The past couple years I have observed little Baby Surprise Jackets popping up all over knitting blogland. I wasn't particulary enamored with the pattern. I thought it looked rather plain. But then when I read repeated posts boasting of the ingenuity of the pattern and noticed that knitting only ONE Baby Surprise Jacket didn't seem to quench the knitting appetite of the blogger ...... well, I decided to see what all the hype was about.
The pattern was designed by Elizabeth Zimmermann in 1968 as she anticipated her first grandchild, Cully. I really do think it is true that it has taken on almost legendary status. On Ravelry it is the most popular baby pattern and the current tally there is 3,978. And, upon my completion the number is 3,979!
Being a creation of Elizabeth Zimmermann's, it is indeed ingenious! I am filled with admiration and respect for the genius that went into this creation. She is brilliant and I confess that I am now a Zimmermaniac. In Elizabeth's own words, "I call it the 'Surprise Jacket' because it looks like nothing on earth when you have finished knitting it." Although I took no photograph of this knitting blob, I can assure you it is true. In fact, if I had not been using the Baby Surprise Jacket DVD as my tutorial, I'm not sure I would have been able to put it into its little jacket state.
Pattern: Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport (Lake Huron)
Needles: 5.0 mm Inox Circular
BTW, Meg Swanson does an excellent job walking the knitter through the knitting and construction of this little jacket. I highly recommend purchasing this DVD. It includes Meg's own fabulous tidbits and some other variations of the jacket which you will be seeing on my blog in the future. What's that? Yep, ONE Baby Surprise Jacket is not going to be enough for me either! Bring on the babies!