I am sure many of you can relate to the feeling when you are working on a knit project and you realize there is a mistake a few rows back and you have to make a decision on what to do. Do you rip back or do you keep going? The choice can be easier when you use a life line in your knitting. Let me show you what a life line is, how it works and how to add one to your next project.
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What is a Life Line:
A life line is a piece of thread, or other stringing material, that is used to save your place in your work. When working on a lace or cables there is often a lot of things that can go wrong. If you forget to do a yarn over, or place the cable in the wrong spot, you will end up having to rip out your work to get back to the spot. Ripping out your work can be scary since the stitches are then life and sometimes have a mind of their own.
Using a life line gives you a spot to rip back to where you know that your stitches were perfect and a spot where you stitches can’t run away from. One life line in your project won’t be enough. Life lines should be used every few rows, this will allow you to have different spots that you can rip back to.
Notes About using a Life Line:
When using a life line in your next project there are a few things that you should remember. Selecting the material that you will use for your life line is important. You will want to select something that is a thiner weight than the project that you are doing. Typically I go turn to crochet thread since it is the thinest I can find and works really well in most cases. Crochet thread does not stick to wool so you won’t have an issue when you go to remove it at the end of your project.
As you string your life line through your stitches be sure that you don’t split the kit stitches that are on your needle. If your stitches get split it will make it much harder to remove the life line at the end of your project. To help make it easier to add your life line use the cord of your needle rather than at the needle itself. There is more room around the stitches at the cord which will make it easier, and faster, to add your life line.
DO NOT KNIT THE LIFE LINE. I can’t stress this enough! You do not knit the life line. The life line will just sit through your stitches as you knit the next row. It will act as the cable, but does not move to the next round with you.
Afterthought Life Lines:
Life lines can be added after the fact. If you notice that you made a mistake you can go back and add a life line to where you want to rip back to but this can be a little more challenging. It is easier to add them in ever few rows as you go knowing that you are picking up all of the stitches.
Video Tutorial-Adding a Life Line to your knitting:
Want to Make the Hat in the Video:
Want to Learn More:
Looking for more help with fixing your knitting mistakes? Head over to Craftsy and take one of their classes about saving your stitches. Ann Budd teachings you what your stitches should look like, how to count rows and reach charts and minimize the problems you could run into before you make them. Learn how to fix mistakes in stockinette stitch, textured stitches, lace and cable patterns, whether the stitches are still on your needles or even if you’ve bound off.
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