Knitting a Lasting BSJ (Baby Surprise Jacket)

I love knitting items for children because they are fairly quick knits, use a reasonable amount of yarn, and tend to get worn A LOT because parents always think kids need another layer of warmth. My friend Marseille likes knitting for her nieces and nephew too as you may have noticed from previous posts about her FOs. I just can’t help but admire her stitchwork and the patterns she chooses because each project has its own personality and style, but perfectly suits the wearer. Sometimes it isn’t the pattern that has the personality, but the finishing touches or yarn combination. Such is the case with these two classic Baby Surprise Jackets (BSJ) she knit. One she embellished with simple flowers, while the other she chose a two-colour combination that is eternally cheerful. It all started with the pattern for the Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann from Schoolhouse Press Patterns #5, A-B-C-SJ (Adult, Baby, Child’s Surprise Jacket).

The first BSJ she knit for her niece was created with an orange tweed J&P Coats Royale Quick Crochet Thread she found on the clearance shelf at Michael’s.


The knitting itself was straight-forward and classic, since it WAS a BSJ. She sewed on the pale yellow buttons in summer 2009 and two-and-a-half years later, her niece was still able to wear it!


But the embellishment is what is most striking about this classic cardigan. Let’s take a closer look. The thread picks up on the colors in the tweed itself for a vibrant and cheerful result.



The second BSJ she knit for her niece was created with two different colorways of the same yarn and some brilliant purple buttons. She used Baby Bee Hushabye Ombre in Rainbow (two skeins) and Baby Bee Hushabye Solid in Sage Green (one skein). Three skeins total, plus five buttons. 


Let’s take a closer look at the buttons which she said her niece LOVES.


Marseille explained that “The yarn is nice to work with–acrylic/cotton blend. I think it’s more a bulky or a heavy worsted than a worsted, however. I’m working it on size 9 needles, and could probably even go up a size. It’s making a huge BSJ, way bigger than the ones I’ve made with worsted yarns like Cotton-Ease and similar acrylic/cotton blends. I think it’ll fit a 2-3-year-old with room to spare.”


One more look…


What is your favorite way to make a BSJ unique?

One comment

  1. Marny CA says:

    Keeping you in my prayers!

    I purchased EZ’s books – feels like all of them!

    But have only looked at them – did not make anything. However, the instructions for the BSJ seemed difficult.

    I like it so much – and should just jump in and give it a try.

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