I'm A Winner
- to the very last minute -
a chance to lose it. This is battle, this is politics, this is anything.
-Dwight D. Eisenhower
Knitting On The High Seas
So, you know how I love my UFO Resurrection, right? Well, March is that month of bitter struggles, cold wind, and the fierce determination of . . . something. I don't live in New England anymore, and while I really missed October, did I tell you how I went swimming and rollerblading and engaged on the beach last weekend and didn't freeze at all? It's nice. At any rate, March is the month when I will face my UFO demons - Zippers. Both my Rogue and my Ribby Cardi have been languishing for 10 and 3 months, respectively, lacking nothing by a zipper. And today I will pull the skeleton out of my closet and explain it all. Zippers have haunted me since I started knitting sweaters.
I was talking to a friend's younger sister the other day, and apparently I am out of style. And here I try so hard to keep up with all of the trends . . . Zip-front hooded sweatshirts are no longer the obligatory college dorm item. Now all the cool kids are wearing pullovers. I love my zip-front hoodies. Throw them on over anything.
So I like my cardigans. And while buttons have their place, nothing beats a zippered cardigan for a certain devil-may-care-je-ne-sais-quoi, a little panache, if you will. (You will, right? Because my friend's sister won't.)
Now in my life I've owned many zip-front cardigans, but I've only knit two (that have zippers already). After knitting and wearing and loving the first one - that would be Rosedale from Knitty, with a few mods, on your left - I realized one major fundamental difference between my zipper and the other zippers.
The zipper lining. Or whatever the piece of knitted fabric behind the zipper is called. All of my commercially knitted cardis have what looks like a second button (ok, zipper) band behind the zipper in either the same yarn or a very similar but lighter weight yarn. The other major difference? The fact that they sew their zippers on well enough so that they don't start coming undone after two years of careful wearing.
Witness my previous attempt:
Note how this sweater (from a recent FCEK in Lionbrand Cotton Ease) has a crocheted border up the middle. I tried to crochet a second, inner border and place the zipper between the two. (And excuse the bad photos. I think my camera battery was dead.)I don't know if my tension was off, or if using the same yarn (a heavy worsted weight) made it too bulky, but you can see from the photos above that the zipper doesn't lie perfectly flat. It looks OK on, but still not perfect. Clearly, those kinds of zipper linings don't work. Or at least with my rudimentary crochet skills. I've recently seen Grumperina's grosgrain ribbons, but I'm not sure that's the look for either Rogue or Ribby Cardi. And that just strikes me as one more thing to sew on crookedly.
I've actually started sewing to Rogue, and it's going OK. Slow, but steady. Ribby, on the other hand, I can't decide on the length. How much do I stretch the band to fit the zipper, or how much do I let it bunch up, or when do I give up and take it to a tailor to do? More drastic photos to follow. I told you this was a process.
#4 may have been the most important reason, now that I think about it . . . But it makes great reading/studying knitting. It's constructed in pieces and then joined for a raglan yoke with a hood added. I could have made it even easier and converted it to the round, but that would have actually required some thought. It's easier to knit as written and they are only little seams. Nothing major.
Above you see the back up to the armholes, and since taking that photo (on the beach chair again - this is great SoCal knitting!) I've finished both fronts also up to the armholes. A couple of sleeves, a yoke, a hood - something tells me picking the button could be the hardest part!
In the interest of full disclosure, I also have Louisa Harding's Natural Knits for Babies and Moms on the way . . . Last month my Book-of-the-Month Project involved getting rid of two knitting books I thought I'd never use, and I actually got rid of three. So I figured I had some bonus points with the bookshelf . . . And I do have all that wonderful CottonEase in bright unisex baby colors!
My sister (and maid-of-honor-to-be) was a little concerned from the black-and-white photos that it might have been platinum. Never fear. I have a strong preference for yellow gold, and the beau has been aware of that for some time. First the details, such as I know them, about the ring:
We walked down towards the water. And the beau got down on one knee, gave me my ring, and proposed. - I don't know what to tell you that I don't tell you everyday, but I love you and want you to be my wife. Will you marry me? - Obviously, I said yes. Civil marriage in July before he goes away for flight surgery training, then the whole church wedding in April when he's back. Fortunately, my mom, my sister, and the wonderful flitgirl are ready. In the same phone call in which I told my sister that I was engaged, she informed me that she had the bridesmaids' dresses picked out. How did I feel about pink? Sure enough, there were photos in my email 12 hours later.
And speaking of clothing, I was wearing my favorite handknit sweater when he proposed. And the now-affianced beau? Let's just say that his sock drawer is a little fuller. I had my suspicions, you know . . . Details on that tweedy goodness to follow.