Baby Surprise Jacket

Since I first read about Elizabeth Zimmermanns Baby Surprise Jacket I have very very much wanted to make one.  It sounds absolutely brilliant.  You make only knit stitches, plus increases and decreases, and when you fold it all up, you get a sweater!  I searched and searched for a free copy of the pattern, being that I can be a cheap bastard of a knitter.  When my knitting group in town suggested a KAL I immediately recommended the BSJ.  Luckily, one of our members has two of Elizabeth’s books and was kind enough to lend me one, so that I may make a copy.  That was 2 Saturdays ago, and the book has languished in my purse neglected, but not nearly as neglected as the knitting, which was ripped out twice before I even left the knitting group 2 weeks ago.  Sadly, Elizabeth writes patterns and notes that are about as clear as what I put when I’m writing my notes, before I make y’all a finished pattern.

So, if you have a copy of the BSJ and like me, are easily confused I have a present for you………ok, its actually just a link.  But look! Some kindly knitter by the name of Dawn Adcock has written notes to accompany the BSJ pattern.  Hooray for Baby Surprise Sweater Notes .  My love and knitterly affection goes out to her for writing these notes to help us all.

This morning I took out  the knitting and book, realizing earlier this week that I had once again putzed up the damn thing and ripped it out again for a third time.  i am hoping to have it back to where it was when i left the group so they need be none the wiser about my loathing of reading directions all the way through.  As such, no pictures for you.  Sorry.  I have yarn strewn all over my floor and even the pup isn’t interested in playing with it at this point.


10 thoughts on “Baby Surprise Jacket

  1. Autumn,
    You post today is exactly why I read knitting blogs (of course the chihuahua is what got me to yours). You are not alone. I do more frogging than knitting at times! I frogged a hat today that I’d put several hours into (the ridged helmet hat from the free interweave press patterns). I put several inchies of it on some waste yarn and it was HUGE.

    I’ve had to adjust needle sizes or adjust patterns to fit my pinhead. I kept trying to knit this Rowan Chunky Print that I had. I tore apart a complete hat I’d just finished (I said to myself, nah, you’ll never wear this, it looks like a mushroom on your head). I tried to make the pattern smaller (this time putting a few inches worth of hat on waste yarn) and ended up frogging again. I also make a lot of free patterns and found “An Unoriginal Hat” on the yarn harlot blog, and it was brilliant! I used smaller yarn (the chunky, rather than the bulky the pattern called for) and size 10.5 US Needles and I love the hat. It has some pretty neat cables — I’m going to make one in another color as well.

    Back to the ridged helmet hat — I bit the bullet and deconstructed the pattern and figured out how to make the hat smaller so I will try again. Hopefully this deconstruction formula will work with other hat patterns because they are generally too large for my head.



  2. THANK YOU! Thank you SO MUCH! I also thank Google for allowing me to do searches like “help with BSJ pattern”, which allowed me to find you! I have been sitting here for the past three evenings, reading, and Re-reading, and RE READING this pattern. I ripped it out the first night, I almost ripped it last night but I finally figured out her “stitch building” terminology. And then I almost ripped it out tonight when I got to the “at 5 ridges, inc 9 stitches …” part. It all came to a screeching halt. The ONLY thing that saved me is your post, and your link to the BSJ sweater notes! I also find it kind of Karmic that I started the sweater on the night that you posted about the BSJ! Please keep us posted on your progress, because now you know that there are others out there, like you, trying to wade their way through this! 🙂

  3. I have a new grandson & would love to knit the baby surprise jacket for him. I will have to get the pattern, were can you get it at? I absolutely love the color of yarn you choose for your baby surprise jacket. What is the brand of yarn & what is the color name, if you don’t mind me asking.

  4. i’m looking for a downloadable version of the pattern, do you know where I can find it? I promised a friend that I would knit this for her daughter and i can’t find the pattern anywhere!!! please help…

  5. So, did anyone find a downloadable version of the baby surprise jacket? I’ve printed out the notes and want to double check the copy of the pattern that I already have.

  6. knitted about 20 dble rows (garter stitch) and have stopped at that 22 R (90) stitch explanation that is driving me BUGGY!
    This mag came out in 1989, I had a subsc. to it. (Like most, I KEEP, store, rarely dust ALL mags that has patterns in them. Same for Handwoven mags where I used to advertise when I owned a retail shop that I closed up in 1990.
    Now I’m just a 73 yr. old person who doesn’t go out anywhere, does genealogy (have 17,743 individuals in my own Family Tree Maker but I TOO WISH TO HAVE THAT PATTERN SPELLED OUT IN better DETAIL. I have printed out the one on this website, so I’ll get back to it tomorrow.
    Nice to meet all of you!

  7. has anyone got the pattern
    for Elizabeth Zimmermans Baby Surprize Jacket? I have all the instructions but no pattern. Even cannot find the book in the library. Would really appreciate the pattern

    • I had a difficult time finding the pattern too. It isn’t for free anywhere. I ended up borrowing a copy of “The Knitter’s Almanac” from a woman in my knitting group, as there is a copy of the BSJ in there. You can also find the pattern on the schoolhousepress website. Look through the “Spun Out” magazine section, it’s an old magazine Elizabeth Zimmermann used to send out, and you can order a reproduction of that issue to get the pattern.

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