Thursday, July 14, 2011

Zippedy do dah!

Some time ago (almost a year!) I went on a journey to the Land of Cardigan.  I might have told you that my journey was ended, but really, I had yet to scale the highest peak of Mt Putting-in-a-Zipper.  It was a daunting daunting journey, hence my need to have a good long think about it over the summer.  Who needs a thick cardi in summer anyway, right?

Well, summer came and went.  And so did autumn.  And when winter hit, husby's plaintive question "have you put the zipper in my cardi yet?" got to me and I decided it was time to put on my protective gear, get out the ropes and crampons (all that is scaling mountain talk, right?) and tackle that peak.
I had husby take Connor out for the day, because I knew it was going to be an all day task.  At the very least.  And I needed some space to spread things out, and some time to percolate the various tutorials I'd read about putting zippers into garments.  And make sure I could find the cardi, and the zip and the thread (both the zip and thread I'd purchased some time ago.  Maybe during that summer of thinking...)
I started by pinning the zip into the opening.  I put the pins in wrong, I know.  I realised that about half way through.  But my back was already sore from the kneeling and bending, so I figured it'd be ok.

And then I started sewing - by hand!  I was maybe 1/3 of the way done on the first side when I realised I was doing my backstitch wrong.  There was no way I was going to unpull what I'd already done (sewing in zippers is slow going!!) so I just did it the right way after that.  And you know what, you can't tell anyway!  (But I did feel better doing it correctly, I must say!!)

It took AGES!  AGES I tell you.  At least 4 hours I think.  Possibly more, I think I have blocked it out of my head.  I was a bit worried it would bubble when the zipper was done up on the body.  But I was most pleased when husby put it on and (a) the zipper worked and (b) it didn't bubble! 

If I were to do it again, I'd put the edge of the garment over the zipper closure (it is knit with an edging for this purpose).  I was worried I'd get the edging caught in the zipper and wouldn't do it evenly, so I just lined it up with the outside edge of the zip. 
But apart from that, I'm quite pleased with how it went.  And let's face it, there is unlikely to be an again.  If I'm faced with another visit to Mt Putting-in-a-Zipper, I'm pretty sure I'm going to pay someone else to do it!

26 comments:

2paw said...

My oh my what a wonderful zip!! By hand too, I sew mine in with the machine, I am lazy.

DrK said...

Sooo worth the effort, it looks great on him. And I do believe that's a cute little baby matchy cardi I see there! Such lovely work, and I'm sure its keeping them nice and warm in this weather.

m1k1 said...

timely.
i am up to that very mountain on a jumper with zipper top opening, that has been, um, marinating in its own juices, for a little while now. and it isn't even a full length zipper. :-(
tomorrow. definitely tomorrow.

Probably Jane said...

I take my hat off to you! I have yet to even approach the foothills of Mt Zip...

Lovely cardi - I'm sure it feels worth it now.

Bells said...

i'm with Probably Jane - it's a frontier I'm yet to approach too. I admire you for going there instead of buttons. Well done!

amy said...

Yeah, I know. When my then-3yo said he wanted a zipper on his Tomten, I figured out how to do a zipper. I sewed it by hand, too. But I always come away from these things feeling like, Well, look what I did! And like I could tackle it again if need be. Even though I have a machine now I don't think I'd sew a zipper onto a handknit with it. I'd be too worried about clogging my machine with lint.

1funkyknitwit said...

grrr.. zippers ! I always make sure anything I knit does not contain a zipper, I did it once and once only..ahhaha

Looking at your lovely zipper though you did a mighty fine job of it and no bubbling and it zips -gotta love that ! :D

Donna (Random Knits) said...

You have done a most awesome job! I'm lovin' it sick!! ;)

WildflowerWool said...

Good for you for sticking it out. I skip any pattern that calls for a zipper!

Donna Lee said...

Zippers are tricky. I've put many in when I'm sewing but never on a knit. I think I'd do it by hand to control the tension of the stitches better. I'd be afraid of the machine snagging on something and ruining all my work.

MadMad said...

I have a cardigan that has been sitting in a bag for, oh, at LEAST five years, awaiting a zipper. Shall I send it to you?

Roxie said...

Yayyy! (pops the champagne. Tosses confetti. Blats the vuvuzela!) Yeeha! Go Rose. You DID it! Woooooot!!

Mereknits said...

Rose, you were very, very brave. I oncemade a beautiful sweater that was going to have a zipper, that is until I freaked out and put in hook and eye closures,
I know I am a baby.
Meredith

missfee said...

zippers are both a curse and a blessing - they look so good but are so damn hard to put it.
the wedding sweater has a zip - which I sewed in 4 times at least - urg!!

Congrats for getting up that mountain - your gear and preparation time served you well. It's all in the planning - no matter how long the planning takes

travellersyarn said...

Who can you pay to put them in? This possibility is music to my ears!

I tried to find someone to do finishing in Hong Kong, and they actually laughed at me in the yarn shop, and said "no, we hate doing that too!"

Lynne said...

Congratulations on scaling the peak!

Don't ever decide to make EZ's Tomten for Connor!

I have put zippers in several Tomtens. It's slow going but not too difficult.

Sarah said...

ooh - well done you - have a red spotted jersey to wear (with no trip via barbed wire on the way!)

celia said...

looks good. is connor wearing a matching cardi?

Chrisknits said...

It's perfect! Love the mismatched socks!!

Caffeine Girl said...

I am terrified of zippers, so good for you! The result is worth it!

Ruby Girl said...

It looks very nice...really worth finishing in the end.

LynS said...

Well done - looks extremely professional. This really does deserve a spotted jersey for a spell.

Ann said...

You did an amazing zipper job. I have never sewn on a zipper on a kniitted garment & I don't think I can.

Leonie said...

Nice work on the zipper :-)

I pretty much avoid anything with them in or convert it to buttons, I like the idea but not the reality of the zip!

Sweetp said...

I think I'm more in awe that you knit a man sized jumper!! Is the zip thing really that bad? I have half a design in my head using zips...dumb idea?

Alwen said...

Oh, very nice! I've only ever sewn a zip into a dog bedcover, so color me impressed!