New Knitting Project: Circular Stranded Baby Surprise Jacket

March 21, 2013By

I continue to slowly but surely feel better and better every day. It had been almost two months since I had the energy or desire to do any crafty handiwork. When I had the desire to knit something, I knew I was on the mend.

A little over a week ago, Franklin at The Panopticon tweeted about a new pattern from Schoolhouse Press. Cully Swansen had adapted his grandmother’s (namely, knitting legend Elizabeth Zimmermann’s) Baby Surprise Jacket, making it circular and adding stranded colorwork. Here’s the link for the pattern page - isn’t it amazing?

For those who don’t know what the Baby Surprise Jacket is – it’s a knitting pattern that basically has you knit a weird blob of fabric, then a couple of quick folds and short seams gives you a jacket that looks like this:

Baby Surprise Jacket
I knit one a couple of years ago – here’s the post about it.

Seeing the new pattern with stranded colorwork really spoke to me. I love learning a new technique. I love creating something that’s a little challenging and difficult. Plus, it’s a baby jacket, so while the gratification wouldn’t be instant, it would be close at hand. So I ordered the pattern. Then I ordered some yarn. Then I waited for them both to arrive.

By the time they both got here, I was ready. I felt rested enough that I could focus on a pattern and have the urge to knit it well. After weeks and weeks of feeling unfocused and fuzzy and just plain awful, this felt amazing. I chose happy colors (Cascade 220 in Rouge Red and White), and got started. Then I realized I’d chosen the wrong sized needles, so I got started again.

Here’s where I am today:

New Project!


Seven rows in, and it’s looking pretty good!

New Project!

Shaping! With colorwork! This is fun.

New Project!

This is the first pattern I’ve ever made that has steek stitches. I’m beyond thrilled about this.

I expect this will take me a few weeks to finish, even if it is just a baby jacket. But I’m fine with that. It just feels good to have some wool in my hands again.


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Comments (5)

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  1. I’ve never steeked anything but I would be excited to try. I love the BSJ and have made several. I like the idea of making it into a stranded garment, especially for the colder months. I may have to look into making one for my niece and nephew. If start now they may be done by Autumn!

  2. jules says:

    The jacket looks great! I’m glad to hear you are feeling better. Did you know Kate Atkinson is releasing a new book next week? Yes, I am the lurker who commented on your Case Histories post a few years ago. : )

  3. Dear Susan,
    Your sweater looks great – nice job with the photos. I’m so glad you are inspired. Looking forward to seeing it completed.
    Good knitting,

  4. katie says:

    Susan- it looks fantastic. I know it’s something so minor, but the normal, the everyday things make life easier. So take your time knitting this and enjoy it. And in the process, know that so many people love you and are cheering you on.
    Especially me.

  5. Lucia says:

    Oh, so beautiful! I’ve never heard of steek stitches, will have to look that up! And, so happy to hear you are feeling well enough to want to knit! Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers :)