Sunday, March 27, 2011

Baby Surprise Jacket

Pattern:  Baby Surprise Jacket (BSJ)
Yarn:  TLC Supersoft (but not sure as I lost the ball band
Needles:  Size 6
Skill Level:  Advanced Beginner
(Scroll down for more informative links.)

I have missed you, my loyal blogging friends.  You fed my knitting ego with your comments and I really appreciated it.  However, I needed a break for awhile and I am now back by popular demand to stay with my goal of at least one post per week.

I just finished teaching the BSJ class.  The BSJ, by Elizabeth Zimmermann a/k/a knitting guru, is a piece of knitted origami.  It can be a little confusing for a new knitter as the knitter is not aware if they are knitting a sleeve, a front or a back, etc. 

I've been teaching knitting for several years and this was probably the most challenging class I've taught for a variety of reasons.  It sold out so "the pie" was divided in many more sections.  The knitted piece looks like this just before folding so you can understand a student's apprehension.

Some of the skills learned in this class were different methods of increasing and decreasing and the finished appearance of each,    M1 (make one) versus K1FB (knit one in front and back) which creates increased and K2 tog (knit 2 together) versus sl1kpsso (slip 1, knit 1 and passover the slip stitch).

We planned on how to have the "applied I-cord bind-off" to start and end at the center back neck when the remaining live stitches begin at the top right, down and around the sweater and up the left side.  We didn't want the seam to be in the front, top-most corner which was likely going to happen without some modifications. 

Notice the special finish.  It's like graduating from grade school to high school (i.e. bind off to I-cord bind off).  A little more time-consuming, it is definitely worth the effort.

This YouTube link demonstrates beautifully how to turn the corner with a knitted I-cord bind-off.

Here is the link to the  "BSJ Spreadsheet" that I found extremely helpful and complimented the actual pattern very well.  Thank you to the creator.

 I added my personalized label to the lower inside front of the sweater so that it would not "scratch or itch" baby's neck. 
 (Note to self:  trim those threads...don't you hate it when you notice these things after you've taken the picture.)

Pattern can be found in the above and below-pictured books.  

Sweater is now folded and tucked away for a future, special baby!

I'm excited that I've been invited to teach at a weekend yoga/knitting retreat this September.  It is still in the planning stages so I'll provide you with more information in the near future.  However, I'll tease you with the fact that at this Vermont location there are beautiful small log cabins with 1-2 bedrooms, fireplaces, fantastic views and more.  A maximum of 20 registrants will be accepted.

Happy Knitting!


  1. YAY!!! So glad you are back now! Looking forward to seeing more posts from you.

  2. Nice BSJ. I heard a story the other day (but don't know how true it is) that the BSJ was an accident. When EZ was knitting something and it didn't turn out, she apparently flung it into a corner and 'tada' it landed in a way that gave EZ the idea for the BSJ. This may just be a made-up story, but it sounds good. Glad you are back in the blogging universe. Renate

  3. Welcome back, Joansie! I've missed your posts. Your Baby Surprise Jacket looks good and glad you had a filled class.

  4. Welcome back! You have the prettiest blog banner, by far!

  5. The sweater is darling, and it is SO good to see you back! :-)

    PS-I love that pink (moebius?) cowl in the lower right of your header. Is it from an available pattern?

  6. Thats right, back by popular demand !!! Yippee ! -- Your BSJ is adorable. I've had that in my que forever. One day... - That's a great label also.

  7. Welcome back!
    Teaching BSJ must have been fun - especially that magic moment when it's folded for the first time, and it all becomes Clear. 8)

  8. Welcome back!

    I've heard about that pattern for years and years and I'm not sure I ever saw an actual one knitted up. Thank you for satisfying my long-simmering curiosity!

  9. Hi Joansie. Glad to have you back. I have two knitters doing the BSJ for the first time. It can be a challenge to 'see' what is happening.

  10. Oh my gosh! I immediately jumped over here as soon as I saw your comment. We've really missed you! It's just wonderful to know you are back. Sometimes we all just need a rest. And, just blog when you can, no pressure.

    This little sweater is adorable. Lucky you teaching for the retreat...sounds perfect.

  11. Soooooooooo glad to see you blogging again. Last time I checked you had comments closed and it was your old post. I'll re-add you to my blog log. Thanks for the visits, on both traveling suitcase and Sandy's Space. Do blog about the cemetery, I find them fascinating.
    Glad you're teaching, wish I could be in your class. Great sweater

  12. i've always been intrigued by the BSJ, i think your lovely post has done it for me, i'm going to see if the library has the books and make one for my future niece/nephew!

  13. When you knit the BSJ, which are your preferred methods of INCs & DECs?