3 Ways to Add a Life Line to Knitting

When you are a beginner knitter knitting can be intimidating because your stitches are always live. Working up a pattern, particularly lace, there is always a chance that you might make a mistake. In crochet it is easy to rip out your work and have the correct stitch remain ready for you. With knitting, as you rip out, you are leaving the stitch live off the needle. Learn 3 ways to add a life line to knitting so you don’t have to worry about loosing your spot if you make a mistake.

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What is a Life Line

A life line in your knitting is used for added security and to mark a place that you can rip back to should you find a mistake in your knitting.

As you are working through a project if you find that you have a mistake it can be hard to rip back and know exactly where you are. Using a life line marks a specific row that you know was correct and gives you a new starting point to pick up from.

Life lines are a simple thing to add to your knitting project and provide so much security. Learn three ways to add a life line with my video tutorial.

Designer Tips

When adding a life line you will want to make sure that the yarn/thread that you use is in a contrasting color. This will allow you to easily see where the life line is when you need to use it or remove it.

Also consider the material that you are using. Using a cotton yarn/thread is a great choice. Because of its fiber make up it won’t stick to your yarn and will be easy to remove at the end of your project.

After adding your life line and you turn to work the next row, be sure that you don’t work through the thread that you added.

Three Ways to Add a Life Line

  1. Adding a life line to live stitches
  2. Adding a life line after the fact
  3. Adding a life line with circular needles

Adding a Life Line to Live Stitches:

Making sure that you don’t split the yarn on your needle you can use a tapestry needle to sew the life line through your work.

Working on a circular needle is a little easier since you can move the stitches onto the cord which will give you extra room to sew your need through.

Adding a Life Line After The Fact:

You will work into the right leg of the stitch only and sew through with your tapestry needle. Make sure that you are only getting the right leg of each stitch and only work the stitches in the row you are trying to capture.

Circular Needles as a Life Line:

Rather than using thread to serve as your life line I like to use a much smaller circular needle.

Typically when you use a thread to act as your life line you will then need to pick these stitches up again from the life line if you should need to use them.

Using a circular needle as your life line will keep your stitches on your needle. This will allow you to knit directly from the needle rather than transferring from the life line back to a needle as normal.

NOTE: The stitch size will not be impacted by using a smaller needle size. The size of the stich is determined by the needle that you are knitting onto, not off of.

Video Tutorial

5 FREE Knit Project Tutorials

  1. Braided Cable Knit Throw
  2. First Love You Baby Blanket
  3. Up the Volume Scarf
  4. Road to Success Hat
  5. Snow Speckled Fair Isle Hat

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Marly Bird

The One and Only, Marly

Marly is a knitwear and crochet designer (and yarn addict) that is here to help you learn how to knit and crochet in a way that's fun and approachable.

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