Sorry, Folks! I totally promised you that I’d tell you about adding the zippers to my husband’s sweater… and then I didn’t. My husband has been wearing his sweater almost every day for the past month or so, so it’s starting to look a little lived-in, but it’s still holding up pretty well.
Anyway, here’s the zipper. (I think it turned out pretty well.)
I don’t really have a secret to zipper installation, or any magic techniques. I just pin them very carefully and make sure that both sides match up well.
Then, I use a needle and thread to carefully sew the zipper to the knitting, trying my best to make the stitches on the outside of the sweater hidden. That means the inside stitches end up being a little messy, but the inside isn’t the important part.
I cast off the last sleeve last Friday, after months of stagnation. (Sorry, husband!) It’s done!
I wove in the ends and, miracle of miracles, it fits! Woo Hoo!
It looks great, and fits like a glove, and the cotton is so lovely and soft.
And it only took me 8 months. (Oy!)
Of course, it’s still missing one very important thing: the zipper.
I went to get a zipper at Jo-Ann’s over the weekend, but they were closed due to a power outage from a thunderstorm(!) earlier in the day. So my husband has been wearing the sweater sans zipper for the last few days. At least he likes it.
The moment I get a chance to go back to Jo-Ann’s I’m zipping over there as fast as I can!
What’s the last project that took you way longer than it should have?
I feel like it’s been a hot minute since I gave you an update on the sweater I’m working on for my husband. Oof- actually it’s been almost a month. (Sorry, husband! Hopefully I’ll have it finished by August at this rate!)
Anyway, this time, I knit up the button band (or rather, the zipper band). Instead of using the pattern, I used my own standard button band (mostly because I lost my paper copy of the pattern).
My button bands actually start when I’m knitting up the sweater body. I always slip the first stitch of each row. This creates a nice, neat edge that makes it easy to pick up stitches evenly all the way around. And I’ve found that picking up one stitch for every two rows makes a button band with just the right tension. This way, you don’t even have to count, except for making sure you have an even number of stitches to make your ribbing come out right.
I worked the button band on this sweater for about an inch, in a 2×2 rib. This is a little narrower than my usual button bands, but that’s because I’ll be using a zipper, not buttons. If you use buttons, the button bands will overlap, so you’ll need a wider band. If you use a zipper, the bands don’t overlap, so you need a narrower one.
It’s the end of an era! The project has been finished and I am just a little bit cozier than I was before. (And just in time for it to start feeling distinctly fall-ish around here.)
I finished my Stellar’s Jay Cardigan. I added my zipper, and, when my extra yarn arrived, finished up the missing arm and grafted it in place. I blocked it out and pretty much haven’t taken it off since.
The Knit Picks Swish Worsted is so fluffy, cozy and soft. And, it’s machine washable, so I don’t worry about wearing it all the time. The only problem with the yarn is that it’s so soft that it’s already starting to pill in the armpits, but that’s not a huge problem, I can just remove the pills as they come up.
I couldn’t be happier with how this sweater has turned out!
(Sorry for the slightly weird photo. I just spent fifteen minutes trying to take a decent selfie of the sweater. Let’s just say that there are simply days when photos shouldn’t/won’t happen. Instead, here’s a snapshot that a friend of ours took of my husband and me. Maybe if the photography gods smile on me later, I’ll add a more traditional sweater photo later.)
Originally, I had planned to add a typical button band to my cardigan. But, of course, I changed my mind (because I like to make things difficult for myself). Once the sweater was nearing completion, it occurred to me that a vertical button band would totally break up the beautiful, simple horizontal lines of the sweater. So what’s a girl to do? What could I use to close up my sweater invisibly?
My first thought was to use hooks and eyes. I bought a couple packs of great big hooks and eyes (sized to be used on a coat), and attached them to the front edge of my sweater.
I sewed 20 stupid little hooks in place, and then I tried it on. And then, I just about cried. It looked terrible! It was all weird and pucker-y. It pulled at every single hook when I wore it. (Of course some of the terrible-ness came from me sewing the hooks on incorrectly-too far from the edge, but a part of it was just the nature of the hooks. Hook-and-eye fastenings work best with stiffer fabrics, not soft, stretchy wool sweaters.)I immediately cut off the hooks and eyes. I’ve still got them, so maybe I’ll use them for another project down the line, but definitely not another sweater.
Instead, I bought myself a nice long separating zipper and sewed it carefully by hand along the front plackets. Because the zipper has absolutely no stretch to it, I made sure to sew it in very carefully.
When I closed up my sweater this time, I was overjoyed with how it turned out. The edges match up perfectly! There’s no unsightly gap or puckering, and I even managed to make sure the zipper didn’t buckle or pull at the front of the sweater. Victory!