Friday, October 31, 2008

Zipper Zany (AAUGH)

Greetings, and Dear Cynthia,

School has been keeping me very busy, though I'm still enjoying it quite a bit. (It's going extremely fast! I've already completely nine weeks this semester, with six weeks of classes and a week of finals left.)

The past two weeks, I've been learning about muscle testing, neural tension testing, and lots of other stuff, but my biggest "take-away" so far in the PT program is that my own body is weak and full of tension. I'm assured that at some point, we'll learn how to fix all of these things. For the time being, I just have to laugh.

I LOVE taking the bus. Sometimes it is a bit of a "multisensory" experience, but it is a very social thing, relaxing, convenient, and has the added benefit of me not having to remember where I parked my car.

My knitting/blog reading is a bit sporadic, though a great way to relax when I have a few minutes. I sewed Ibenholt together completely (YAY! -- sleeves are attached to the body of the sweater, all but a few ends woven in), then whip stitched the front edges together (using thread in a contrasting color) in preparation for zipper installation:With all of the patterning in this sweater, it is critical that the cables are aligned on each side of the zipper, and sewing the fronts together before installing the zipper will assure this. (Plus, it was called for in the pattern.)

I needed a zipper which was 19", though my only available choices (without spending a lot for a custom zipper) were 18" or 20", so I violated my own cardinal rule and went with the longer length, thinking that I could extend the zipper into the one-inch undercollar, which can sort of be seen in this next photo:
The "undercollar" is an area in which there are only two ribbing stitches between cables, and it runs for about an inch. Then, the pattern is changed so that there are three ribbing stitches between each cable, so the collar flares/fans out a little bit.

I sewed the zipper into the sweater by machine, then removed the stitches which were basting the fronts together. It looked fine when completely zipped up. When unzipped, however, I thought the black zipper tape was just too much, especially at the neckline. So, I sewed a ribbon to cover the edges of the black zipper tape:
Don't get too attached to this photo, because I've already taken it all out! I hated the way it looked, and didn't like it that the ribbon ended one inch into the cabled section of the collar -- even though it is technically an "undercollar," it still looked ridiculous to end an inch after the start of the cables. It would be much more natural for it to end at the base of the collar, where the stitches are initially picked up.

So, I'm going to switch to the shorter zipper. This should alleviate a small amount of puckering which occured along the front edges, too, and if I'm extremely careful to not stretch the front even one iota as I'm sewing the zipper in, the length just might work... AAUGH!

Now, I need help deciding if I should change to a pink zipper, or the non-metallic black one shown below. What do you think?
My kids have off from school today. I have just a couple of finishing touches to sew today for their Halloween costumes, and we'll get together with friends to go Trick-or-Treating tonight. I bought candy to pass out at the house, but we're not going to be here, so oh well. (A few years ago, I tried putting out the candy in a big bowl with a note for the kids to limit themselves to one piece each, but apparently kids these days can't read and the candy mysteriously disappeared in record time, so I'm not going to bother with that.)

I have a lot of progress to show on the Must Have Cardi, but will show that in another post.

I'm still going to get on my soap box about the importance of exercise, too, but want to think about that for a little bit. For now, suffice it to say that there are incredible benefits to staying active, and so I would encourage everybody to at least start walking, even if only ten minutes a day is what you can handle at first -- no matter how little you do, there is still benefit. You can even do other things while you're walking/running, such as plan your menus in your head, make a grocery list, study 53 manual muscle tests for a "skill check" on Monday (just sayin'), etc. There are many changes our bodies naturally progress through as we age, and activity is one of the best things we can do in order to slow some of those processes.

Warm regards,
Laura (YarnThrower)


Sus said...

The sweater is looking great!! I think I have to vote for the pink zipper. It's a bit pale in comparison to the yarn, but the high contrast of the black just isn't doing it for me. Good luck with the repeat!

Marie N. said...

I like the look of the pink zipper there. What a masterpiece!

French Nanny said...

I say go for the pink zip!

Cindy G said...

I'm voting pink, too. (Every time I see bits of that sweater I love it more.)

Debi said...

Have you tried Zipper Stop?

They are really good about matching, you can send them a snip of yarn and they will match it and even make you a custom length...for about $10 including shipping!

Such a gorgeous sweater deserves a beautiful zipper too :)

allisonmariecat said...

Love the sweater! I always enjoy seeing your zipper installation. It's so neat and tidy. The sweater is GORGEOUS.

Wow, 6 weeks left??? Great!

I also really appreciate the reminder to exercise. It's something that gets cut out when I don't have time, and I need to remember that it's not a luxury--it's best for me AND my family if I get it in!