Sunday, April 29, 2007

Finished Object- Handspun Baby Surprise Jacket

The Facts:

Pattern: Baby Surprise Jacket from The Opinionated Knitter by Elizabeth Zimmermann
Yarn: My own worsted weight (12 wpi) handspun Merino wool, about 5.5 oz., 350 yards
Gauge: 5 sts. per inch
Size: 17.5" around, 17.5" cuff to cuff, so, taking into consideration the thickness of the fabric, to fit about a 6 month old baby according to standard sizing
Needles: size 5 Addi Turbo, 40" long
Buttons: cuties made from coconut (many thanks to the woman at Windsor Button who helped me yesterday)
Started: April 19, 2007
Finished: April 28, 2007, including most of the spinning (The dark brown was a leftover.)

See all BSJ posts for more info.
See my Flickr set for far too many photos of this, including yarn and fiber.

The Yarn:
I spun up three different colorways of Merino wool for this jacket, approx. 140 yards of green, 80 of blue, and 100 of the brown, and used all but a few yards of each. They're all 2 ply worsted spun from commercial top that I hand-dyed.

The Knitting:

I did what I was told. No mods, except the increases. I used my preferred method of picking up the strand between stitches and knitting into the back of it. I liked the way the decreases looked from the wrong side, so when I sewed the jacket up, I did so with the wrong side (well, there is no wrong side, but the side I didn't increase and decrease on) facing out.

From this view, you can see the cast on edge across the bottom.

Here it is flipped over, with the cast off edge at the bottom.

Starting to inch things into position.

Folded and ready to seam.

I was taken by surprise by how thick the fabric is. It's also super cushy, as the yarn is already bouncy and lush and adding garter stitch to that makes it feel beyond wonderful.

I seamed this with backstitch from the inside, after a couple of failed attempts to crochet and knit it together. I just didn't like the results from those methods. The result from the back stitch is clean and makes a nice strong seam.

When I picked up along those 10 lengthening ridges, from the right side I picked up the front half of the edge stitch, twisting it as I knit it. When I picked up from the wrong side on the next row, I picked up the back strand of the edge stitch and twisted it. The resulting stitches look the same in the right side of the work.

I didn't do any edgings. With this particular yarn, which has a rustic, organic feel, I thought plain was best. I love the i-cord edgings I see on some. Next time.


  • this one is so gorgeous. for me it really takes the prize of all the many i have seen and knit. the colourway is fab. the fabric too. it grasps the whole idea of the bsj. and everytime i see the construction it amazes me more. how on earth (well it says how in the opinionated knitter) did she get that idea. yes with that gauge it will be for a 6 month old. or a very well fed 4 months old. your wool would be lovely for a tomten as well. i would love to knit one in that wool.

    By Blogger knititch, at 12:46 PM  

  • Done! and gorgeous. I love your version. Such a fun knit, isn't it? I feel like doing my second soon...

    By Blogger filambulle, at 1:03 PM  

  • Nice job! It looks great.

    By Blogger gocce & knitting, at 1:33 PM  

  • I totally agree with knititch.

    That BSJ is the best I've seen. The way the yarn takes to the pattern is a perfect match. It blends so the garter isn't so apparent or something.

    Really lovely work and thanks for photos of the 'magic'.

    By Blogger Lynn, at 1:34 PM  

  • Beautiful!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:30 PM  

  • Gorgeous!! You did a wonderful job. One of the nicest BSJs I've seen!!

    By Anonymous kathy in juneau, at 5:39 PM  

  • That is beautiful. I really love the colors and on your own handspun too!?!

    By Anonymous tiennie, at 8:04 PM  

  • I love the colors and textures of that yarn! Beautiful BSJ!

    By Blogger Violiknit, at 8:26 PM  

  • Wow - this one is TRULY home made! Well done you, the wool looks fantastic!

    By Blogger Tina - omme i London, at 12:51 AM  

  • this truly is a gorgeous jacket, I love the way your yarn looks...makes me want to knit another right now!!

    By Blogger picperfic, at 5:24 AM  

  • I looked at it and said "ooo... what's that yarn?!" beautiful spinning and a lovely little jacket!

    By Blogger Eudyptes, at 5:32 AM  

  • Your handknit, handspun BSJ( beyond doubt),one of the best I have ever seen!
    I have been toying with the idea of hand dyeing my own yarn ~but now I think I will have to give it a go~ I don't know WHERE you would even see such colors like this!
    What an amazing jacket !!

    By Blogger luv2knit, at 6:48 AM  

  • Thank for posting the way its construction evolves (in the folding process)-- What an appropriately named project-- quite a surprise, indeed!

    As everyone else here ahs already said, the yarn it beautiful and really creates a stunning effect!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:30 AM  

  • Thanks, everyone! I hope I've inspired someone to knit this little jacket, just as I was inspired by the ones before me on this blog.

    By Anonymous Adrian, at 2:43 PM  

  • Thank you for the pictures__I want to make my first BSJ and it's helpful to see how I need to fold it, especially with variegated yarn!

    By Blogger the_crocheter, at 4:04 PM  

  • I think your handspun/dyed makes this the nicest BSJ I have ever seen. Sigh. Truly gorgeous.

    By Blogger Longhorn Diva, at 4:07 PM  

  • I love love love the colors!

    By Blogger Khadijha Caitlin, at 6:08 AM  

  • I will join the general chorus here thanking you for showing the folding process. I would probably have been able to figure it out eventually, but it is really good to see how it works.


    By Blogger datatech57, at 7:48 AM  

  • thanks for share.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:16 PM  

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