Tag Archives: knitalong

Deluxe Cable Collection Knitalong – Installing a Zipper

With the holidays upon us, I know many of you are busy plugging away at gift projects. Me? I’m as selfishly knitting as ever and just finished my modified Wesley Heights. Though I finished knitting the pieces and seaming the sweater many weeks ago, I just sewed in my zipper, and I’m going to show you how.

As a reminder, this is our ongoing blog series covering projects from the Deluxe Cable Collection. You can learn more about the knitalong by reading previous blog posts here, viewing the collection here, and joining our Ravelry group here.

I basically knit the Wesley Heights pullover, but followed instructions for the Greensboro Cardigan for collar and zipper facings. Stitches for the collar are picked up around the neck edge and knit upward. Then, the first and last 6 stitches of the collar are continued to form the zipper facings.

zipper_1

Be sure not to stretch the knitting when measuring for the zipper.
Be sure not to stretch the knitting when measuring for the zipper.

It’s important to block your knitting before measuring for the zipper length and installing it. Zippers and knitting can be tricky, since zipper tape is typically woven and non-stretchy. But I’m going to show you what you can do to avoid the puckery zipper look.

Open up your sweater and measure along the front opening from the very bottom edge to the top of the collar. I like to leave a small margin of about 1/4″ at the top and bottom before the zipper begins and after it ends. Mark with a pencil or with pins (as shown) where the zipper tape needs to be cut.

Don't accidentally slide your zipper over the top of your just-cut end!
Don’t accidentally slide your zipper over the top of your just-cut end!
Do not, I repeat, DO NOT slide the zipper off the top of the cut edge!
Do not, I repeat, DO NOT slide the zipper off the top of the cut edge!

Next, we’re going to pretty-up that cut edge. I’m using a plastic zipper in the photo below. This method works great for a zipper with metal teeth, too. With pliers, carefully remove the 2 teeth from the top of the tape. If your metal zipper came with a stop (which looks like a metal tab), you can remove it from the piece you cut off and reattach to the newly shortened zipper.

Then, take a lighter or other flame and carefully melt the end of the tape. This will not work for a cotton zipper tape – it only works on polyester, nylon, acrylic – something that will melt when burned. Be careful, you want to barely melt the end just to stop the fraying of the tape where you cut it.

If you have a cotton or plant fiber tape, fold under the end and sew it down.

zipper_5

This next step probably isn’t necessary for this particular zipper installation since my zipper will be sandwiched between the sweater and knitted zipper facing. But I’ve been burned before with forgetfully sliding my zipper off the top of the tape, so I like to do everything possible to prevent that! By whip stitching around the top of the tape just above the teeth, this will prevent the zipper from sliding off. Or if you had a metal zipper with a zipper stop and reinstalled it, there is no need for this step.

zipper_6

Next, unzip your zipper (you did buy a separating zipper, right?) and lay out the appropriate sides on their respective fronts.

Triple check your zipper placement!

Triple check your zipper placement!

Next, pin your zipper to the sweater front. Ignore the facing for now. It’s much easier to pin it to the sweater front first and then add the facing. Begin by pinning the upper and lower edges of the zipper to the sweater. Then add in pins at halfway points between other pins until the whole thing is pinned down. Use lots of pins – you can never have too many pins!

Use lots of pins!
Use lots of pins!

After the front is fully pinned to the zipper tape, one by one, remove a pin and add in the knitted facing. The zipper tape will be sandwiched between the front of the sweater and the zipper tape. You’ll want to leave a margin sticking out a little bit beyond the zipper teeth so that the knitting doesn’t get caught when you’re using the zipper.

It's a zipper-wool sandwich. Delicious.
It’s a zipper-wool sandwich. Delicious.

Use thread that matches or will blend in with the color of your yarn. Take small stitches and go slowly. You are sewing through 3 layers, so take care and make sure the needle is entering and exiting the fabric where you want it. I kept 1 stitch in stockinette on my edges, so I’m using that as my guide for where to sew.

This step requires patience.
This step requires patience.

I use a running stitch, but make a back stitch every inch or two – basically whenever I remember.

Once the zipper tape is sewn to the sweater, it’s time to sew the other edge of the facing down. I left long ends when I bound off my facing for this very purpose. I also split the yarn in half to reduce bulk for the seam.

On the home stretch!
On the home stretch!

Once all your sewing is done, give the facings a light steam inside and out, and you’re done!

I really am smiling.
I really am smiling.

I love putting on a new sweater! And I’m lazy, so having a zipper is a big draw for me. Sometimes I like a buttoned sweater. But I like being able to zip and unzip a cardigan makes me happy. And pockets. And cozy!

How are your Deluxe Cable Collection projects coming along?

 

rocked knitalong – working into a double yo

Rocked Knitalong Graphic

As I was knitting along on my Rocked, I was working a lace pattern row with its double yarnovers. When I reached the next (WS) row and was working the [k1, p1] into each double yarnover (yo), it occurred to me that this could make for a good video.

When there is a double yo on your needle, it can be confusing just how to knit or purl into it. If this is your first time dealing with double yarnovers, give this video a try. I hope it helps!

 

 

Afghan Knitalong – Finishing

21 Finished Blanket with title blog

I can’t believe we’re done!  In my head, I’m hearing Frank Sinatra singing “My Way.”  Every afghan we’ve seen so far has been a unique reflection of the style of its creator.  It’s a wonderful tribute to the individual flair each of us have as crafters.

After assembling all the squares, Amy has opted to use four different colors for the border of her afghan.  She’s also attached fringe and shares a video on how that works.

Even if you haven’t finished yet, we hope you’ll share pictures of your afghans.  Seeing your work is inspiring!

You can share with us here, on Facebook, or on the Afghan Knitalong Ravelry group.  We’ve just joined Instagram as well, so we’d love to see what you’ve posted in the way of knitstagrams!

We hope you’ve enjoyed knitting along.  Happy crafting!

Afghan Knitalong – Seaming

21 Afghan Knitalong Seaming 1_blog

It’s all coming together – literally!  Time to seam up your squares into a glorious and unique creation.  Lay ’em out, decide where you want them to go, and then turn your 20 little learning blocks into one beautiful whole.  We’ve got a .pdf file with tips, and videos on not one but two methods of linking everything together.

First, Amy Gunderson demonstrates the mattress stitch, and how to use it when you have different numbers of stitches from square to square.  Grab your tapestry needle and some yarn and get to it!

 

Next, she shows how to use a crochet hook to slip stitch your squares together.  Slightly less invisible, but very easy to work.

I’m a big fan of mattress stitch, but I may give crochet  slip stitch a try this time. I like the idea of working straight from the ball without cutting a length of yarn.  Seems like fewer ends to weave in.

We’ll be back in just one week with details on adding a border and fringe (if you wish), and the big reveal of the finished sampler!  Can’t wait!

 

 

 

Afghan Knitalong – Block Twenty

Block 20 is live!

20 Bee Mine with title blogIt’s our final block and we’re going out with a bang.  Bee Mine uses traditional honeybee lace for its center panel.  What a sweet pattern!  A mix of yarn overs and dropped stitches creates the gentle symmetrical column in the center of the block.  Amy Gunderson shares a video on the technique.

So pretty!  Wouldn’t this look lovely on a scarf or along the outside of a sleeve?

That’s 20 blocks – are we done?  Yes and no.  We’ll be back after the first of the year to talk about assembling the whole afghan.  I’m going to take that time to finish up a few stragglers and start laying out my squares to see how I want them to look.

Happy knitting!

 

AFGHAN KNITALONG – BLOCK NINETEEN

Block Nineteen is live!

19 Tuckered Out with title_blog

Tuck in!  Block Nineteen is called All Tuckered Out because it introduces the tuck stitch.  It’s a little fold in the fabric that in this case creates a ridge.  This combines knitting back and forth as we did in the bobble and nupp blocks, but with a bit of a different spin.

Amy Gunderson has a video demonstrating this technique.

Amy mentions “knitting backwards” here, which is a technique you could use for Block 17 and Block 18.  Although we shared this as part of Block 17,  want to highlight it again here because it’s just so darned cool.

I can’t tell you how much time it’s going to save me not to have to knit back and forth over little rows.  This is a technique I’m going to practice until I’ve mastered.  This block looks like the perfect opportunity!

As always, you can share your thoughts and work with us here, on Facebook, or in our Ravelry group.    Check back in two weeks for the next block!

Afghan Knitalong – Block Eighteen

Block Eighteen is live!

18 Nupp Beginnings with title blue blog

 

Last time, bobbles, this time, nupps!  Block Eighteen, Nupp Beginnings uses another kind of round raised stitch to create a similar festive effect.

By the way, did everybody but me know it was pronounced “noop?”  I’ve been saying “nuhp” all these years.   However, in this video, Amy pronounces it correctly as she shows us how to work one of these little popped-up stitches.

I love knowing several ways to do similar things, like this and bobbles.  As a crafter, it’s always good to have options!

We hope you enjoy learning this nupp technique.  Feel free to share your thoughts and work with us here, on Facebook, or in our Ravelry group.    We’ll be back in a couple of weeks with a new block and a new technique!