Installing a Zipper in your Artichoke French (or other knit sweater!)

I had this great idea last spring that I should knit a zip-up hoodie version of my Artichoke French Sweater... the only scary part? Installing a zipper! It ended up being NO WHERE as hard as I thought it would be! Here's why installing zippers is hard: you are sewing something stiff (the zipper tape) to a flexible edge (your knit). The tips below are going to make you an expert in this technique and take the fear right out of it!


First up, and MOST IMPORTANTLY The length of your zipper should be determined AFTER blocking. So, knit your Artichoke French Hoodie (or other sweater that needs a hood!) block it and THEN measure the length of the center front (laid flat without stretching) from the neckline to the bottom.This is the length you want to order! I actually knit up to the hood, blocked, then measured, and then knit my hood while waiting for my zipper. I then steam blocked my hood once that was done and didn't re-block the rest of the sweater (I know someone was going to ask that!).

I SPLURGED and ordered a custom length M6 one-way Riri Zipper from Pacific Trimming.
It was expensive, but it was TOTALLY worth it and I would do it again! If I'm going to spend that much time knitting a sweater I'm not going to have a zipper I don't love! There are definitely other zipper resources, but I was really happy with my Riri Zipper and would do it again!

My friend (and tester) Andrea ordered a two-way zipper and I'm a little jealous of that action.... so that's a choice too (and one I would make!).
Then I read all these GREAT tutorials on installing zippers into knitwear...
Finally one of my testers took a "no-sew" zipper install class from Ann Weaver and explained the process to me... it uses fingering weight yarn of a similar color and a knitpicker... in a nutshell you pick up sts along the tape with lighter weight yarn and the tool and then use a three needle bind off to join the tape to your knitting. This creates an elastic edge on the tape and is brilliant! Clearly it is what I am doing on my next Artichoke French!

With further research I learned that in 2010 Tech Knitter wrote an article for Interweave Knits about the technique, and Eunny Jang shot a video about it!



Then I searched a tiny bit more and found AN INCREDIBLY detailed article from Tech Knitter about the technique..
So, now you are armed with more than you knew you needed to know about sewing your zipper into your knits and are no longer SCARED! Amiright? Or scary?


xoxo

Comments

  1. That is a beautiful sweater. I'm not quite there yet! Maybe some day.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Awesome!!!! Zipper (I love) ordered and will do this new technique. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for the timely blog post. Just purchased my own Riri 2-way zipper for my sweater.

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