Tag Archives: baby surprise jacket

Baby Surprise, right on time

Remember the Baby Surprise Jacket I was knitting last fall? I was knitting with my friend Kerri’s handspun, for a surprise gift for a mutual friend. When I sent it back, she took it to the NY Sheep and Wool Festival (Rhinebeck!) with a third crafty friend, Bernard, to choose buttons. You can see the backstory here (and progress pics).

Kerri lives in Massachusetts, so the BSJ has been across the country twice. The baby recipient lives in Canada, so now it’s an international knit! And apparently said baby arrived on the same day that the BSJ was delivered to his home. His mom sent a picture.

Kerri knit a hat with the leftover yarn I sent back. It fits big sister perfectly. What a fun gift project!

bsj update

Last weekend I was over in Sisters again, this time with some of the Day Old Pastries for a music retreat. It was really nice to take some time for music. I played more over the weekend than I had in all of September!

While I was there, I finished knitting the body of the Baby Surprise Jacket.

garter

I love this yarn. My friend Kerri spun it up. It’s Blue Faced Leicester, Crayon colorway from Gale’s Art (etsy link).

bfl pdx

amoeba

Doesn’t look much like a jacket, though, does it? But a quick fold yields this:

folded

Elizabeth Zimmermann was an absolute genius. It’s like knitted origami. I added a collar, according to instructions in the BSJ dvd from Schoolhouse Press. (I highly recommend this dvd and instruction set. My instructions in an old Knitters’ magazine were quite cryptic.) I picked up the stitches for the collar from the inside of the jacket so the pickup would be hidden under the collar turn. You could do it either way.

collar

front

back

All in all, a cute knit. Now it just needs some buttons…

While I was in Sisters, I made wonton soup for the Pastries. They wanted a recipe, so here it is.

wonton soup

Wonton Soup

¼ lb peeled deveined shrimp, (frozen thawed is fine, and size doesn’t matter since it will be ground)
¼ lb ground turkey breast
6 medium to large shiitake mushrooms (3 for filling and 3 sliced for soup)
1 can sliced water chestnuts (half for filling and half to go in soup)
1 stalk green onion
3 to 6 stalks bok choy (half goes into filling; other half goes into soup) I like baby or shanghai bok choy. If you use the smaller bok choy, 6 stalks; if you use the really big long stuff, 3 is plenty)
snow pea pods, amount of your choosing

1 egg
¼ tsp five spice powder
½ Tablespoon oyster sauce

1 package wonton wrappers
1 48 oz box reduced sodium chicken broth
2 cups water

Start your broth, water, 3 sliced mushrooms in a large soup pot. This can heat while you prepare wontons; when it boils bring it down to a simmer.

I have a small food processor, so I chop things sequentially. This also lets me avoid chopping the vegetables too finely; we want some crunch!

Chop and place into a large bowl: the shrimp, turkey (already ground), 3 mushrooms, ½ can water chestnuts, half the bok choy, green onion. Combine eggs, 5 spice, and oyster sauce and add to bowl, Mix all ingredients well. (does it need a little more 5 spice? give it a sniff; it should smell divine. I tried to measure but had to guess because at first I had too much in my measuring spoon)

Fold wontons! I put a little less than a tablespoon of filling in each wonton. Fold on the diagonal, then use the back of your spoon to put a dab on the fold next to right side of the filling (on the outside), give a little twist and fold to bring the underside of the left side of the filling mound to the dab on the of the right side of the filling mound. Sounds confusing, I know. You can google it, but my way is different than the ones I found there. They all work.

Bring broth back to a boil. Add wontons and remaining water chestnuts. Cook for 4 minutes, reducing heat to medium when soup begins to boil again (don’t want to jostle the wontons too much and have them fall apart!). After 4 minutes, add the remaining bok choy (sliced in 1 inch pieces on the diagonal) and pea pods. If you have extra shrimp, now is the time to put them in the soup, too. Stir occasionally to get the vegetables down into the soup. Soup is ready in about 3 more minutes. Don’t overcook; it gets sloppy!

If this is more food than you need, you can store the extra filling in the fridge for a couple days, and make fresh wontons again.

EZ group project

EZ, as in Elizabeth Zimmermann, rather than easy. Although the knitting *is* pretty easy on this. I think every knitter should read at least one book by Elizabeth Zimmermann. I have Knitting Without Tears and Knitter’s Almanac. Reading these books is like having a favorite aunt chat me through knitting projects.

My friend K recently asked me if I would knit a Baby Surprise Jacket if she spun the yarn for it. Elizabeth Zimmermann’s BSJ is a classic in the knitting world. I knew I’d have to knit one at some point in my knitting career. This one is for a mutual friend. What a cool idea! And another friend is on button duty, so this is truly a group project.

pattern

K sent me four balls of pretty handspun. The colorway is Crayon. It turns out that the fiber was from two dye lots, so there are two balls of predominantly blue yarn, and two of a pinker hue. I’ve decided to alternate knitting from the two dye lots; I’m swapping after every six rows (three garter ridges).

yarn

I cast on for this last weekend at Black Butte. I’m using the sample Lantern Moon interchangeable needles. I cast on with the rosewood tips, and after a couple rows I decided that I really wanted to try the ebony tips. It’s easy to change tips in the middle of a project. But there was only one ebony tip in the size I needed (the sample case had been raided), so here’s what I’m working with now.

tips

I like them both, but I prefer the ebony. The rosewood tips feel a little pointier to me than the ebony tips; I prefer a more rounded tip. Now to settle in to knitting!