Friday, March 27, 2009

FO: The Scoop Revisited

Okay, so this one isn't really a "new" FO. But it is the latest in a series of sweaters I've remodeled after knitting to suit me better.

This is my Kochoran Scoop, a basic, top down, scoop neck raglan of my own design. I loved it when I finished it, but after wearing it a few times, I decided it needed to be longer, and the collar needed to come up just a little. (I'm not well-endowed and don't have the necessary assets to hold up such a deep scoop neck.)

Here's the before:

And here's the after, with longer body and slightly shallower, narrower neckline:

I think it's much more flattering now, and certainly more comfortable to wear. More proof that you don't need to live with knits that aren't quite right!

This concludes this week's FO Parade. Next week: new knitting!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

FO: Autumn Leaves

This is one I've blogged about ad nauseum. It is a long, sad story of love gone wrong. Way back in November, I started this with great enthusiasm for both yarn and pattern. Alas, before I was even done with the knitting, I began to suspect that the yarn was not a good match for the pattern. Once again, I was seduced by a variegated yarn that was beautiful in the skein, but knitted up was...not.

I finished it anyway, was dismayed at its ugliness, and buried it in the closet. A few months later, I decided to give it another shot by overdyeing it. This worked pretty well, toning down the more acidic tones and blending the colors together without completely obscuring them. But I still didn't much care for the shape. A few weeks later, I finally got around to buying some buttons for it, and sewed them on. And you know...I sort of like it!

The Details:

Pattern: Turpan Cardigan by Deborah Newton

Size: Smallest, and modified to fit more closely.

Yarn: bulky merino in the Noviembre colorway. About 7 skeins?

Needles: Knit Picks Options circs in size 9

Mods: Quite a few. Longer, narrower, different stitch pattern for the body and sleeves (that Trinity stitch is a b*tch and sucks up yarn).

I still don't know whether this is cute or looks like a dumpy housecoat, but I've worn it once and got two compliments (from people who didn't have to), so I think it's probably okay. What do you think?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

FO: Amanda

You know you've fallen down on the blogging when you can't remember when you finished the FO you're trying to blog about. Fortunately, I have this one in my projects on Ravelry. It turns out I finished back around Christmas time. This is Amanda (Rav link):

The Details:

Pattern: Amanda by Lisa Lloyd, from A Fine Fleece. I love, love, love this pattern! I modified it by making it longer (of course) and by adding waist shaping.

Size: small (which isn't--the designs in this book are huge!)

Yarn: Sigh. Andean Alpaca Regal in Mallard Heather, 10 skeins. I love this yarn. Soft, gorgeous, drapey--and grows like a teenage boy. This sweater is at least three inches longer in the body than it started and the sleeves are even too long for me. It's really warm and cozy, but the pattern would definitely benefit from a springier yarn with more body. Entirely my fault; I may eventually make another of these in a stickier wool. For now, I wear this as a short robe.

Needles: Knit Picks Options circs, size 8.

I blogged about this here, here, and here, if you want more details.

Sophie seems to like alpaca.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

FO: Wisteria

Next up in the FO Parade is Wisteria:

The Details:

Pattern: Wisteria by Kate Gilbert from The Twist Collective. I love this pattern. I had a few problems with it, mostly from misreading the pattern (which I still hold was not entirely my fault). Mostly, though, I was able to knit from the pattern. I did lengthen the body and sleeves, and used front and back darts instead of side decreases for shaping. I also did an extra repeat of the collar pattern to make a higher collar--mine's more of a mock turtleneck than a high crewneck.

Size: 37"-ish

Yarn: My handspun, from Ashland Bay roving, 70/30 merino/tussah silk in the Autumn colorway.

Needles: Knit Picks Options circs (natch!), size 6

Thoughts: This project holds a special place in my heart. It's not the best sweater I've ever made, and it's not my first handspun sweater, but it is the first sweater for which I have attempted to deliberately spin yarn. I've blogged about this process several times, although I realize I barely mentioned the knitting part at all. (That's because I knitted this sweater during our Tahoe vacation, and I couldn't blog.) The yarn turned out maybe just a bit heavier than it should have been, but I was able to get gauge by knitting just a little tighter than I would have liked. This worked in my favor, actually, since the yarn grew more on blocking than I anticipated, and would certainly have grown more had I not knitted it rather firmly.

I haven't actually worn this yet; the weather hasn't been cool enough for such a warm, heavy pullover. But I am looking forward to finally putting it to winter.

Monday, March 23, 2009

FO: Aran Cardigan

I've owed this one its own post for a while now. I just haven't been able to get decent pictures. Which is odd, considering I've barely taken it off for a week. But here it is now, The Aran Cardigan!

Although I still want to put on-seam pockets in this one, I've bowed to the reality of my own lack of motivation and accepted that I need an interim solution if I want to wear this any time in the near future. So I crocheted the pocket openings closed from the inside for the time being. The seam is virtually invisible from the outside, and if I ever become sufficiently motivated to work out the zippered pockets, it's just one quick tug to reopen the seam.

The Details:

Pattern: #20 Cable/Rib Cardigan (Rav link) by Gayle Bunn (mostly) from the Holiday 2004 Vogue Knitting. Mine is several inches longer in body and sleeves and has a zipper instead of toggles. I also redesigned the sleeves to pick up and knit in the round with a short row shoulder, and made mine a bit narrower. I omitted the four pockets on the front and will probably eventually add on-seam zippered pockets instead.

Size: I followed the directions for the 38", but ended up with more of a 34-36".

Yarn: Lion Brand Fisherman's Wool in Natural Brown. 2.75 (huge) skeins.

Needles: Knit Picks Options circs, sizes 5 and 6.

Thoughts: This was one of the most labor-intensive sweaters I've ever done. And I love the results. This is the sort of sweater you wear daily for years and years. The wool is a bit scratchy and very sturdy, and although the pictures would have you believe it is grey, it is actually a warm, dark brown. The 3x3 ribbing did get tedious, especially on the endless sleeves, which, ironically, turned out to be two inches too long after blocking, and I had to pick out the bind off rows and shorten them. They're still long, but in a good way.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

FO: Mossy

I love to knit. Obviously. I love to blog. Equally obvious, I'm sure. I don't love to model my finished knits. Periodically, I discover that I have an unreasonable number of finished-but-unblogged knits just waiting their chance to be noticed. So this week I am celebrating my recent projects with an FO Parade.

First up is Mossy:

This was a very quick knit; so quick, in fact, that it was done almost before I got to blog about it. The design is my own, but that gorgeous cable is Norah Gaughan's, from Cire Perdue.

The details:

Pattern: My own. Top-down turtleneck raglan with front and back darts for shaping. 2x2 ribbing for collar, cuffs, and bottom.

Size: 36"

Yarn: Debbie Bliss Luxury Donegal Tweed (85% wool, 15% angora). 8.5 balls! (I ordered 12.)

Needles: Size 6 and 7 Knit Picks Options circs.

Thoughts: I love this one! The yarn is wonderful, both soft and tweedy, and the color is a rich yellow-green (deeper than the pictures show). After washing, it became much drapier and grew just enough to fit the way I was hoping it would. My only regret is that it is so late in the season, I probably won't have a chance to wear this before next winter.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

One Big Ball 'O Yarn

So I swatched all those yarns I showed you in the last post, hoping to come to a decision about Surface. And I wasn't really happy with any of them. On good advice from many of you, I nixed the variegated right off. The Roma, although it claims to be a dk weight, is really a worsted weight and knits up best around 19 stitches to 4 inches, instead of the 23 stitches to 4 inches called for by Surface. The Cashsoft is a lovely yarn with a beautiful sheen, and is the most likely candidate of the three, but I'm still hesitant about that silvery grey. While I was dithering, I dove back into the stash and found this:

This is one big hank o' yarn. I got this through a Rav destash a few months back for maybe $20. It's a pound of merino/bamboo. The only label is a scrap of paper reading: "Untitled. 60% merino/40% bamboo. 3 ply 1240 yds/lb." There is no yarn weight given, but judging from the yardage per pound and the appearance of the yarn itself, it's around a dk weight. At least it seemed worth swatching.

I learned my lesson about trying to swatch directly from the hank a long time ago. (Ask me about that huge hank of silk incident sometime.) I've heard (from as legitimate a source as the Harlot Herself) that some people do knit directly from the hank. I am not one of them.

So the first order of business was to turn this big hank o' yarn into a big ball 'o yarn. Now, you all know I love my ball winder and swift. But there's no way my ball winder can handle a pound of yarn, and I didn't want to cut this up into smaller balls that I would have to splice together later. I'm guessing the bamboo will make spit splicing difficult and who wants more ends to weave in? No, I decided, this yarn needed hand winding.

But not by me. I don't like hand winding. Fortunately, I have an in-house master winder who graciously accepted the challenge of hand winding this massive hank of yarn. I have no pictures of the procedure, because the master winder threatened to do nasty things with my camera if I took any. He evidently prefers to keep his secret identity just that. Suffice it to say, it was a big job. He wound steadily for an hour and a half. (He also made me rub his shoulders this morning because they had cramped up so much from the experience that they woke him up in the middle of the night.)

And this is the result:

That is one big ball 'o yarn. (Yes, that is the Aran Cardigan I'm wearing. I got tired of waiting for making pockets to sound exciting and crocheted the pocket openings shut so that I could wear it now and still go back later and insert pockets. It worked beautifully, but that's another post.)

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Mossy is done and blocking after a nice bath. Perhaps I will even get around to taking some FOtos and showing it to you. But first things first. I need a new project. Being a mostly monogamous knitter has its pluses and minuses. On the plus side, lots of FOs. On the minus side, when you really, really want to start something new, all you can do is knit faster to finish the project you're working on.

Norah Gaughan's Surface from the Winter 2008 Knitty has been hovering near the top of my queue for a while. Somewhere around the middle of the second sleeve of Mossy, that "must knit!" switch tripped over in my brain, and I zipped through the last bit of sleeve and tossed Mossy in the washtub on my way up to raid the stash closet for candidates for Surface.

I don't have a whole lot of dk weight yarn, because--let's just be honest--I'm not that patient. I'm a big fan of aran weight--maybe worsted, in a pinch. When I work with dk weight, I am usually struck with the same thought I used to have in the middle of the first night on any childhood camping trip: Why am I doing this, again?

Still, I do really like Surface, and it's only got 3/4 sleeves. If you ignore the fact that half of it involves working "purl four together" way, way too often, it's a quick knit, right?

Maybe we should just move on to the yarn choices. Here's what I've got it down to:

These colors are pretty true to life, despite (because of?) my taking them after the sun went down and in the last of the daylight. That variegated green on the top is merino from (source of Malabrigo). It's a plied yarn, and very soft. The colors are pretty much what you see: mostly greens, with a little grey and goldish. Pretty muted. Moving clockwise, the silvery-grey yarn is Rowan Cashsoft, a merino/microfiber/maybe cashmere blend, which I've never used before. (I actually ordered it by accident, thinking is was Cashcotton.) And in the front, that greyish-green (it's a little more green in person) yarn is Jaeger Roma, which is the same yarn I used for my Gathered Pullover, though not the same color.

I really like all of these yarns, and I think any of them would be a good choice for Surface. This will be my first Spring sweater of the year, hence all the light colors. But I'm having trouble picking one for this sweater. I originally planned to use the handpainted yarn, but I've been burned so many times by variegated yarns that I'm hesitant to try it, especially since I do love this pattern worked in solid colors. The Cashsoft is a nice yarn, but I've never worn light grey and don't know whether it will suit me. The Roma is a great yarn and a decent enough color; I just wonder if it's a little drab.

So there you have it. Any ideas?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Last week we took the kids to Legoland. We had free tickets and it's only about half an hour from our house, so even though we just went a couple of months ago, we thought, why not? We wandered, as we always do, through Miniland, where you can see some of the great cities of the world rendered in Legos, in remarkably accurate detail.

It was all very familiar, until we reached Washington, D.C., where there was definitely something different in the air. Can you tell what it is?

How about now?

Whatever side of the political aisle you side with, you have to admit this is some impressive Lego building!

Check out the realistic details:

I wonder if those limos are bulletproof?

And of course, what would an inauguration be without police?

But really, I was dying to look inside one of those portapotties (notice the realistic line) to see just how detailed the builders were!

Monday, March 16, 2009


I finished the first sleeve of Mossy last night.

I ripped out the first sleeve of Mossy today.

Although it turned out exactly as I had planned, I didn't like the finished product. Too narrow for the design. It really needs a more relaxed sleeve shape. So I'll give it another shot. Times like this, it's good to be knitting with aran weight. And top down. Definitely, top down.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Joys of Modern Banking

A couple of weeks ago, I got one of those balance transfer offers from my credit card company (0% interest! Fixed APR!), complete with handy-dandy pre-printed checks (Use them now! Buy that big screen! You know you want to!). As I always do, I shredded the checks and threw them out. A few minutes later, as I was paying the monthly bills, it occurred to me that I have a loan that I'm currently paying off at a significantly higher variable interest rate. I could actually use one of those handy-dandy checks, pay it off, then finish paying the loan at the lower, fixed rate. This seemed like a good idea. But alas, I had shredded the checks. No problem, I thought, I'll just call the credit card company and have them send me some more.

There's an unwritten rule of modern life: if you call customer service, and you get someone in India, things are not going to go well for you. Unfortunately, there is generally no alternative to slogging through what is bound to be a confusing, irritating, and lengthy "customer service" experience. My experience with my new BFF (we'll call him "Sam") was no exception.

Me: "Yes, I received some balance transfer checks in the mail and shredded them by mistake. Could you please send me some more?"

Sam: [insert unintelligible accent here] "No, ma'am, I am sorry, but we cannot send checks in response to a telephone request."

Me: "Um. Okay. How do I get some then?"

Sam: "I am sorry, ma'am, but we cannot reissue checks."

Me: "Um. All right. Are you going to be sending any more any time soon?"

Sam: "I am sorry, ma'am, but I cannot give you that information.

Me. "Oh. Okay. Ah. Is there some other way I can make a balance transfer?"

Sam: "Yes, ma'am. I can handle that for you over the phone."

Me: [Resisting the urge to point out the sheer idiocy of refusing to MAIL checks to my ACTUAL, REAL ADDRESS, but accepting authorization for the transfer of large amounts of money over the phone] "Oh. Okay. That will be lovely."

A lengthy and tedious conversation followed, which I will not repeat verbatim for fear of losing those of you who have stuck with me this far. Suffice it to say that bank account numbers were given, credit accounts were listed, names were named. Finally, Sam put me on hold for, oh, a day or two. When he came back, he said,

Sam: "Ma'am, is the balance you are transfering an account from ******** Bank?"

Me: "Why, yes. Yes it is."

Sam: "I am sorry, ma'am, but we cannot transfer an account balance from ******** Bank."

Me: "Why is that?"

Sam: "Because ******** Bank is owned by [our company]. We cannot transfer our own accounts."

Me: [Resisting the urge to point out he could have saved us both a lot of time by asking me this question 12 hours ago] "Uh."


Me: "Well. Um. Thanks for your help."

Sam: "But I can make a transfer into your checking account and you can use it to pay off the loan. The transfer fee is also only half that for a balance transfer."

Me: [Flatly dumbfounded, because, really, who WOULDN'T choose this option if it were actually presented to begin with?] "Really. Well. Right to my checking account, huh? And it'll only cost me half as much in transfer fees? Yeah. Okay. Let's DO THAT."

After another lengthy process, Sam assured me that everything was done and I should look for the money via wire transfer in "three to five business days."

I, foolishly, believed him.

That was two weeks ago, or, in banking terms, TEN business days. I have seen neither hide nor hair of the money, nor of any reference to a transfer. Today, I decided, I would brave the customer service line and try to figure out what had gone wrong.

The credit card company saved me the trouble. There was a letter from them in today's mail, informing me that they have tried to contact me about a balance transfer request, but since they have been unable to get ahold of me, they have cancelled the transfer. If I wanted to make a transfer, I should call [oh, yeah] customer service.

Unable to get ahold of me? I have three land lines. I have a cell phone. I have two email addresses. I have lived at the same address for more than ten years. The credit card company has all of this contact information. Unless they were trying to reach me by smoke signal, I can't imagine what trouble they could possibly have had getting ahold of me.

So I sucked it up and called customer service. I got an agent who sounded exactly like the first one I talked to. Maybe it was. So we'll call him Sam.

Me: "Yes, I set up a balance transfer by phone a couple of weeks ago, and today I got a letter saying you have been unable to reach me and have cancelled the transfer. I'd like to try again."

Sam: "Yes, ma'am, I can help you with that. I see here you had a balance transfer and it was cancelled. You want to transfer the money into your checking account?"

Me: "Yes, please."

Sam: "Can you give me the routing number and account number, please?"

I do.

Sam: "I must place you on hold while I check this."

Me: "No problem."

Quite a while later:

Sam: "I apologize for the lengthy hold. What is the name of the bank for this routing number?"

I tell him.

Sam: "I am sorry, but this is an incorrect routing number."

I repeat the routing number. Twice.

Sam: "I am sorry, but there is no record of this number."

[At this point I reminded myself rather forcefully that it is not a good idea to lose one's cool with Sam in India who has his fingers poised directly over one's credit rating, no matter how much one might like to make some sort of nasty comment.]

Me: "Well. I am looking at the check. That is the routing number printed on the check. That is also the routing number I use every month when I pay my bill on your website. I use that routing number every time I make a payment from that account, which is pretty much every day. And, actually, it's your bank. I'm not sure what to tell you."

Sam: "Oh. Okay."

And he continues to process the request. Or so I think. He could just be putting me on at this point, and I'd never know it.

Sam: "So you want to have $X transfered into your checking account?"

Me: "No. I want to have $Y transfered into my checking account."

Sam: "I'm sorry,ma'am, but I cannot transfer that amount."

Me: "Um. Why not?"

Sam: "Because I cannot make a transfer for the same amount within 25 days of a previous transfer."

Me: "But, um, there was no previous transfer."

Sam: "You got a letter approving a transfer."

Me: "No. I got a letter telling me the transfer I requested had been cancelled." This seemed like an important distinction to me.

Sam: "I'm sorry, ma'am, but I cannot make a transfer for the same amount."

Me: [After a moment's careful thought] "Can you make a transfer for a different amount?" [You've got to ask the right questions. I'm slowly getting the hang of this, I think, and I'm starting to get excited as I see the possibility of bringing this transaction to a close sometime before my head explodes.]

Sam: "Yes, ma'am. What amount would you like me to transfer?"

Me: "Just change the amount by $50."

Sam: "$50 more or less?"

Me: "I really couldn't...$50 less. Make it $50 less. Please."

Sam: "Yes, ma'am. That will be $Y-50 at X% interest fixed for the life of the loan with a transfer fee of $Z. Once I submit this, it cannot be changed. Do I have your approval to submit it?"

Me: "Yes. Yes, you do. Please submit it." [Submit it NOW! Before I totally lose it and start screaming at Sam in India who's probably not to blame but who is about to feel the full force of my annoyance and that would be a BAD thing, because as we've already established, he has his fingers waaaaay to freakin' close to my credit rating, and...]

Sam: "The transfer will be made by wire transfer in the next three to five business days. If there is any problem, someone will contact you by phone within the next three days. Is there anything else I can help you with?" [Yes, actually. You see, I've heard all this before, and it didn't work out quite that way. Could you possibly arrange for me to speak to someone who actually has some AUTHORITY, or better yet some ACCOUNTABILITY? Or maybe I could talk to that guy who decided to outsource customer service to India, along with all the jobs that used to be in the U.S. I'd really love to talk to him. I have a few questions for him. What's that? Monaco? He's living it up in Monaco because the unemployment rate in the U.S. was bumming him out? Yeah, I can see how that would get a person down. That and all those foreclosed houses. Oh, and the vacant commercial spaces are kind of a downer, too...]

Me: "No, thank you. That's all. Thank you so much for your help."

Any bets what happens next?

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Since finishing Wisteria a few days ago--bringing my finished-but-unblogged sweater total to four, I believe--I have been without a sweater on the needles. Installing the zipper on the Aran Cardigan distracted me for a while, and I do still need to do something about the pockets, but I was starting to get an annoying little twitch in my left eyelid, and every time I sat down on the sofa, my hands would start air knitting all by themselves. In the interests of my own mental health, I had to find something to cast on.

Despite the many, many patterns in my Rav queue--not to mention the many, many other patterns saved on my computer, and the large box of patterns awaiting my attention in the stash closet--I couldn't find anything that made me want to cast on. What I really wanted was a plain, top-down raglan turtleneck in an interesting yarn. I have a couple of lots of Noro in the stash, but I didn't feel like stripes. I have a bunch of solids, too, but I didn't feel like solids. What I felt like was this:

This, as you can see, is Debbie Bliss Donegal Luxury Tweed, which is the same donegal tweed as Takhi and Kilcarra (they're all from the same mill, I believe) but with the addition of a bit of angora to soften it. I bought it quite recently, on clearance from an online store in the UK, and it's been calling my name ever since. I planned to use it for another aran sweater, but I'm just not feeling the love. I don't want to work with it; I just want to play with it.

So top-down raglan turtleneck it is. I figure, I can probably get it done in time to wear it at least a couple of times before the endless summer rears its ugly head again and I have to put all the sweaters away for another six or seven or eight months.

Of course, being me, I couldn't let it go at that. As much as I love knitting plain stockinette--and I say with no sarcasm at all that I love plain stockinette--I was concerned that an entire one piece sweater all in plain stockinette in the round might just get a little...boring. Maybe a nice cable down the front would help. Something a little different. Something bold, that wouldn't get lost in the textured, tweedy yarn. Like the one from Norah Gaughan's Cire Perdue (from Norah Gaughan volume 3). I am fascinated by this cable. I am not, however, fascinated by the background of reverse stockinette, which I don't much like under the best of circumstances. And frankly, the idea of purling an entire sweater in the round makes me a little twitchy. So I just borrowed the cable design and put it into my stockinette sweater as a panel, right down the front. See?

I'm really enjoying knitting this. The yarn is both soft and tweedy, the color makes me think of every growing plant I've ever seen, and the cable is dramatic and distinctive without being heavy. I think I have the sizing right and my raglan increases properly spaced, but I won't know for certain until I divide for the sleeves and can put the thing on a piece of scrap yarn and try it on. But that's part of the charm of knitting without a net, isn't it? If I'm wrong, I can always rip it out and try again. Heaven knows, I'm an expert at that.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Zipper Installation Unzipped

After staring at the Aran Cardigan hanging over a kitchen chair for two weeks (where I deliberately left it to spur myself to some sort of productive action), I finally tackled the zipper installation. It's not my favorite activity, but sometimes only a zipper will do. A few people commented on an earlier post that they have avoided attempting to install a zipper because it seems so hard. I've made two zippered cardigans before this one, both before I learned that installing a zipper is supposed to be hard, so I was never afraid to try it. In all honesty, I can assure you it is not hard in either concept or execution, even with my negligible sewing skills. If I can manage it, you surely can! For those of you who might not have tried it before, I took pictures of the process so I could prove it to you.

If you recall, the zipper I ordered for this sweater turned out to be much too long. So the first order of business was shortening it. Thanks to Sue, I knew that I needed to remove the zipper stops at the top, cut the zipper to the right length, then reattach the stops. The little things at the top are, naturally, the stops:

Alas, after twenty minutes with a tiny screwdriver and a needlenose pliers, I discovered that, in an excess of caution, the manufacturer of this particular zipper not only crimps the stop in place, but also glues them down, to be sure they won't come loose. And I'm sure they would be happy to know that nothing short of a nuclear blast is going to separate one of their zipper stops from the zipper. Not to worry, though. I happened to have a zipper repair kit handy, and there were extra stops in the kit. So I put the zipper in place and decided where to cut:

[This, by the way, is the actual, real color of the sweater, at least on my monitor.]

Unfortunately, as soon as I cut it, the fabric began to fray, so I sealed it with some clear nail polish and then installed the new stops by crimping them over the end of the zipper with the needlenose pliers:

With the zipper shortened to the proper length, I began pinning it in place:

Leaving the zipper zipped together, I positioned it so that the selvedge stitch covered half the teeth of the zipper. I like my zippers to be hidden. By positioning the selvedge stitch half over the teeth on each side, the zipper will be completely covered when the zipper is closed. It's important not to stretch the knitting while you're pinning so that you don't end up with a weirdly puckered zipper when it's sewn in.

Once I had the first side pinned all the way up, I started sewing. Here you can see how the selvedge stitch partially covers the teeth of the zipper:

I sewed straight through the zipper and the knitted fabric one stitch in from the edge, and as close to the zipper teeth as possible:

I tried to make small, even, straight stitches, but as you can see from the back of the zipper, I'm no seamstress. That's okay; no one will see the back of your zipper. You don't need to know how to sew. Just stitch as neatly as you can and take your time. It's not fun (at least, it's not fun for me), but it's not difficult.

Here's the first side all sewn in:

To sew the zipper to the other front, I unzipped the zipper and pinned the loose half to the opposite side. (You could pin it in place with the zipper closed, but I find this too difficult.)

To make sure I had the zipper lined up properly, I then rezipped the zipper:

It seemed to be lined up correctly, so I unzipped it again and sewed the second half of the zipper in place, and voila!

A completed zipper!

And almost completely hidden:

Now if I can just bring myself to tackle the concept of zippered pockets...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Budding Artist

My nine year old brought this home from art class last night. His own choice of subject, still life, charcoal on paper. I was most impressed.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

What's Wrong With This Picture?

I measured for a 24" zipper. I special ordered a 24" zipper. This is not a 24" zipper. Clearly. I can hear the Knitting Goddess chuckling from here.