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Inserting a Zipper

A lot of people are apprehensive about adding a zipper to their garments and that is a perfectly reasonable fear! Some people will actually avoid a pattern that calls for a zipper closure.


Sure, you could take your knitted garment to the dry cleaners and have them sew in a zipper with a machine and that would certainly take less time.

But what's the fun in that and you wouldn't get the satisfaction of putting in your own zipper and telling people that you did it all by yourself.


Jane has actually knit three cardigans that were adapted from a sweater pattern and I've used Jane's Aran Cable Cardigan to give you a bit of a tutorial:



Janes Aran Cable Cardigan; adapted from the https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/urban-aran-pullover sweater pattern with notes by Jared Flood https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/urban-aran-cardigan . Knit in Cascade Eco +,a bulky weight plied wool.


Step 1: Mark every 2" from top to bottom on Zipper

Step 2: Mark every 2" on sweater with pins


Step 3: Pin together, aligning 2" marks on zipper and sweater

Step 4: Baste with contrasting thread from right side of garment

Step 5: Backstitch with matching thread from wrong side of garment (nice small ad neat 1/4" stitches)



Repeat steps 1-4 for the other side with zipper closed, then open the zipper before working step 5.

All done


Neat and tidy inside and out


It fits perfectly and according to Jane is very cozy!


This was Jane's second cardigan and she knit another one for her son in a deep green colour. Cascade Eco + gives great definition to the stitches! I think Jane has the pattern memorized now.




Note: To make life easier when adapting a pattern like this make sure that the first 2 and last 2 stitches at the centre front are worked in Stocking Stitch (knit on the right side and purl on the wrong side). This gives a nicer finished edge to seam the zipper to.


We were not happy with this reverse Stocking Stitch edge so I did a bit of "Creative Improvement" on the green cardigan. I tried a few different methods and this was the one that looked the nicest:


Right Front:

Using smaller needles and with Right Side Facing, starting at bottom edge, pick up and knit every stitch as close to the edge as possible.

Bind off all stitches Purlwise on Wrong Side.


Left Front:

Using smaller needles and with Right Side Facing, starting at bottom edge, pick up and Purl every stitch as close to the edge as possible.

Bind off all stitches Knitwise on Right Side.

This way both bind off chains will face the same way. (We wouldn't want one chain to point upwards and the other to point downwards!)


Follow steps 1-5 as for the light coloured cardigan for sewing the zipper.


Isn't that a nice edge?



Another way of getting a nice front edge is to work an I-Cord edge like Tanis shows in this tutorial: https://www.tanisfiberarts.com/blog/2016/8/zipper-tutorial


I hope this helped alleviate any fears about putting in a zipper.

Although this is a lengthy process but it is well worth the finished product.

Just be patient because it does take a while to do a good job.


Until next time,


I hope you finished the fall clean up before the snow came.

I do enjoy the snow ( I drive a truck so I actually love driving in it) and don't mind shoveling the driveway, especially if mom beats me to it in the mornings ;)


Stay well and keep those needles and hooks moving!

Happy and Productive knitting

Gabriela


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