Knit On

I’m watching something unfold. I’m watching something odd and mysterious slip from my needles. It started out looking like this.

Baby Surprise Jacket - beginning

The shape is sort of taking form. Or at least I think it is but then just as I imagine I’ve worked it out what I’m doing, I spread the fabric out in front of me and realise I know nothing.

Baby Surprise Jacket

Not for nothing is this pattern called the Baby Surprise Jacket. It’s completely surprising! It could easily have been called something like ‘Totally Mystifying Shapeless Thing Becomes a Jacket’ or some such. I’ve never made anything like it. I feel as if I’m one of the few remaining knitters in the world to knit this, at least among those who know of Elizabeth Zimmermann. So many have done it and so many have done amazing things with the stripes. I’m hoping mine look as good as lots of the examples I’ve seen. I’m using up some now ancient Bendigo Woollen Mills Colonial.

I just love knitting that’s an absolute act of faith. The instructions for the jacket even urge you not to rip it out if you think it looks nothing like a baby jacket. Just knit on. All will be revealed.

It’s fair to say the baby boy I’m making this for, a boy who is merely days old, isn’t desperate for this right now, but I’m desperate to see how it comes into being.

Just keep on knitting. That’s what I have to do.



24 thoughts on “Knit On

  1. yes, i loved the puzzle of knitting this too, the blind faith as you call it of just following the instructions, and the amazed delight when it worked! can’t wait to see how yours plays out with those great bold stripes!

  2. Love the colors you’re using for this sweater! I made one of these. I have to admit I hated knitting it but I did love the magic of an origami sweater.

  3. Never fear, you’re not the last to make the Baby Surprise Jacket… I’ve not made one (yet?). It does look like fun though. Garter stitch, stripes, what’s not to love?

  4. I have made several of these….the first one was a bit of a puzzle and I struggled with the directions and the counting but now I love the simplicity and cleverness of the design. Trust me, you’ll be hooked once you finish it.
    I bought EZ’s DVDs and they help a lot to explain her methods and her way of thinking. Maybe your local lending library can get them for you.

  5. A friend of mine brought in one knit up but not put together, and let us fiddle with it and try to figure it out. It made sense to me, maybe because I fold origami? It’s such a cool magic shape!

  6. LOL: ‘Totally Mystifying Shapeless Thing Becomes a Jacket’ ! I just love that name. I am quite afraid of this pattern. I’ll be watching to see how yours comes out!

  7. You must knit another one soon after this. Then the wonder really starts – you can see how each element unfolds with just increases and decreases. I have knit several and I am still always surprised!

  8. I was not mentally strong enough to endure the leap of faith system. Along the way, I was plagued by doubt, and self-doubt – perhaps I shouldn’t have used a different gauge yarn! What if I made a mistake along the way? What if there’s an error in the pattern? etc. – and mine now lays in a heap in a corner, finished but still… not.

    I’m sure yours will turn out though. I love the striping!

  9. I think it is magic, like turning a heel. I’ve never knitted one so I still think it is magic. I can’t wait till you show us the finished item!!

  10. We had a striped one on the Knitters’ Guild stand at the craft show in March – it was already made up and received lots of attention. I suggested that next time we have one knitted but not constructed and offer people a chance to “play”!

    Have fun.

  11. I haven’t made one either. I’m always surprised that the amorphous thing on the needels becomes a lovely little jacket. I am not EZ”s number one fan (she is too loose with the instructions for me) but I do recognize her absolute genius.

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