EZ’s Baby Surprise Jacket modified for crochet

EZ’s Baby Surprise Jacket modified for crochet

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ch: chain
sc: Single crochet (US terminology)
sc3tog: single crochet 3 together (used for decrease, explained below)
sk: skip (leave unworked)
st: stitch
yo: yarn over the hook
I made my prototype BSJ with a baby weight acrylic yarn. It is my suspicion that you could use any yarn that gives you what I’d like to call a “square gauge”. That is, your swatch must give you N sc x N rows = 1″. So you can use whatever yarn and hook gives you those numbers. I am no designer, so I hope this works for you.

Since the single crochet stitch is squarer than the garter stitch which Ms Zimmermann uses, we are using James G Davis’ stockinette version as our basis for the crochet BSJ. The shaping (increase/decrease) is therefore distributed over 4 rows, the first 3 of which make changes, while the 4th is worked even (1 sc in each st).

For decreasing, I’ve used sc3tog, which is worked as:  (hook through next st, yo and pull loop through) 3 times, yo and pull through all four loops on hook (2 stitches decreased).

For increasing just do 3 scs in one stitch.

When increasing/decreasing, remember to place the 3sc in one/sc3tog in the increase/decrease stitch of the previous row. If the previous row was worked even, then your shaping will be placed into the sc immediately above the increase/decrease in the row below it. You could use a spare bit of contrasting yarn to mark your shaping points if it will make it easier to spot them. Going into the exact stitch is important if you don’t want a misshapen end result!

With the hook and yarn appropriate for the size you want to make, chain the number of stitches EZ asks you to cast on, plus 1.

Decrease section
Pattern rows – Decrease:
Row 1 Work even, turn
Rows 2-4 ch 1, work number of stitches specified in pattern, sc3tog, work middle section over number of sts specified in pattern, sc3tog, sc to end, turn

Rows 1-4 Work Pattern Rows 1-4 once
Rows 5-6 Repeat Pattern Rows 1-2, working Row 7 as follows.
Row 7 (2 sc, sc2 in next st) 9 times, 3 sc, sc3tog, work middle section, sc3tog, (2 sc, sc2 in next st) 9 times, turn (for the flare in the sleeves)
Row 8 Repeat Row 4

Repeat Decrease Rows 1-4 until you have the number of stitches at which you must begin to increase.

Increase section
Pattern rows – Increase
Rows 1-3 Ch 1, sc upto the the stitch which was your last decrease stitch (if your last row was an evenly-worked row, this will be the stitch worked into the previous row’s sc3tog), 3sc in next st, work even up to next decrease, 3sc in next st, sc to end, turn.
Row 4 Work even (ch 1, sc in each st to end).

Work Increase Rows 1-4 until you have the number of stitches at which you need to make the back flare. Work the next row as follows:

Back flare row Ch 1, sc to point of increase, 3sc in next sc, (4 sc, sc2) 10 times, 4 sc, sc to end, turn.
Return to the increase rows and work until you reach the number of stitches for the neck bindoff.

Work Neck Bindoff as follows:
Neck Bindoff sl st to 6th sc, sc to increase point, 3sc in next st, work middle section up to next increase point, 3sc in next st, sc to 5 sts before the end, turn, leaving remaining 5 sts unworked. (5 sts unworked on either side)

From now on, the shaping happens every alternate row. So you will work increases in one row, and work the next row even.

Modified shaping rows
Row 1 Ch 1, sc up to increase point, 3sc in next sc, work even up to next increase point, 3 sc in next sc, sc to end, turn.
Row 2 ch 1, sc in each st to end, turn

Continue with modified shaping until you reach the number of stitches required for the back extension. Work back extension as follows:

Back extension
Row 1 Cut yarn, sk all sts up to the increase point, join yarn at increase point, ch 1, sc in each sc up to next increase point, turn, leaving remaining sts unworked. (You will have left an equal number of stitches unworked on either side).

Work 14 rows even.

Button Band
Cut yarn, return to the edge of the work (where you left your stitches unworked), join and work over the unworked sts, wortk 10 sc evenly up the sides of 14 rows, sc across the top of the extension, work 10 sc evenly down the sides of 14 rows, work the remaining unworked stitches. Make sure you now have the number of stitches as mentioned in the knit version to work the button band.

Return to working the modified shaping rows, until you reach the number of stitches at which to place your buttonholes. Work buttonholes as follows:

Buttonhole row Ch 1, 4 sc, (ch1, sk1, 8 sc)4 times, ch1, sk1, 6 sc, 3sc in next st, sc up to next increase point, 3sc in next sc, 6 sc, (ch1, sk1, 8 sc)4 times, ch1, sk1, sc to end, turn. (buttonholes are worked on both fronts, you can sew the buttons as per the gender of the baby over the ones which are not required, and use the holes on the other edge)
Next row Ch 1, work even, making 1 sc in each ch1 space of the previous row.

Return to working modified shaping rows until you reach the final count of stitches. Following the diagram, fold the sweater and sew shoulder seams and buttons.

If you like, you can extend and shape the sleeves further as follows (in a contrasting colour if you like):

Joining yarn on the other side of the starting chain, work 4 rounds of sc, 1 round with a few stitches decreased evenly, 2 rounds sc, one further decrease round. Fasten off and weave in all ends.

At this point, I have not worked out a collar. You could neaten the neck edges by work a row of sc all around it in a contrasting colour, to add some interest.

Important copyright related notice:

The original Baby Surprise Jacket pattern by Elizabeth ZImmermann is and will remain the property of Schoolhouse Press. My thanks to the Press and Ms Swansen for letting me post my notes. My notes are only intended for use with a purchased copy of that pattern. Please do not abuse this.

I would also appreciate if you link to this page rather than copying and distributing copies of my notes. Thank you.

Be sure to show me your versions 🙂 Enjoy!

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21 thoughts on “EZ’s Baby Surprise Jacket modified for crochet

  1. […] made a separate page for my notes for my crocheted version of the BSJ. You can find my notes here. (Also listed in […]

  2. Hello, that is a nice sweater. Looks easy.

  3. Ms.Fife, Your work looks wonderful and very inspiring. Keep up the good work!

  4. Your pattern looks really wonderful and nice color too.

  5. Very nice work !!

  6. I have just knit 23 Baby Surprise Jackets in the last 4 weeks. I am going to try a crocheted version, as this intrigues me. I suspect that if I try the standard American single crochet, but only work in the back loops, that it may give the ridgy effect as in the knit garter stitch. If I am successful, I’ll be back with a photo–Kathy!

  7. I need help!!! I’m crocheting the BSJ for 6 months. According to the instructions, I’ll have 30 sc sts for each sleeve when I start. Do I have to keep the same amount of stitches all the way, before and after de corner stitch, ’til I start increasing for the body?THANK U!!!!

    1. Hello Kaioia! Thank you for stopping by my blog!

      I’m not sure whether it is my pattern notes you are following for your crochet BSJ? You will need to have the same number of sts as the knit version tells you. And, as you increase around the corner st, those increases will get added to the sleeve amounts and the body amounts equally. Does that help?

      I haven’t used my notes myself since last making my BSJ, so my memory is a bit rusty :-/


      New comment on your post “EZ’s Baby Surprise Jacket modified for crochet ” > Author : Kaioia Busquets

  8. Hi, I just found your pretty sweater. I need clarification of the back flare section: after working 3 sc in the first point, do you work (4 sc in the next st followed by 1sc in each of the next 2sts) 10x; or do you work (1 sc in each of the next 4 sts, and 2 sc in the following st ) 10x.
    Thanks for your help.
    Blessings, Linda

    1. Hi! Thanks for stopping by my blog and I’m happy to know you’re making the crochet BSJ. Do show me pictures when you’re done!

      The 4 sc stands for 1 sc in each of 4 sts, followed by sc2 which means 2 sc in 1 st (= 1 sc increase). Repeat 10 times for an overall increase of 10 sc over the row. Does that help?


      > New comment on your post “EZ’s Baby Surprise Jacket modified for crochet ” > Author : Linda Wheeler

  9. I never knew how much stuff you could find out there about this!
    Thanks for making this all easy to grasp

  10. “EZs Baby Surprise Jacket modified for crochet | Where is she now?
    ” was indeed a perfect blog post. If it included alot more pictures this would
    be perhaps even far better. Thanks -Monica

  11. Hello

    Do you think a 4:00mm hook would work with 3 ply yarn or would a 3:50 be better?

    I’ve made this sweater before but I didn’t get a chance to sew it before it disappeared and I can’t remember what size hook I used! I want to make it for a boy and I have soft baby ply 3. Using the worsted weight that I have is not very good for baby’s tender skin.



    1. For 3-ply try a 3.5mm hook. My style is always to use whichever hook I like the resultant fabric of, rather than the hook usually recommended. But you’ll need to be careful if the gauge must be exact.

  12. I cannot find how many stitches to chain! I read the crocheted part and also the knitted part and I can’t find the amount of stitches to chain. Could u please tell me how many chains do I use to make a 6 month old size?


  13. Try 160 chains. Let me know how you get on!

  14. Hi

    I bought the pattern for the surprise jacket and it’s the crocheted version by Darla sims. I have made the sweater but I’m getting the number of stitches in the pattern. I have emailed the designer, but no reply yet. Do u have any suggestions to make the numbers work, besides ripping out and do it again which I have done 3 times now.



  15. I’m sorry, but I don’t have Darla Sims’ pattern to check. The only thing that occurs to me is perhaps that you might have missed an increase somewhere? Sorry I can’t be of more help!


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