Tracking Your Progress on Zinone

Because of Zinone’s simple shape, it’s really easy to plan your knitting to hit a deadline. All you need to do is divide the length by the section of time you’re working with. If you’re a steady, consistent knitter, you just need to have half of the length completed by the end of this month to get your sweater done in the two months of the OAL. That’s just 1-4 inches past the armhole joining round for almost every size and length pairing.

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I’m a little behind on my Zinone because I’ve been working on other projects behind the scenes, but I think I should be able to get to the halfway point by next week! I expect to get my neckline joined tonight, and it will be speedy after that because it’s all stockinette. I still haven’t touched my skirt, but it shouldn’t take long once I get going. How are you doing with your own projects?

Zinone Resources

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After years of blogging and many knit alongs, there are some great resources on this blog. If you click the “Useful Posts” tab, you can see a list of them, but here’s a selection that would be particularly helpful for Zinone. It’s a short list because, except for remembering to space out your slipped stitches and following a slightly more challenging lace pattern, Zinone is a fairly simple knit.

A few knitters have mentioned modifying their Zinone because they couldn’t match the row gauge listed on the pattern. It’s pretty easy because of the simple construction, but I really recommend working through the math in the post I linked to above instead of winging it and measuring as you go. I’m not a fan of measuring as you go for anything precise like a garment because unblocked knitting can lie, and knitting needles can distort the piece. Doing the math will go quickly because there are only a few shaping sections, and it will give you a final result that looks more like the pattern than what you might end up with if you improvise. Plus, it’s good practice, so you can do the same kind of modification confidently on more complicated sweaters.

How to Add a Lifeline

Ripping back lace can be tricky. When stitches drop down, it can be difficult to see which go where and what row they belong to, so many knitters like to use lifelines if they’re not feeling confident about their lace. Lifelines are lengths of scrap yarn that are run through rows of your knitting and left until you feel confident that you won’t need to rip back to that point. If you do need to rip back, your stitches can’t drop down further than your lifeline, so you just need to follow the path of it to put them back on your needle. If you don’t need to rip back, you can simply pull out the scrap yarn with no harm done. This is just one of many methods to add lifelines, but it’s a good choice to pair with Zinone because it’s easy to work on plain rows.

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To add a lifeline, you need your project on circular needles, a yarn needle, and a piece of slick, fine-weight scrap yarn that’s comfortably longer than your project’s width. Linen and cotton yarns are good choices for your scrap yarn because they won’t felt or stick, so I used leftovers from my first Zinone. You can add your lifeline on any row, but it will be easiest to insert just after you finish working a plain row, like the purled wrong-side rows on Zinone.

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Slide your knitting back off of the shaft of your needle onto the cable so the stitches are slack.

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Using the yarn needle, run the scrap yarn through the live stitches following the path of the circular needle’s cable. You want to go straight through all stitches, including slipped stitches, and YOs if there are any.

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If you have any markers, be sure to go around the outside of them so the lifeline doesn’t go through them. You only want to capture stitches. If you go through the marker, it will get trapped, and you’ll have to cut it or the lifeline if it’s not a removable marker.

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Once you’ve gone through all stitches, make sure you have a long enough tail on either end of your project that your lifeline won’t escape. You can just leave the ends dangling. Your length of scrap yarn should run parallel to your circular needle, from the beginning to the end of the live stitches of your project.

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With your lifeline in, you can get back to knitting like normal. All you need to do is be careful not to disturb your lifeline. You don’t want to knit through it or involve it with the new row. Let it fall to the bottom of the stitches it’s inserted through and knit as usual. It might look funny when you work decreases, but as long as it’s staying in the row below, you’re fine.

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Keep on knitting with your lifeline in place. It will be an easy point to rip back to if you need to because your stitches will stay exactly where they are on it, and you can easily remove it after you add another lifeline, get to the point where you feel more comfortable, or finish your project. If you’re not entirely confident about your lace, consider adding a few lifelines to your project so you can rip back without worry.

The OAL Begins + Starting Zinone

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The OAL starts today! It’s time to cast on your Zinone. For my top, I used the long-tail cast-on method. It’s neither too soft and stretchy nor too rigid and firm. I think Goldilocks would approve.

I’m planning on knitting the full-length version in this pretty silvery grey, but I’m undecided on the back. The partial lace back would make the top more versatile, and it would be very office-friendly for my part-time job, but I’d also like a full-length top with all lace because it’d be so much fun to style different ways, and I haven’t knit that combination yet. The former gets a few more bonus points because it’d be faster to knit because the stockinette rounds go by really quickly. It’s a tough decision!

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Here are three things you should know before diving into your Zinone:

1. Don’t yank the yarn snug over your slipped stitches. Leave some breathing room for your slipped stitches like in the picture above or your edging might end up too tight.

2. Using stitch markers between lace repeats could cause you problems. The repeats aren’t stand-alone panels, although they might appear to be when you look at the chart. The stitch counts don’t change, but the repeats borrow their neighbor’s stitches for decreases, and you’ll have to remove and replace markers frequently to get them out of the way of ssks and k2togs.

3. You have until Row 40 (40, 40, 48, 48, 48, 48) of the Upper Back to change your mind about which back option you want to use. The two sections are identical up until that point.