b r o o k l y n t w e e d
  Baby Surprise Jacket
Among the numerous and frequent moments of epiphany, gratitude and sheer awe inspired in each knitter by Elizabeth Zimmermann, none, I believe, is as poignant as the one experienced when you fold together your first BSJ.

Baby Surprise Jacket

Pattern: (the infamous) Baby Surprise Jacket
Author: Elizabeth Zimmermann
Source: The Opinionated Knitter, Knitting Workshop
Gauge: 5 sts per inch
Materials: Hello Yarn Handspun 2-Ply
Colors: "Trodden" and "Hunkered"
Amount: 5.3 ounces/306 yds
Buttons: 5 Iridescent Shell buttons from M&J Trimming in midtown Manhattan; Five

Finished Measurements: 18.5" Chest (Buttoned), 19" from cuff to cuff, 11.5" Height

Started: 7 June 2007
Finished: 9 June 2007
(Buttons Added 17 June 2007)

Baby Surprise Jacket (Back Detail)

I did this one pretty much exactly by the book - no modifications. I familiarized myself as best I could with just exactly what is going on with this pattern, and while I felt I was able to grasp the concept well enough - you really don't get it until you do it. And do it again. This one is addictive!

Baby Surprise Jacket

Aside from the inspired pattern, joining it with such a special yarn really made this experience priceless. I knit this on the train ride up to Rhinebeck a few weekends ago. With the Hudson gliding by outside my window, I had one of those elevated knitting moments where everything comes together a little too well.

Baby Surprise Jacket (Button Detail)

The buttons were a perfect match - they're shell buttons that reflect all the blues and purples of Adrian's handspun. I originally planned on something a little more earthy, but when I saw these I changed my mind. I default to wood buttons too often anyway.

Baby Surprise Jacket

I'm stating the obvious, but this one gets a big, fat stamp of approval from me. I've already started scheming future versions from some of my more exciting stash bits.

We're headed out to the Oregon Coast to camp for the next few days (!!!) so I'll be away from e-mail. Despite being on vacation, I did recognize that this morning is Monday, which is usually not fun at all - I hope this little BSJ Offering rounds out the edges of the week jolting you back into reality. Happy Knitting!

That is beautiful!!! The buttons look like they were made for that yarn. Inspires me to dig out my half finished BSJ and get a move on (although my yarn pales in comparison...).

That sweater is gorgeous, from the color to the construction! I always know I'm going to find something to drool over at your blog even if it's just a WIP ;)

- Lily

OOOOOOHHHHHH! Maybe I need to have another baby... these sweaters are just too beautiful!

Is it uncouth to call a baby sweater "fabulous"? Because it is!

Beautiful knitting and lovely colors! Congrats, it's a wonderful sweater!

Wonderful knitting! Who is the lucky recipient of this adorable jacket?
I love the colours you've chosen, and the buttons are perfect!

That is one beautiful little sweater.

Wow. I love that yarn. I kinda sorta REALLY want a garter stitch sweater out of it. Gah! Have fun camping - the weather inland today is stunning.

What a marvelous confluence of geometry and colour.

That's fantastic.

Beautiful sweater! I bet having things come together as well as they did really adds to the experience. The buttons are a great match! Have you a baby in mind to put into this sweater? That'll be one sophisiticated munchkin...

I agree, the yarn makes this sweater very special ... and the sweater shows off the yarn especially well.

Oh, it's gorgeous!!! I've GOT to try one of these, you've totally inspired me. Do you think the gauge is changeable, or would a BSJ in a thicker yarn get too chunky?

What a beautiful sweater! Okay, I'm going to have to do one now!

Beautiful! The handspun makes this really special.

How gorgeous!
The buttons are absolutely perfect and I love the colors of the sweater, it reminds me of the crazy colors in National Geographic aerial photos of Yosemite.
I can't wait to try one too.

Have a lovely vacation.
Chesley from Richmond, VA

To die for. I'm working up the courage to make one myself once I finish the baby wrap from this spring's (?) Vogue. Congratulations.

Excellent knitting, sir!

Another amazing project - everything about is eye-stunning.

How beautiful!! You have such a good eye for colors. I am completly inspired and will go and order the book right NOW...,

you're on an EZ baby kick. love them both. the baby surprise jacket looks like it's going to take off into flight in these photos -- lovely.

This makes me want to learn how to spin just so I can knit one out of handspun! Just gorgeous!

Glorious and inspiring as usual! Andrian's yarn makes it all the more sublime!

Adorable! I want to do this one myself.

"...you really don't get it until you do it. And do it again. This one is addictive!"

Preaching to the choir, brother.

I've just ordered my copy of Opinionated Knitter. I don't know why I waited so long.

Your jacket is sublime. You've elevated this pattern to new heights. Any baby would look like royalty in it.

Oh that is gorgeous! What a wonderful use of handspun!

Beautiful as usual!

i see julie has already commented. she's the first one to introduce me to the BSJ. i absolutely love yours. the yarn is beautiful. (will be putting helloyarn on my "yarn to lust after" list.) the buttons compliment the yarn perfectly. altogether lovely. still curious to see one of these on an actual baby. i guess i'll have to wait for the fricklet to arrive. as always, i'm impressed by the beauty of your knitting.

by the way, i hope you don't mind, but i added your blog to the list of blog links on my new blog.

happy camping!

I love it when folks stray from traditional baby colours. What fabulous yarn, and those buttons are absolutely the crowning touch. Kudos to you!


great job! that yarn is fabulous!

It's so beautiful! The yarn just sets off the pattern off perfectly. It's truely a work of art. Gorgeous!

Stunning, I actually had no idea the pattern was available in a book. Everyone else always refers to getting it from an old magazine or from their LYS. Now I need to get the book!

Those button are brilliant!

PS the BSJ is too :^)

Bravo! It is inspiring

My favorite one yet. :)

That is absolutely gorgeous, just beautiful!

Your work is gorgeous! (Photography included) Your examples have inspired me to try several pieces: saddle shoulder aran, urban aran...now I shall have to try the EZ baby sweaters. I don't think I'll ever knit another baby garment in "baby" colors! :D

Your baby surprise is fantastic! I love the colours. I recently made one myself but ripped it out because I didn't like the way it turned out in that particular yarn...

How do you find the size of the neck opening? I felt it was a bit too narrow? I'll try to adjust that part when I try it out once more, in another yarn. The pattern is, as you say, addictive!

What a pretty little thing. And knit in just two days too! The yarn, knitting and finishing make for a perfect FO, yet again.
(I need to get a hold of that book!)

Just beautiful!

that is beautiful! very sophisticated for a baby garment. The buttons - what an amazing find!

it is great fun when you realize just how it will be a sweater. and a lovely quick knit as well. the yarn is of course gorgeous.

This is a gorgeous baby sweater. I love, love, love the color.

I now this is sacrilege, but I've never been a fan of this pattern - well, until now. Your BSJ is gorgeous! I can't imagine better yarns or buttons. Hey, I hope my little-one-the-way will be as well dressed!

Beautiful version and stunningly photographed, too.

Because of this, and your last baby sweater, I just ordered that book.

Beautiful pictures as well.

So cut !!
Trés joli !

You are a knit wiz!

Now I'm stating the obvious:

handspun+zimmerman+jared= breathtaking heirloom

It's beyond beautiful.

I think the yarn makes this the most awesome BSJ I've ever seen. :)

Absolutely wonderful combination of pattern and yarn. I'm curious...you said you used two different yarns. Did you just alternate the colors? A garter "bump" in each colorway, or did you use a different method of blending?

Gorgeous as always, Jared - I really must get me some EZ books and get cracking! The lace has taken over in my knitting corner so it may be time to take a breather and put some sweaters back on the sticks. :) ~gabriella

Wonderful! Great job! Just as the February Baby Sweater.

Gorgeous little jackets you have here! Wonderful patterns and really great yarn - can you ask for more?

speechless really!! it's just erfect...I've made two of these and now I want to knit another!

Thank you for inspiring me! We have a new baby coming in the family, and I am going to knit that jacket! May I ask (without ever having looked at the pattern) why you used two colors of yarn? I can't easily see the difference in the jacket. Did you hold them both at the same time? Thanks again.

Simply gorgeous! I'm in the middle of knitting a February sweater right now out of organic cotton...and I think I've just figured out my next baby knit. Thanks for the inspiring photos as always!

A beautiful work of art. The design, the colorways and the finishing touches make this sweater truly extraordinary.

Beautiful - this one as well as the green one. I love your work! And I need to get acquainted with Elizabeth Zimmerman as soon as possible...

Just amazingly beautiful...

Beautiful! Really and truly.

Gorgeous! Wow, I literally just finished one on Sunday.

Once again, a gorgeous handknit by you. You make me think that getting a handknit by you would be like getting a painting by Picasso himself. Anyone can paint, but not all are Picassos. Same with you. Your knits are truly works of art. (OK, hope your head's not swelling here).
I was noticing how straight across your bottom edges are on the BSJ. Most all that I've seen are slightly angled up towards the "buttonband". How did you get yours so straight and what form of increases/decreases did you do? My one and only, I used lifted strand M1 and thought perhaps that's why mine slanted up.

You've done it again, made another wonderful baby jacket. I love the buttons too that you used, very nice. I cant wait to see what other ones you create too.

You are a bad man - its your fault that I bought four skeins of Noro Silk Garden when I went to Town last week - now I'll be forced to knit a stripy scarf...

i'm definitely late to the party on the e. zimmerman band wagon. you've got me thinking i need to start looking at her books and patterns. this sweater is so adorable and to think you knit it in one piece - genious! janetd

Your work is always beautiful...


The cardigan is really lovely.

Just so cute :) Had to order EZ book. Lot of baby knitting coming - 6 babies to be born to my friends within coming 5 moths.

Just ordered a couple of E.Zimm books....I have to make that BSJ!! This is my first time..ever!...That I write a comment, but your work is so inspiring that I had to say something. I think you are amazing. You have just been saved in my favorites!!

Okay, that does it. You know, I've never knit anything from Elizabeth? This will be a wonderful experience in "origami knitting", and just in time for a friend's babys' birthday. Whoopee!

Man, I love seeing all the EZ love on the internets this summer. Your surprise jacket is a wonder, and the buttons were a great call.

I love your blog, and was inspired to go and buy EZ's book after i saw your bsj. I ran into a problem, though - do the stitch markers stay on the needle, or on the yarn. I'm kinda new to this, so not sure what the pattern is saying as far as placing markers.

Always such a feast for knitter's eyes to visit your site.

this is so beautiful. i can't wait to try this pattern. i have to say, i've looked over it, and promptly got dizzy.

What more can i add? You did it again! You've inspired me to dig out my half-finished BSJ and finish it. I'm about halfway through and still cannot figure out how the whole thing comes together.
Can't wait for your next project.
Happy camping!

Beautiful! I want to try this...

I would agree that the pattern is addictive. Very. Love your choice of yarn!

It's been a while since I've checked your blog, and boy have I missed a lot! Your baby surprise jacket is beautiful. I've made them, but before my awareness of hand dyed and handspun yarns. I have to say, yours is the most spectacular I've seen!

Thank you - I think. The BSJ is wonderful, and now you have made me order the book, order some beautiful yarn, and I am seriously thinking about taking up handspinning again. The thing is, I have been a quilter, and quilter only, for 8 years now, and had planned to stay like that.
Marianne, Norway



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