Friday, October 20, 2006

I'm Scared of Sewing

The knitting for Pepe's Accordion has been done for weeks. But it has been lingering, marinating in self-doubt. The Inner-Knitter kept saying that the sweater fronts looked really bad. Like needing-to-be-frogged bad. Like no amount of blocking would help. The stitches were stretched and uneven and there were lots and lots of endsas yet unwoven. It was ugly.

And on top of that, this sweater requires a zipper. So take messy cardigan fronts, add that to my terrible hand sewing, and you are going to have one ugly, amateur-ish sweater for my sweet son.

So I've been sort of sitting on these doubts for a couple of weeks, getting up the courage to tackle whatever it would take to finish this sweater. I read up on zipper installation (not so encouraging when Monste Stanley's instructions begin by suggesting that you avoid zippers) and reminded myself that I was not performing brain surgery. And on the knitters-high that was the lace shawl, I decided to just do it. Carefully, meticulously. I would do my best.

I banished the children from the house, turned on the iPod and basted the sweater fronts and the zipper.

The sweater fronts did look truly horrid.


So I picked up stitches along the edge, did a reverse stockinette rolly band on both fronts, a vast improvement for sure, and certainly preferable to frogging.

Aaah. That's better.

I began to start the process of zipper installation again, and then I realized my zipper was not a separating zipper. Wrong zipper! Argh!!!

I received the new zipper yesterday, so surely in the next week, I will have time to install it and totally destroy a great piece of knitwear with my horrific sewing.

Or not.

But in the meantime, I did knit Pepe a matching hat. He likes it, but won't wear it for more than three minutes at a time.


Jessica said...

Just be thankful you didn't completely sew in the wrong zipper. I did that using a sewing machine. It took forever to pick it out. Don't worry about your sewing skills. The stitches really blend in once the zipper's installed.

HPNY KNITS said...

what a great cardi! if you had not said anything, I'd never guess it was horrid. besides, if you son is like mine, it'll be covered in mud in no time- worn happily!
I think it'll look great.

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to see it. I, too, am scared of zippers in knits--but I'm sure you can do it!!

Anonymous said...

When my daughter was small and I was learning to smock for her, my teacher gave me great words of wisdom - if you can't see it on a galloping horse, don't worry about it on children's clothing. Everytime my daughter whizzed by in one of my creations, I was grateful for the counsel.

Ann said...

Almost every cardigan that I am attracted to these days has a zipper. I want to conquer my fear of the sewing so badly! I can't wait to see how Pepe's sweater turns out!

JulieFrick said...

Oh, GOD! I love it! I've been wanting to do an accordion for the Biscuit, but have been totally frightened away by the zipper. Love your solution. Hurrah for that hat, too!

Kirsten said...

The sweater looks great! Good luck with the new zipper. I'm sure it will be much better than you think. The hat is adorable too.

Dorothy said...

You could always head down to a local sewing studio or tailor's shop and see if they will walk you through the sewing thing. It's what I'm going to have to do when it comes time to sew all the linings in my bags.
I like the hat.

Bron said...

hey I think the sweater looks like it will turn out great =)
And the hat is super cute too =)

lexa said...

That's one thing I despise -- sewing zippers in knitted garments! Yuck! I've only done it twice, I think, and hated every minute of it. I'm not much at sewing, so that's probably most of my problem. I have a basic machine that I can do minor repairs and straight lines on, and luckily it has a zipper foot. That makes it easier.