Wednesday, August 19, 2015

FO: Long-Armed Sweater for a Young Dude of My Acquaintance

So after all that hand-wringing last week, I sat down and got the zipper installed into Rowan's sweater.  It was considerably less traumatic than I expected.  My last zipper/sweater experience was in 2008 in the much-lamented "Man Sweater."  It did not go nearly so smoothly back then.

Turns out, it really ain't no thing.

Pin early.  Pin often.

There are lots of great tutorials out there on how to install a zipper into hand-knits.  I read through this one (Chic Knits), this one (Knit Picks), and just for kicks this one (Techknitting -- this one involves knitting the zipper into the sweater).

And then I went home and just did it.    I pinned the zipper to one side, making sure it was smooth, and laying flat.  Then I pinned the other side, matching the stripes (not gonna lie, the stripes made it easier.)

Then I unzipped and rezipped it a coupla times, just to make sure it was all copacetic.

After that, I hand-sewed it in near the teeth, using a basic back-stitch.  I then used a whip-stitch to secure the zipper-tape down.

See those stitches?  No you can't, and that's the point.

On a sweater for me, I'd probably cover the tape with ribbon, but I didn't bother for this one.

I have no idea what he is doing here, but this is one of the least blurry shots I got of him.

So in summary, after nearly a year (and after knitting the body of the sweater twice -- remember that? -- Rowan's sweater is done and it fits.

And he likes it, so I don't need to make him eat it after all.

Anyway, over all I am very pleased with how it turned out.  In retrospect, I rather regret using Wool-Ease -- at the time my logic was that it's a) cheap and b) easy-care.  But Rowan would have gotten a nicer sweater if I'd gone a different route.  I hesitated to invest a lot into it because I really wasn't sure if this whole "wanting a sweater knit by my mom" thing was really going to last.  Oh me of little faith.

Next time he gets nicer yarn.  (At least, assuming this one doesn't end up covered in chocolate sauce and felted.  I've already given him the "bring it to me to launder or I will end you" speech.)

Project Notes

Pattern: Emilien by Ariane Caron-Lacoste
Yarn:  Lion Brand Wool-Ease in Denim and Natural Heather
Total Yardage:  1381 total yards.  632 in Denim, and 749 in Natural Heather
Needles:   US 7 (4.5 mm) and US 6 (4.0 mm)  I used several different lengths of circulars, and DPNs for the cuffs
Started:  September 28, 2014
Completed: August 11, 2015

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