Stitching the zipper into my Everyday Cardigan -- even with a few stops to attempt to get helpful photos -- took only a bit more that an hour.
USE A BACKSTITCH WORKED BY HAND FOR MOST ZIPPER INSERTIONS.
That is my #3 BIG something that really is a part of 'everything you need to know' about inserting a zipper of your own.
Sewing a zipper in by hand prevents the stretching that can happen when using a sewing machine on a handknit fabric.
Whenever I work backstitch, I always think of it as 'one stitch back and two stitches forward'. The backstitch, as shown in the illustration, is commonly used in hand embroidery to create a line.
You will start on the wrong side by securely stitching one end of the zipper to the sweater. Then work one or two small stitches above that. (Try not to let any of this show on the right side.)
Bring the needle out to the right side. Locate the column of stitches that will be your stitching guideline. As I mentioned in my last -- The Pinning -- post, the "well" where the I-cord is attached to the front of this sweater will perfectly locate and hide the stitch line. In this next photo, I am just using the needle as a pointer to show my planned stitch line.
Beginning the backstitch looks like this.
The steps you will be repeating:
1) Insert the needle in about one half of a row of knitting before where the last stitch came out.
2) Guide needle out two whole rows above where the last stitch came out.
3) Draw out needle to complete the stitch.
Remove pins just before you get to them. Check the wrong side fairly often to see that the stitches are appropriately located near the center of zipper tape which was you pin line.
When you get to the end of the zipper you will need to turn back to the wrong side to securely stitch the end of the zipper as you did at the start.
My project, named Everyday Sweater, really is all that.