Baby Surprise Jacket

I love this pattern; it’s pure genius. It makes me smile when my English knitting friend calls it a matinée jacket. Oh, and Steve the Cat who adopted us last week!

That is really cute. where did you find the jacket pattern? (Pretty Steve, too)

The jacket is gorgeous and so is Steve (well I think Steve would prefer handsome) He looks a lot like our Butterscotch that we had to put down last month. I still miss him so much.

Wow that is beautiful!

Very pretty!! Cute cat too!

Great job! It looks wonderful! (and so does Steve!)

What a lovely jacket but most of all what a handsome cat . He is adorable :slight_smile:

The pattern is one of Elizabeth Zimmermann’s creations…
it’s really neat bec. you knit it one piece & it looks like a blob, but then you fold it & seam it & voila! a baby jacket!
Her dtr. runs the business here:
and you can order the leaflet with just the pattern (#1B)
it’s found in [U]The Opinionated Knitter [/U] as well as
[U]Knitting Workshop[/U]
Karen G
(a big fan of Eliz. Zimmermann’s work)

That came out so cute! Love the edging on the sleeves! :inlove: And Steve is adorable!

I have two people with new babies to knit for and I want to make one of them the BSS. THe pattern says that the gauge is 6 sts per inch. I wanted to use a worsted weight yarn but how do I get that gauge with say Encore or Caron Simply Soft? I’d have to use a size 2 needle or something to get that gauge! What gauge did you get?

That sweater is so adorable, does it come in toddler sizing? The colors you chose are perfect!

Steve the Cat, being a Marmalade male, would naturally choose a home befitting his regal appearance and stately posturing. He’s a keeper, for sure.

Found a blog where she demos folding up the sweater after it’s finished:

You can actually use various yarn & needle sizes to adjust the finished garment size from newborn to toddler, I believe…
there is also an adult pattern that is sold separately from the baby one…
Karen G.

Lori and Deb - Unless you are some sort of math wizard the only way to size the pattern is with needle size and yarn weight. I made worsted weight one and it ended up big enough to probably fit a 2 yr old.

If you truly want a newborn size, Lori, the best way to do it is to use a finer yarn. Even a smaller needle won’t make it that small and would probably just make the garment stiff I suggest trying a sport weight or baby yarn.

OH and do check Ravelry. If you put in Baby Surprise Jacket and then newborn on the projects page you might be able to find some that people consider newborn size and see what they used. :thumbsup:

Thank you for such complete information. One of these days I’ll have the Zimmermann books!

What a cute BSJ :thumbsup:

The Baby Surprise Jacket is unusual in that the instructions are the same no matter what type of yarn you use - same stitch numbers, etc. The way to get different sizes is to use thicker or thinner yarn.

I’d never recommend using a different sized needle to get a certain tension with the yarn you’re using. The best and correct tension for a yarn is the one recommended by the manufacturer. So the best idea is to knit a swatch in stockinette with your chosen yarn, make sure your tension is as recommended on the ball band, and then knit the jacket with those needles. Change yarn for a different size in this jacket, not needles.

I’ve recently knitted a Baby Surprise Jacket using Plymouth Encore Colorspun and mine is about 6-9 month size. Another one, knitted with a DK wool (tension 22sts to 10cm), is about 3-6 month size, and I’ve also knitted one in Peter Pan Softblend DK baby yarn, which is newborn size. The recommended tension, over stockinette stitch, for the Peter Pan is 24sts to 10cm (4 inches).

So for a newborn size, a yarn that knits to 24sts tension would probably be the one to go for. A soft yarn is best, as this jacket, being all garter stitch, is quite thick.

I bought my pattern from Schoolhouse Press and also googled “Baby Surprise notes” to find some very helpful notes by Dawn Adcock, which you use in conjunction with your pattern. The pattern itself is more like a few jottings, not a regular pattern, and those notes are invaluable.

For a newborn, I think a slightly shorter jacket is better. You can find info on this modification and others - such as lengthening the sleeves - by doing a Google search.

I also joined a yahoo group called Knittingbabysurprise - lots of help there, and files with notes from previous knitalongs. There are also many photos of Baby Surprise jackets on

DOH! I didn’t even think of Ravelry. I’m on my way!

What a fun little jacket. Luv it!

Our little ‘Orange Julius Snicker-fritz’ would like to grow up to be just like Steve.

Awww. So sorry to hear about Butterscotch.

I used worsted weight yarn on this one with, I think, size 7 needles. It did turn out bigger than one I knit with DK yarn and 6s. I’d say this one is more like a toddler size. I don’t worry about gauge with baby stuff because a kid can always grow into it. The pattern is fun to knit although EZ does leave you hanging for instructions more than once. When you knit it, just remember to keep doing the thing you are doing (increasing/decreasing) while she has you do something else (adding stitches). She doesn’t spoon feed the knitter. Keep looking at the drawing, too, so that you can see how the increases and decreases continue. Good luck!