Extremely Unscientific

The time has come, the time to finally attach a zipper into knitwear. I can assure you I’ve been dreading it a bit, but there’s also so little in knitting that I have not done that it seemed a great project to tackle.

I settled on a techknitting tutorial for a no sew zipper. Mostly because if the choice is between knitting and sewing, I am going for knitting every time.

I purchased a zipper. I have to say, there aren’t that many choices in separating zippers. Color choices are slim, as are length choices. They jumped from 14 inches to 20 inches, and I needed 15 inches of zipper. So, I have a lot of extra length to be dealing with.

I also purchased a tool. Now, this tool is not called a knitpicker as the tutorial suggests, this tool is marketed for beading on fabric. But, it’s the same thing and it serves the same purpose.

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The first thing that happened was that it broke. The first thing I said to Mr. Ink when he walked in the door was “fix it.” Despite the fact that the fabric store I purchased it from is just a mile away. He fixed it.

I thought long and hard about how to attach the zipper using knitting, and ended up settling on an applied icord bind off. I picked up stitches, about every 2 out of 3, on both sides of the sweater making sure they matched perfectly. Easy task due to the stripes. Then I put the knitting on the carpet, and pinned it in place without stretching at all.

And here’s where the extremely unscientific bit comes in. I decided to mark the places I needed to pick up stitches on the zipper. Trouble was, the zipper is navy, and nothing I had showed up on the navy zipper. So I said to Mr. Ink, “Fix it!” and he pulled out some yellow paint and an itty bitty brush. It’s useful living with an artist. But, the yellow didn’t work, the pigment sank into the fabric, turned a very dark shade of green, and I couldn’t actually see my tiny unscientific dots.

So I said to Mr. Ink, “Fix it!” and he got out white paint. And my extremely unscientific idea worked with the white paint.

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And thus, I picked up stitches along the unscientific dots along one edge of the zipper and put them on needles. Then, once that was done, I decided that the applied icord would look even better if I did it in green, so that’s what I did. And it turned out ok!

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I finished the first side last evening and I am fairly happy with how it turned out. I have begun picking up the stitches for the second side, and it sure is going a lot smoother the second time! I picked up 2 out of 3 stitches as trying to fit in a stitch for every row was just way too tight. To make up for that, I went up a couple needle sizes for the icord, which seems to have worked perfectly. It is laying flat.

The one thing I did not consider with the icord, but is probably a huge bonus, is that the stripes don’t have to line up exactly, since there’s a break between the stripes. I planned them to line up precisely, but if I missed a stitch, it probably wouldn’t ultimately matter.

I’ll still have to sew to tack the icord down, as well as to deal with the extra zipper part, but this really was a great way to attach a zipper in a way I am already comfortable with. I am sold, I’ll probably be putting zippers in a bunch of handknits now!

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