We all hope that we will never make a mistake in any of our projects. However, we do have to be realistic and realize mistakes happen. In any knitting project following the old saying “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” can save you a few rows.
There are some mistakes, like the mixed up cable in Tuesday’s post, that are a pretty simple fix if the pattern is a simple pattern within a stockingette or garter stitch.
But there are some patterns that make fixing mistakes down right near impossible. Such as the lace pattern in my Diamond Lace Scarf.
When knitting lace, inserting lifelines can be the ounce of prevention that save your sanity and your knitting project.
A lifeline is simple a line or thread that has been inserted through a row of stitches, and the thread keeps those stitches from unraveling.
If one stitch is dropped and unravels a few rows, it takes skill and patience to pick that stitch back up while recreating the yarn overs that were most likely dropped too. And if the needle falls out of an entire row of stitches, then it becomes near a nightmare to pick back up all those stitches and yarn overs. If dropped stitches ever happen, and you need to rip back your project, you can rip back to the point of where your lifeline is and start again from that row.
Without a Lifeline, unless you have expert skill, saving dropped stitches in a heavily lace pattern will be near impossible and you will risk
loosing losing your entire project.
For a life line, all you need is a thread and a needle. I like to use size 10 Crochet thread and a tapestry needle. In fact I keep one ball of Crochet thread with a needle in a ziplock bag tucked inside the tote my lace knitting project is in.
I like to add my lifelines after I complete the last row of a pattern repeat.
Measure and cut off length of thread long enough to go the width of your project and leave a 5″ end on either side.
Thread your tapestry needle with the Crochet Cotton Thread and begin threading the needle and thread through your stitches. Starting on the right hand side of the work, insert your tapestry needle into the front of the loops of each stitch as if to Purl .
To make it easier, after you have your tapestry needle through a group of 3-5 stitches pull the length of thread through, making sure to leave a 5″ end on the right side.
Keep threading the needle and cotton thread through each stitch, picking up one stitch at a time if you have to. Be careful to insert the tip of the tapestry needle through the loop of each stitch so you don not split the yarn.
When you have inserted the thread through the entire row, you should be able to clearly see the cotton thread through every stitch.
Now that you have your life line in, you have extra insurance in-case there is a tragic mistake. Mistakes do happen, no matter how careful we are with our knitting projects. So it is worth while to make the time to take this precaution that will prevent you from potentially loosing your entire knitting project.
Next week, I will show you how you can save your project after a mistake by ripping back to the point of your life line and picking up the row of stitches.
Until next time, have a StitchTastic Day!
8 thoughts on “Lifelines – Saving Knitting Projects and Knitters’ Sanity Around the World”
I can’t count the number of times that lifelines have saved me from just frogging a project back down to bare bones and starting over, rather than going through the frustration of tinking or trying (usually in vain) to fix the problem. So much easier just to use lifelines.
Beautiful blog! I like to use dental floss for my life lines. You know the kind you buy that gets stuck in your teeth and frays and makes you wish you hadn’t bought it? Those are the ones I throw into my knitting. I like the idea of the cotton thread though. It makes it so your project doesn’t smell like mint!
That is a great idea! And I LOVE mint so the smell of mint would be a plus for me, but maybe not to the intended wearer…. haha.
And thank you for the kind comment. I am working hard to make sure it looks great! Thank you!
i’ve heard about using dental floss too. you can get the generic unscented kind. it’s just like thread with no mint coating.
i so wish i had been doing lifelines on the shrug i’ve been trying to finish up… you can see my progress here…
but i’m going to blog about an oopsie this week. thankfully it wasn’t a HUGE oopsie and i was able to save it without taking out any rows. i’ll be sure to link this tip! i’m for sure putting in a lifeline before i start the ribbing to end the project.
Your shrug looks so nice! And it looks like the perfect shrug to wear on an early spring day! Great job!
And I like the start on the ripple blanket you shared.
I can’t wait to read about your Oopsie and how you fixed it. Your blog looks great!
Thank you for stopping by! Keep up the good knitting.