Summer of Babies

I feel like I have been knitting for babies non-stop this summer!

Gender-Neutral BSJ [flickr]

I finished another wonderful Baby Surprise Jacket. I thought it would be a little less amazing the second time — but no, I was just as amazed as the first time at how this weird-looking mostly-flat piece of garter stitch fabric becomes such a cool-looking baby sweater.

Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann. This is published a number of places; I used The Opinionated Knitter. [ravel it]

Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock Heavyweight in Farmhouse for the main body (1 hank), STR Heavyweight in 24 Karat for the i-cord trim (I only used a few yards).

Knit Picks US6 nickel-plated Options

Started – Finished:
2 June 2008 – 28 July 2008

3-6 month, I guess

Ravelry Project Notes:


Like my last BSJ, I decided that I prefer the sleeves to stay the same width rather than blouse out from the wrist. So rather than working the initial increases for the arms, I cast on the extra stitches initially and moved the stitch markers in as JulieFrick details here.

My first BSJ had a neck opening that I felt was too small. It worked out just fine on my niece but I don’t think she ever wore the BSJ closed. I decided that I would widen the neckline on this version a bit. After you bind off the stitches that become the notch where the neck is, I worked a few decreases — 3 per side — and that widened the neckline quite a bit more.

The other mod I made was to use the i-cord bind off again. I really like how it looks to have a mostly solid i-cord bind off on a very variegated sweater body. I knit the final two rows in yellow. On the second row, I decided to bind off 2 stitches in the five places I wanted buttonholes. At the turn, I cast on 3 stitches using the backwards loop cast-on and worked the i-cord bind off around. At the 5 sections where I had bound off stitches for buttonholes, I worked 3 rows of plain i-cord. This gave me neat i-cord buttonholes.

I found buttons at Michaels (surprisingly) and attached 4. Due to the “diaper fullness,” the bottom of the BSJ flares out and I didn’t like how the fifth button looked. I sewed up the fifth buttonhole, but I really dislike even numbers of buttons! I may take my mom’s suggestion and attach the fifth button for purely cosmetic/aesthetic reasons.

I love the BSJ [flickr]

I hope this is sufficiently gender-neutral and not too crazy. DH said it “looks like 70s carpeting.” The better to soak up spit-up with, my dear. I really hope the recipient likes it! I also plan to knit a hat to go along with it.

[Admin: I upgraded wordpress and the database schema last night. I had to do some tweaking to fix everything -- please let me know if you notice anything awry. Thanks!]

9 Comments so far

  1. stacey on July 30th, 2008

    it is so cute! the colors are nice and bright and busy – perfect for babies!

  2. Julie on July 30th, 2008

    Argh. This is still on my list of to-dos. Beautiful. I’m going to have to start one soon.

  3. Holly Jo on July 31st, 2008

    Turned out great. I love the edging – very nice touch. As a momma of two boys, the colors are fine to me, and I would have been thrilled to put my boys in such a nice sweater. Besides, the baby won’t care. :)

  4. gleek on July 31st, 2008

    i know! lots of babies around here too. i’ve had to resort to lots of bought gifts this time around.

  5. karin on July 31st, 2008

    I love this new version! I do think you were wise to adjust the neck. BTW, little Ms. N did wear it closed a couple of times, just not when you saw her…and when she was smaller, the neck fit surprisingly well. :)

  6. rose on August 6th, 2008

    beautiful color, and absolutely lovely trim.

  7. Laura Neal on August 9th, 2008

    That is one striking cardi! Very nice and the great part, no one will have another like it!

  8. [...] with some of my leftover Socks That Rock Heavyweight in 24 Karat. It was the i-cord trim on the BSJ I knit for my friend M+R’s new baby, Veronica Marie (congratulations!). I had plenty of yellow left over and I knew I wanted to make a [...]

  9. [...] just had their second child, another gorgeous little girl. I knit her older sister Veronica a Baby Surprise Jacket just before she was born almost two years ago, so I felt Heidi needed a cardigan as [...]