Monday, May 19, 2008



His name is Jackson! He's cute as pie, healthy and mostly happy (being an infant is hard, often upsetting work, you know). I haven't gotten to smoosh over him too much yet, but soon. Oh yes. Soon.

While I, family and friends were bonding with the really uncomfortable waiting room chairs as Jackson took his sweet time in joining us in the bright, harsh world I cast on, and finished, these:


They're Saartje's bootees (pdf!), modified as closed-toe because my SIL wasn't impressed with the strappy version I'd knit previously (she called them Mary Janes. I scoffed at her). They're actually cuter in real life.

My mods (for the large size):
Row 26: k16, ssk x3, k1, k2tog x3, k to end
Row 27-29: work plain
Row 30: k13, ssk x3, k1, k2tog x3, k to end
Row 31-32: work plain
Row 33: bind off

(Though you could probably bind off on row 31. Am going to try that next time). The only problem is that they're Koigu KPPPM and not machine washable. I'll gift 'em anyway, just because they're cute.

So. Remember back in, oh, December when I showed a bunch of knits I finished while in NZ? Like the Tomten Jacket which just needed a zipper or some toggles?

Y'all, I searched at LEAST... like... four stores for non-huge, non-ugly toggles, and there was NARY A ONE to be found. And then I tried looking for zippers. Did you know there are at least two kinds of zipper? Separating and non-separating. The non-separating kind are like the ones in your pants. Separating are like jacket zippers.

I couldn't find a short (and I needed short -- babies, it turns out, are tiny) separating zipper. So the jacket remained in my Ravelry WIP list. For MONTHS.

Finally (see how I reference my title? I was an English major!), I was in the Poconos and hit the American Ribbon and Craft Outlet in Stroudsburg -- which is a strange place. Not Stroudsburg -- the store. Stroudsburg is very charming. It (the store) is old and dusty and has weird stuff like old ribbon bobbins and lots of train set equipment. There are big empty spaces and things aren't quite put away properly. It's got a lot of character I'll tell you what.

But! The point is they had zippers, and I found a 12" white separating zipper (the shortest they had) and bought it, took it home, held it up to the jacket, and found it was about 3" too long. At which point I threw it all into a corner for another few weeks.

When Jackson arrived I had fresh resolve (fresh!) and looked up how to shorten a zipper. It's not that hard, actually, and I ended up using a mishmash of techniques.

1. Figure out where you want the zip to stop, then sew a stopper in between the two teeth like so:


I used 3 threads of embroidery floss (a half a usual strand).

2. With some needle-nose pliers remove the four teeth above your stopper. I found grabbing the tip of the tooth worked best, for some reason.

3. Cut below where the teeth start up again, and fold that extra bit of fabric to the back for a nice neat edge.

Then I followed Claudia's technique for installation. Except that I hand sewed it because I don't have a zipper foot for my sewing machine.

I find the uneven row of stitches pretty charming.

I sewed a zipper!

And it's finished! Ha HA! And too big for little Jackson for a while yet, but that's okay! It'll fit eventually.

In other news! Yesterday I trekked over to the Philadelphia Book Fair, met up with the entirely cool knitting/spinning/contra dancing Marie and we yanked out our knitting to see the Yarn Harlot!


She was riotously funny, and we all learned about how knitters are on mental par with Buddhist monks, which is very encouraging.

She spoke about this Cambridge study (and if you're planning to see her I'm not spoiling anything here) which essentially concluded that having a repetitive physical task during a traumatic event can make people less traumatized. I immediately thought about being on a plane, and how if we could somehow show the FAA and other airline security groups this study, maybe -- maybe! -- they would finally and totally ease up on our need for pointy sticks.

Less trauma means fewer lawsuits, right? (Okay, so the image I immediately got was a plane crashing and two or three people furiously knitting as the plane goes down. To reduce the trauma! ...right? Are you with me? Hello?).

Anyway. As I handed my book to Stephanie for her to sign I started to mention this theory, and she replied, "Needles are allowed on planes." I was a little thrown and said yes, but not always! IcelandAir didn't allow my needles. National flights, sure -- but -- and she agreed that international flights don't always, and then everything was kind of a blur as I tried to explain my theory and got flustered because they were shooing the line along, but she called out a "Nice to meet you!" as I dazed away.

But! I have explained myself to all y'all in a lengthy way, so I feel better now.

1 comment:

grace said...

Do you know what I focused on in this entire post? The fact that you said, "in your pants." Heh.

Nice work with the zipper! :D