have me thinking about trying spinning. As if I needed more projects.

I'll be checking more often for new posts.

There's really nothing like a finish line when there's knitting time waiting on the other side is there?

Yay, yay, BSJ! EZ brings out my inner cheerleader. I've got a new one to post, too. Thanks for the reminder!

Very beautiful. They do look perfect for handspun. I just finished a BSJ in stockinette stitch (instructions are on someone's blog, "Panda Man" I think is the nickname). It knits up so fast, but the commercial yarn is not near as special as your handspun!

They are lovely. You have given me new hope for actually doing something with my handspun.

Gorgeous BSJs...good to have you "back!" :)

Both beautiful. I definitely see one of these in my future!
cant wait to see what you have in store for us

I'm a huge EZ fan but haven't knit a BSJ yet. Yours are just gorgeous.

Beautiful! I have yet to knit one but I will, I will!

I love these! But who do you make them for? I don't know any babies!

Love the Burning Bush! I have to try to make one of these. It looks difficult to interpret. Yours are outstanding!

Your comment about having a normal life for awhile allows me to feel less guilty about my requesting that you consider writing up your design for "Big Blue". I love, love, love that sweater! It is so elegant, and the beauty of the details kills me every time I look at the photos. That's all, I won't beg.

Never apologizie....Anything you post is a pleasure and we are blessed to have access to your talent.

Love both BSJ's. Spring and Fall colors you selected are gorgeous. How about Summer and Winter colorways? Really enjoyed seeing this knitted piece that is timeless. I don't think we will ever stop liking EZ's designs.

Absolutely stunning - the yarn, the knitting and the photography. Thank you for sharing all these talents.

Spring can be so refreshing :) I'm glad you're reviving your knitting projects. It's a good sign of cleaning house so to speak and it puts a little spring in your step to finally complete hibernated projects!

Your posts are fabulous. Your spinning and knitting are a feast for the eye. AND your photography is wonderful. Great job!

ok, these two BSJ's alone make me want to knit one. I've seen others in person and they made me want to run screaming from the room. yours make me want to run screaming to my local yarn store. well done.
as always, your photography is spot on. thanks for sharing.

Absolutely gorgeous with the handspun! I haven't made a BSJ yet, but I've been dying to get my hands on the pattern. I have a few baby arrivals to knit for soon, maybe that will be my incentive to finally purchase it.

Fantastic - thanks for sharing!

I have the BSJ on my list to knit and you have inspired me once again to get down and knit it! They are both beautiful.

Glad your semester is over and you have some time to unwind and finish up some WIPs!

As a fellow student, I totally commiserate. Every semester has a way of climbing into your brain, shoving out everything unrelated to school work, and chewing up all your time (spare or otherwise) besides.

Those jackets are gorgeous (as per usual). I can't think of anything better than garter stitch to celebrate your release!

thank you

Congratulations - on your BSJs and on your semester ending! I hope the semester turned out as successfully as the BSJs!

I swear, you're one of the few who can actually make me really want to knit garter stitch.

Both of those look great, beautiful colors. I have yet to knit a BSJ, but I think I might have to now... your pictures are making me jealous! I'd like to know what kind of camera you use to take those amazing pics... and also how you always get the lighting just so.

If this is what you call sparse, I don't wanna see a 'normal' year. Geez, do you not sleep or something? Grumble, grumble ... I'm just jealous, ignore me.

So many of the BSJs I've seen are cutesy sweaters that it is great to see these. It's much more sophisticated than the average colors and what not for the wee ones.

never ever worry about not blogging enough or apologizing for it. Whatever you offer is always beautiful and an inspiration. There is so much dignity in your work.

But I can feel the breath of relief that the semester is over! :) Hope everything went well for you.
Looking forward to what you will offer up next, whenever that may be.

photos, as always, are spot on. And your handspun is gorgeous!

One of my friends needs to get knocked up soon so I can knit one of these beauties! As always, your fo's are fabulous!

i love the yarn almost as much as i love this pattern. i almost want to spin. this pattern is the world's cleverest, i think. so unlike anything else.

Both of the Baby Surprise Jackets are simply beautiful! I think I am going to have to invest in this pattern...

Hello Jared- Just to tell you, I've long been an admirer of yours-your knitting skills, sense of color, and the best hands I've ever seen on a man.

You did EZ proud.

So Beautiful!

Jared, I gotta say--much as love your work--esthetic, colours, materials, and pure workmanship--i am OFTEN distracted by how entirely gorgeous your photos are!! They are definitely art--composition, lighting--the works! I am NOT kidding...I am a visual artist myself, and I do love THAT form of your work as well.

Thanks for sharing =)

These sweaters make me WEEP with the beauty of them. I'm undone. So much lovliness....

Yes, I'm sure it's all been said before, over and over and over again so I'll go from a new angle( maybe new)---
Your photos could be note cards, they are just so beautiful.

( not that your garments aren't, but we've already been there before) :)

I'm sure there are Jared Fanclubs starting up all over the place, including Ravelry!

how do you know if the yarn will produce a garment with "sharp" stripes like these bsjs or a garment with "graduated" stripes like your gloves. can you tell by looking at the yarn? btw, i love your blog!
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