I have no idea whether this is really a Russian technique, but I haven’t seen it in any non-Russian media. So, in honour of Irr-saukh, who is Russian, and who introduced this technique to me on Ravelry, I hereby dub it “the Russian Zip Technique”.
What am I talking about? This:
It looks like a normal zip, until you have a look at the inside:
and the front:
You can’t see the difference right? That’s because instead of knitting one band for the front, you knit two! And sandwich the zipper between the two bands.
I love this technique because it’s neat. None of that ugly hand-stitching visible, nor the scratchy zip edging against your skin. And best of all, the zipper does not fight with the knitted yarn, and produce that ugly bulge you get on a lot of knitted things that have a zipper set into them. (The jacket looks a little “bulgy” in the photo above, but Eric refused to stand up properly, and I haven’t blocked it yet. I assure you it does lie beautifully).
You can view my original post on how to knit this technique here. Now that I’ve actually knitted it myself, I thought I’d update it with this extra information:
1. To create an even knitted band on each side, make sure you pick up the same number of stitches each side. There is no recommended number of stitches, but my suggestion would be to try to pick up a stitch from each row or alternate row – you need to experiment a bit. For this 38cm-long jacket edge using DK weight yarn, I picked up 82 stitches.
2. I basted the zipper on to the back band, and then back-stitched the front and back bands together over the zipper. This allowed me to place it correctly. (You can see one of the basting stitches on the inside edge photo – I haven’t removed it yet).
3. The original instructions show you the technique to create a stocking stitch edging. I changed this so that it was a garter-stitch edging that matched the edging for the rest of the jacket.
Do try this the next time you knit a project that needs a zipper. I think you’ll find that the effort is well worth it. I love it!
Pattern details: Naturally New Zealand yarns pattern N1087, knitted in Naturelle Tussock, 8 ply.