Latest Finished Project — Baby Surprise Jacket

The first project out of Elizabeth Zimmermann’s The Opinionated Knitter is the awesome and ingenious Baby Surprise Jacket.

I read and re-read the pattern about 5 times, before deciding to dive right into it, still without the slightest clue on how it’ll turn out.  The pattern was written in late 60’s, I thought, and it’s insanely popular, so it must work.  (Or so the thinking went.)  I had 2 skeins of each colour left over from the OpArt blanket (which I initially planned to be knitted into the larger size, but subsequently decided against), which should be enough.  (Or again, so I thought.)

Well, everything turned out OK — I had enough yarn, and the pattern certainly didn’t disappoint.  Here is what the project look like when I finished binding off:


See what I mean by ingenious?  It was knitted in one piece and didn’t resemble a human-wearable garment!  (One guess I received on Facebook was “jacket for pet.”)  

And here it is, after I sewed the two shoulder seams:



I was watching TV with Daniel when I bound it off.  I had already told him this project was supposed to be a baby jacket, but when he saw this “thing,” he was like “what the heck is it?”  When I folded it up properly, he was amazed, “you’re CRAZY!”  I promptly give proper credit to the pattern, since I couldn’t have come up with a design like this.

Almost as always, I made a few “modifications” to the pattern.  First, I didn’t do any cuff shaping.  That was totally the cuffs were knitted in the beginning of the project, when I couldn’t see how it would pan out.

The other change I made was the buttons and button holes.  The pattern called for 5 button holes, but I was slightly lazy and thought 4 would be OK.  In the end, I agree it should be 5, and should be spaced out better–to my dismay, the top button isn’t closed enough to the neck.

For the buttons, I decided to use knitted bobbles as buttons for safety reasons.  (I’m quite paranoid about choking hazards when it comes to baby garments.  Especially when it’s a gift.)


It wasn’t until about an inch after the neck shaping was done that I was finally able to visualize the finished product.  From there on, the knitting itself became automatic, but my mind was already thinking about different ways of knitting it.  (What if I knit it from the bottom up?  From side to side?  What type of embellishments and edgings would look great?  Can I use something other than garter stitch?  What about colour?)

Alas, time was tight–my target is to have 2 jackets done by Sunday, and I only finished the first one on Wednesday night.  Without fail, I immediately casted on the stitches for the next one.  (Daniel’s response was, “you’re knitting again?”  He didn’t know about my plan.)  I’m about 1/3 done now, and I have yet to decide on what customizations to make.  Hopefully I will finish it in time!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s