Sunday, February 19, 2012

Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah

This weekend, I finished up the sleeves, blocked and knitted in the zipper on my Men’s Sweater. I LOVE it.

I first read about knitting in a zipper, rather than sewing it in with a needle and thread or on a machine, in an article in the Winter 2010 issue of Interweave Knits. Staci shows how to do this in the video that goes with the pattern.

I had a bit of drama around the whole zipper issue. First of all, I thought the space at the top of my sweater was 12” long – a standard zipper length. But after measuring post-blocking, I realized it was actually 10”. And the first zipper I bought was too narrow – and despite the navy assignation, a bit too purple-y. After doing some yard work this morning, I ventured out and bough a chunky dark blue zipper. The shortest I could find without going under 10” was a 14” zipper, but I learned from the package that you can just whip-stitch some thread around the length you want 8-10 times, and then cut the zipper a bit below that. Who knew? Probably everyone but me.

For this technique,one uses a tiny little latch hook to build a little crochet chain on one side of the zipper tape (the opposite side of the one showing here). The chain is built on the same row gauge as your knitting, because you use your actual knitting as the template for marking the stitch points on the tape. Genius! It was a little tricky – I had issues with the tape bunching a bit, but I relaxed, and things got a bit smoother. The setup of creating the chains takes a while to do, but the sewing in takes no time at all, and it turned out marvelous!

So let’s call this sweater done. I didn’t finish until nearly dark, so you’ll have to wait a bit for pictures taken in daylight. Here, Kate shows us all what a little sunshine can do for one’s outlook. We suffered through some wet and stormy days this week. The yard love it, but the dogs, not so much. While I worked at the bamboo and other pesky weeds that are threatening to become sentient, Pona and Kate took advantage of today’s abundant sunshine. I think I may have to put this sweater away until next year, at this point.

4 comments:

  1. Congratulations on the new skill! I know just how you feel!

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  2. I'm sure your sweater is just perfect. You go guy!

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  3. But where's a picture of you wearing it? I want to see how it fit after blocking!

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  4. In awe of your zipper skills. Someday you'll teach me!

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