Thursday, December 23, 2010

Inserting no-sew zippers in knitwear--the video

Here is a link to an Interweave Knits video on a TECHknitting technique.  (The fully illustrated zipper installation article is here.)

As shown on the video, the trick to inserting no-sew zippers for knitwear is to use a "knitpicker," a tiny latch hook.

The video shows BOTH of the techniques illustrated in the above link, as well as the Winter 2010 Interweave Knits article on zippers.  Specifically, the chain method AND the live-loop method are demonstrated by Eunny Jang, the IK editor.  

Using these tricks, an item can be STARTED from the zipper edge--TECHknitting blog just featured a 3-part KAL of a little zippered purse started from the zipper edge.  Alternatively, the zipper can be added at the END of the project: once the zipper has been prepared by using the knitpicker either to make a chain OR to draw through live loops, the zipper becomes a knittable object--as easy to attach as seaming two pieces of knitting together, or attaching an I-cord edging to a sweater's button band.

I believe these tricks can make adding zippers to knitwear much easier than methods calling for sewing.  I hope you will enjoy the video tutorial of both of these new methods--chain as well as live loop. --TK

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Addendum, December 26, 2010. 

Valsew on Ravelry offers this very clever trick for those of you who have sewing machines.  The idea is NOT to use the machine to sew with, but instead to use the sewing machine as a MARKING and PUNCHING tool along the edge of the zipper tape, as follows:
  • Why not use your sewing machine with a unthreaded topstitch needle for even hole spacing and prepunching, as well as a consistent distance from the edge of the zipper tape?  You may match your knitting gauge by sewing on a piece of plain paper (again with no thread in the needle) and adjusting the stitch length until it matches your gauge. 
Thanks, Val, for permission to re-print this valuable tip!

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You have been reading TECHknitting blog on no-sew zippers, the video.


Nancy said...

This new technique is fantastic!
I've been afraid to knit a sweater that calls for a zipper until now. Thanks!

atangledyarn said...

i'm almost finished with a CPH and was thinking of putting a zipper in...this technique seems so easy, i can't wait to try it out! thanks for such a great blog with great illustrations and descriptions:)

projektleiterin said...

You are my hero, really. :) If there was one blog that every knitter must read, it's yours. :)

aafke7 said...

Yes, any knitter should read your excellent instructions! Merry Christmas and thanks!

Sidney said...

brilliant!thank you & merry christmas...

Brooke said...

I love it! The article was very descriptive, but I'm glad to have back up instructions!

camsmith89 said...

I have been reading your blog for about a year now, and thanks to todays KD email, anyone who didnt know about you before definitely does now!! You are amazingly talented, keep it up!

veganprimate said...

This technique is awesome! I may actually try a zipper. I still haven't tried buttons, yet. I only make pullovers b/c of the fear.

One thing that I'm not clear on: when you pull up either the loops or chain, is the front of the zipper facing you, or the backside?

needlefingers said...

I have a sweater that has been waiting well over three years for a zipper (maybe five, who knows).

This is genius!!! Thank you!

TECHknitter said...

Hi VP--The FRONT of the zipper faces you (the loops come up on the front of the zipper tape). This way, when you attach the zipper to your knitting, the loose flaps of the zipper tape are in the back. Thanks for writing to clarify this important point!

Best, TK

Heather said...

This is awesome. Like many the whole zipper thing was questionable before. I look forward to trying this.

Anonymous said...

So I originally read this line:

"I believe these tricks can make adding zippers to knitwear much easier than methods calling for sewing."


"I believe these tricks can make adding zippers to knitwear much easier than methods calling for swearing."

Apparently my subconscious thinks I should try this technique. Thanks!

TECHknitter said...

Hi Anon: thanks for the laugh!

Also, thanks to all for the nice comments.

Happy new year, Knitter-folk! From your TK

Jenny Eliuk @ Stay on Path said...

WOW! This is so great, thank you for sharing this. I'm about to cast on my very first Icelandic sweater that calls for steeking, and am way more nervous about sewing a zipper in than cutting the knitting! I am definitely going to do this!

Jeanie said...

Thanks for this amazing tutorial. After watching the tutorial, I have a question that no one else has asked so I assume I must be missing something. Won't using this kind of zipper installation yield a bulky zipper seam? For instance if you use a 3 needle bind-off to attach the zipper to the knitting (or an applied I-cord), where does this "seam" actually lie? Between the zipper and the knitting or somewhere else? Guess I'm having a hard time visualizing this.... Is there a tutorial that actually shows the second part of attaching a zipper this way and what the finished product looks like? Thanks!

TECHknitter said...

Hi Jeanie--if you cast off right to the loop pick up, then yes, you will get a bulky seam right by the zipper teeth. If, however, you use the loops picked up through the zipper tape by the live loop method, then knit the band onto the zipper tape, then work this zipper-edged band off onto the front edge of the cardigan via the 3-needle bind off, or via an applied I-cord, then the seam will be in the same place as it would be had you knit a separate band in the first place and then attached it, there will be no additional bulk, and you'll have a zipper in your work.