Sunday, August 19, 2007

Using a Lifeline

Every once in a while, even the best of knitters needs to fix a mistake. And sometimes unraveling the knitting a few rows is the best way to do it. That's where a lifeline can come in very handy.

A lifeline is a single strand of smooth yarn in a contrasting color that runs through every stitch in the row. If you need to unravel your work, the lifeline will stop the unraveling at that row, and all the loops can be put back onto the loom (or needles), so you can pick up and knit from there.

You can put in a lifeline while you're knitting (in case you're planning to make a mistake, or maybe you'll be switching stitch patterns) by threading the lifeline into the loop on each peg as if you're going to do a gathered bind-off. Make sure there's at least 6" extra yarn hanging at each end of the knitting.

When you knit off the next row, just take the lifeline along with the bottom loop.

After you knit a few more rows, your knitting will look like this on the wrong side,

and like this on the right side.

If you discover a mistake, and you're going to frog back to it, you can run a lifeline by catching one side of every stitch in the row (yellow yarn).

Either way, when you frog your work back to the lifeline, you'll have live stitches that won't unravel. Just slip them onto the loom, and you're back in business!

Lifelines are great to use also when you have a project on the loom, and you just have to use that loom for something else right now! Run a lifeline through the loops on the pegs, and remove your work from the loom. You can easily put it back on the loom later.

I like to use yarn that's thicker than the yarn I'm knitting with -- the thickness of the yarn keeps the loops larger and makes them easier to put back on the loom.


Blogger mcstottsj said...

I just wanted to say thank you for sharing this and for doing it so clearly! I decided to give it a shot, just as a test, on something I was working on, and it ended up being necessary to frog back to it. Perhaps it was self-fulfilling prophecy! But you always seem to share great techniques, so thanks!

9/03/2007 1:16 PM  
Blogger crystalice said...

Thank you so much for posting this! I have been playing around with making a hat with a black brim, and then trying to create some decent looking pattern with yellow and black after the brim. But I keep having to go back because I didn't like it. Now I can do it without messing up the perfect brim! Thank you!!!

1/13/2008 8:10 PM  

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