Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Big Gray Sweater


It's finished! I am ridiculously elated to be able to say that. I spent the better part of one day just looking at it and marveling that it was actually completed. (And that it turned out great, though I say it myself!) J loves it. He wouldn't take it off all of Friday, and on Saturday he even wore it while presenting at a conference! (It has officially proven itself in public.)


The most amazing thing about this project was a new technique I tried for installing a zipper. My knitting life will never be the same again! I read about it in Interweave Knits, and there's a video tutorial here.

It involves using a little tool called a knitpicker that looks like an ultra-tiny latch hook:


After marking my zipper tape (see the video), I used the knitpicker to pull loops of yarn up through the garment front (in one particular column of stitches) and then through the zipper itself, placing the loops on a knitting needle:


I then knit each stitch together with a picked-up loop from the body, and immediately cast off. (A little tricky to explain in words, but if you've ever attached a patch pocket as-you-knit, it's basically the same technique.) This is the resulting zipper facing (on the wrong side of the sweater):


I love how neat and finished it looks. I'm quite a finishing perfectionist, but I've never had much luck making zippers look good. Now, though? So long zipper-installation phobia! I'll probably start inserting zippers everywhere . . .


  1. I'm going to try this technique, I've never done anything like this, but this kind of tutorial gives me some confidence. Thank you for posting this, and I think I might practice on some thrift store garments first. Your sweater turned out beautifully!!

  2. Thanks for your comment! I'm so glad my experience could be confidence-inspiring to you. Great idea about using the thrift store sweaters--go for it!

  3. where did you get your knitpicker?

    1. Hi, Yvonne! I found the knitpicker at Jo-Ann Fabrics. It was this one: