May 03, 2005

Seaming, neckband, facings...I'm on a roll, bay-bee!

River to the far left. Opera house to the far right.
I took this shot while backstitching shoulder seams.
(Doesn't everyone seam in the car?)

Sometimes I get the most knitting done while sitting in the passenger side of a car. If I'm going to be sitting in the car for longer than 15 minute stretches I can be sure that I'll have uninterrupted knitting time because i) I can't get up and do something else, and ii) I don't get car sick. Excellent knitting time guaranteed.

Last week Monsieur Le Hubby took a day off and we drove out to Vienne to visit Aunt Josephine and Uncle Pierre. 40 minutes of car knitting* while I sang along to the radio like bad karaoke! This time I took all the pieces of my son's cotton jacket so I could seam it in the car. [Here's a peek at me backstitching the shoulders. And the eagle eye will notice that I'm wearing something I hand-knit for myself. Can you guess what it is?] How I seamed: I backstitched the shoulders (no three-needle bind-off this time; I have a feeling this cotton is going to grow with wear), joined the side and sleeve sleeves using mattress stitch, and then picked up stitches for the neckband, which I then worked in ribbing. [Wanna see a picture of the neckband while it was still on the needles? Oh, go on.] I then knit the zipper facings, which are not knit into the jacket. They're knit separately and later joined to the front edges of the jacket.

So. Seaming is complete and I'm a happy knitter. Time to sew on the zipper and zipper facings, already! But for some reason, I felt the need to throw the seamed jacket - along with the zipper facings - in the gentle cycle of the wash before sewing in the zipper. I didn't want the zipper facings to act strangely AFTER the zipper was sewn into them and the jacket was washed for the first time, so I decided to wash it all before sewing in the zipper. I always give my finished knits this sort of final blocking session before their first wear anyway, so it wasn't lost time even though the pokey drying cotton took two days to dry on the blocking board:

Shh...jacket's drying.

Now! Here comes the part that really rocked my socks: Sewing in the zipper. I simply pinned the zipper into the facing, basted, and then sewed using backstitch:


From this moment on I will try to ensure that all my zippered knits have facings similar to these. Sewing the zipper into them first is easier and less tedious than sewing a zipper directly onto the fronts of a jacket. I sewed the zipper into one facing in less than half an hour, and did it while watching Forrest Gump on dvd. Run, Forrest, Run!

[Zipper facing footnote: I simply followed the directions in the pattern for knitting this facing, but I've seen a similar zipper facing in Katharina Buss's Big Book of Knitting under the "zippers" section. The facing is doubled, just like the one I used, and is also in stockinette stitch. Refer to her book for instructions.]

Next up: Sewing the facings (with the zipper already in them), onto the jacket.

*I only work on my knitting on our way to Vienne, but never on the way back home. On the way back I just sit in the car like a satisfied greedy gut and digest all the wine and good food Aunt Josephine serves.

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43 comments to this entry:

I usually drive our car. Maybe I should become the passenger :)
Are you wearing your Rebecca cardi? I love that cardi!

That's the one! :-)

I vote for the Apricot Jacket too.

Just a warning about seaming in the car: Don't do this if your husband expects you to read signs and tell him where to turn in order to stay on the right track. This can happen even if you've driven the same road dozens of times. This can also happen even if you think that the driver should also read the signs, since that's what you're doing yourself when you're driving and your husband's sleeping in the passenger seat.
But very well, it's a nice opportunity to see another German motorway, to make the trip home from your vacation last a little longer and to realize that your husband's opinion on your multi-tasking capacity is very high.

And I guess Mr Hubby could drive to Vienne in his sleep.

(I'm really looking forward to see how you seam in those zipper facings!)

in awe of that perfect seaming and cool zipper. don't know why since you do it brilliantly every single time. time to pull out that chicknit ribby and give that zip a try.

lovin' the apricot in action.

Zipper Sewing Queen, thou art! Lookin' forward to seeing Mr. Captain Destructo model the new jacket. He must be giddy with anticipation!

That jacket is SO adorable! I wish my nephews were still young (and small enough) so I could make it for them... *sigh*... The way the zipper is put is great I will have to look into doing that for the cardi I am planning ... Thanks for sharing that!

And hello ... hats off to someone who can knit in the car... I start and have to take breaks every now and then until the virtigo passes, that is when I am lucky enough tohave someone else drive me :)

I'm impressed with your car knitting--usually after about five minutes of knittig in the car, my eyeballs feel like they're being pulled into my head and while my skull feels like it's being compressed in a vice. Surprisingly, knitting on the subway or plane doesn't bother me in the least.

Thanks for sharing all your photos of France! I think it's so interesting to see pictures from all over the world through people's blogs.

Oh Rabbit-of-many-talents! I've tried knitting in the car (but I DO get carsick), but seaming? You've taken it to a whole other level, girl!

Wow - I love it and the zipper facings look easy-peasy. What kind of selvedge did you use for the facing - it looks great!

Does lucy travel with to vienne?

I wish you blogged daily - or several times a day. Then I'd make you my homepage! ;) Thanks for having such a great site.

Another awe-inspiring seaming job - maybe one day I'll muster up the courage to try zippers, but it is not this day! Can't wait for the whack Destructo dance-off!

P.S. The tank I made with your lovely Phil Ruban porcelaine is all done - see my blog for a picture. :)

I am very interested to see how the zippered facing gets sewn onto the jacket. Pictures please!

What a lucky young boy to have his mommy knitting him these "couture" seamed jackets : ) He is going to look great in it, can't wait for him to do his dancing tricks wearing his jackie!!!

Oh and that looks like Rebecca's apricot, very chic Madame!!

I have that book Big Book of Knitting, and I've never noticed that zipper facing instruction before.. then again I've never looked for it, either! But, I really love the idea of knitting it separately and doubling it so that you can't see the zipper cloth from the WS. Methinks I just might have to lift this idea for myself!

Lucky you! I have to get all drugged up on the Dramamine before I can really do anything in the car--knitting or reading. Great progress on the cotton jacket. Can't wait to see The Captain modeling it soon--he is so cute!

Take care!

My husband gets frustrated because I always make him drive so I can knit!
I don't think I'll be attempting to seam in the car, though... I'm lucky to seam anything while sitting stationary on my couch!
The jacket looks great! Can't wait to see it with zipper installation completed!

That wool looks so soft and totally has my attention. And what a cool zipper tip! I like that inside-the-facing thing lots better than any other directions I've read - might even conquer my fear of all things zippery. Really like your springtime pics - it's great to see what the rest of the world looks like as all the spring blooming gets underway.

I going to vote for the Apricot Jacket as well. The zipper facings look quite interesting. I just bought the Buss book... will have to take a look!

Yay for car knitting! If we didn't frequently take long road trips on I would have significantly fewer FO's than my (already meager) amount.

And I think Annette and I are married to the same man... particularly the "driven the same road dozens of times" and "driver should be reading the signs because it's what you do" parts... if I'm not paying attention we always seem to overshoot the exit off the highway to our house. The place where we live and return to every time we come home. Guess I have to put my knitting down from time to time!

I've never seamed in the car, but I've been known to stealthily seam while sitting at the reference desk on a long Sunday shift (when my boss is not around).

The sweater is turning out really cute!

Becky...what a great idea using a zipper facing! Perfect job! Have you ever done that before? I guess I should try that on Olive. If I can't do it...of to the tailor she goes.

I love the photo of you hanging on the wire! Cool.

It's so much fun to watch your projects come together. And what a cool way to put in a zipper. Makes it all seem much less intimidating somehow. Can't wait to see the Captain dancing his brains out in his stylin' asymmetrical sweater.

And I have to ask...what project's next in your queue?

I am a big fan of car knitting, too, because of the uninterrupted knitting factor! I usually feel guilty sitting around for that long during the day in the house without getting up to do something, but in the car I have no choice! I am also lucky that my husband likes to drive. We always joke about how when we get older, we will rent an RV and drive across country with me knitting the whole way. I wouldn't usually like the idea of an RV, but if it allows me large amounts of time to knit, I am all for it.

Love that Buss Book of Knitting...

I love your cool...and what a beautiful place to live.

Cap'n is gonna look so handsome in his new duffs!

Hey Becky,

I like that the Apricot Jacket made a cameo appearance, lol! And I'm not a big fan of knitting in the car, its too hard to knit and drive at the same time (nah j/k!).

You continually amaze me. Seaming in the car, wow! I'm lucky to get a nice looking seam when I'm at the dining table.

By the way, I have been working on Charity (from Rowan's Ribbon Twist collection) and I now quite literally feel your Willow pain. It is knit on 10mm and 12mm needles - ouch! Where *is* Keanu?

I love to knit in the car. It helps me refrain from backseat driving too. I never leave home without my knitting or something crafty.

I once tried to bead with seed beads in the car. I was semi-successful until the driver hit a big pothole.

I haven't really taken a look at the Big Book of Knitting because I already have a VK and the Reader's Digest book. How would you compare the BBoK to the Reader's Digest book? or to the VK reference book?

Is there such a thing as having too many reference books?

Sewing the zipper into independent, detached facings BEFORE putting it into the sweater? That's sheer genius!! It makes so much more sense than sewing it directly to the sweater (especially when it doesn't work perfectly and you need to tear out--I've done that, and it's not pretty). Really brilliant. I definitely have to try that.

What a great idea for the zipper facing! So it sounds like it's doubled looks like it's doubled (like a hem) and therefore hides the back of the zipper... Hm. This re-opens the zippered sweater option door that keeps closing on me.

Knitting in the car, I've accomplished but seaming too??? That's a new one. Maybe I should give it a try since I'm confined and can't do something else. I so don't like to seam.... I have to say that you've got many pieces to seam together on this cotton jacket. I would be soooo turned off by all the seaming. I love zippers in handknits!

I can't believe you were seaming in the car! What a riot! I can knit in the car, but it has to be something huge and stupidly easy. Its looking gorgeous, can't wait to see it all done!

OK, I can't take it any more. I trotted out my (v. rusty) high school French, took myself to the Phildar site, and ordered the book with the Captain's v. cool jacket to make for my nephew. I haven't knit in French since the last century, but I hope I'll be able to figure out the vocabulary. Merci, mme. lapin!

The jacket is looking good - can't wait to see the dance shots. I've only had one experience with zippered knits and it was not pretty. This is a much more logical approach - I just might have to have another go at zippers! Thanks Becky!

Thanks for the kind words! The Captain is excited about his new jacket. I'm aiming for him to wear it before the end of the week.

Another plus about sewing the zipper into the facing first: Not only does it make sewing the zipper onto the fronts of the jacket easier, there's no need to sew grosgrain ribbon (been there, done that) or knit bands (been there, done that too) to the wrong side of the zipper to hide it. Double facings, how I love thee! (And YES: Check out Katharina Buss's book for more on this. It shows how the double facing looks from the WS, too.)

As for comparing reference books, I think that every reference book I own has something that can't be found in the others so I wouldn't want to part with any of them. Everything I've learned about knitting was gleaned from *all* the books I have. I like them all for several reasons...VK's for the design section, Montse Stanley's for cast-on and cast-off techniques, Katharina Buss's for grafting and get the idea. And whenever I get a new book, I leaf through the whole thing once or twice right away, which is why I remember where to look for certain techniques, like this zipper facing.

I am glad that I am not lonely in the business of 'Knitting in the car'. I often get sick reading in the car but it seems to be OK to knit?? :)
I can't help to admire the perfection of your work!

this is AP knitting, man! absolutely gorgeous work. can i tell you how excited i am to get to the backstitching on the neck of the giraffe sweater? i remember first reading about it on your blog and i couldn't even get my head around it! still can't, but i'm gonna try! :-) at least now i get it a little from embroidery.
i've promised myself no more knitting books for a while, but i just might have to get ms. buss'. thanks once again!

The zipper looks great, but my mind isn't picturing how it'll go into the jacket. I'll have to check out that book you recommended. Zippers aren't even on the radar of things I'd try yet.

I seam in the car, too! I even found wayward Chibis in the glove compartment once. Your jacket is looking really pretty.

This makes me wish I didn't get carsick. The zipper-facing method is pure evil genius!

That zip look great. You've almost inspired me to try it myself rather than wait for me mum to visit. Waiting on tender hooks for Captain Destructo to put on his new jacket and do the bunny dance :)

I share the view of vicki. Just wonder how you sew the zip onto the jacket.

I knit in the tube too! Just started my summer knitting!

Neat neat trick with the zipper. I am now converted to your method, O wise knitter. You are one with the zipper.

In all seriousness, looking at your pics, especially one's like that of the zipper in the facing, is so visually pleasing I actually grin. That pic sums up so many things I love about knitting garments. I'm not sure how to say exactly what I mean, but I could stare at that pic for hours.

I'll come back later, though, so you can rest. ;-)

how smart to wash the jacket before putting in the zipper. You really are a smart rabbit!
I like car knitting too, for the reasons you listed! I would just be sitting there anyways, so why not be productive!
I have a few last things I want to put into your package and then its being mailed off!

being a commuter knitter, i hate it when my i'm working with cotton and husband either drives to fast or goes over a speed bump as i often loose sts that way. Hurrah for Crystal Palace.

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