Friday, November 07, 2008

A Child's Simple Request

As some of you long time readers may remember, I like to make my daughter a sweater every year. As she has gotten older and become more opinionated, she has definitely challenged me with her requests. This year was no different. The request this year was that she wanted a cardigan with a two way zipper. OK. The cardigan I can handle. The zipper was a different story.
We chose this pattern together and picked out the colors (Ella Rae Classic yarn). I modified the pullover version to include some extra stitches at the front. Hell, if I was going to do this, I may as well go all the way and do a steek also. This way I would learn two new things with this project.

The finished knitting –

Which then sat for a while since the next step was cutting. And all along I was researching what to do after the cutting step. To be honest, the cutting didn’t bother me so much since the whole zipper thing was my real roadblock.

Ok, so I knew that after the cutting, I would need to pick up the stitches and knit some sort of edging. I picked a seed stitch border that I saw on Claudia’s blog. Two of the sites that I found useful were Claudia’s post here and Bonne Marie’s instructions here. I also decided that I would probably go with Anne’s advice on hand sewing the zipper in since that would give me more control. I also liked Julia’s advice on knitting a facing to hide all the inside zipper stuff but then I read somewhere about sewing a ribbon over the inside part of the zipper and this seemed like the way to go.

I shortened the zipper and sewed the ribbon on the back. Then basted the front of the cardigan closed and basted the zipper to the inside of the sweater. Sewing the zipper to the sweater was a little difficult since I also had to be concerned with holding the ribbon out of the way – didn’t want to get that caught in the stitching since the whole idea of using the ribbon was to be able to hide all of the stitching which was holding the zipper down. Hand sewing was definitely the way to go as I think I may have been cursing the machine in this step. I stitched each side of the zipper down twice and then tacked the ribbon down which successfully neatened up the inside of the sweater.

And voila – isn’t it pretty!
It even works!

Now I laugh in the face of a zipper – I have conquered that mountain. Of course now I still have the pieces of this sweater to put together and guess what – I’m putting in another zipper!! Where’s my martini?


Carole Knits said...

That's a great accomplishment! You definitely deserve to celebrate with a martini.

Karen said...

You learned a bunch of new things with this sweater! You did a great job. It really looks nice!

Ina said...

Great job! A steek AND a two-way zipper WITH facing!! So... would it be too much to ask for a modeled photo?