Here’s the thing that you must know about me and knitting- I love to knit but I hate to count. I can’t count and talk and knit at the same time. (Click to Tweet)
This means that, if my project is anything more than your basic seed, knit or purl stitch, expect some cursing and ripping back from me. It makes for great entertainment but a lot of unfinished projects.
As I’m entering my second anniversary (in November) as a knitter, I vowed to teach myself some new things. So far, I have learned how to make socks.. okay, one sock. But that really hasn’t stopped me from trying out lace patterns, entrelac (fail so far) and maybe one day soon… Cables.
I’ve also learned that any knitter, novice or knowledgeable can’t have too many tricks in her knitting bag. A good trick can keep you from ripping your hair back and often ripping your project back.
The Need for a Knitting Lifeline
Last week, I was sitting in a knitter’s group lamenting about this lovely infinity scarf that I was committed to finishing if it killed me. For some reason, I would drop a stitch on the same row. Every. Time. The pattern is only two rows repeated but it’s that 2nd row that was making me want to pluck my eyes out with my needles. Another knitter leaned over and asked where my lifeline was.
Huh? A lifeline? What is this madness you speak of?
A knitter – regardless of skill level – should not only use but embrace the lifeline. The knitting lifeline will prevent you from ripping your project back to the beginning when you make a large, unfixable mistake (I know something about this part). For instance, I am bad about picking up dropped stitches or losing a stitch. I might just keep on knitting and not try to fix the mistake but a lifeline allows me to insert a “line” along my stitches at any given point in the project that I know is correct and then when I make a mistake, I can rip back to that lifeline point and start over rather than ripping all the way out and starting over.
Types of Lifelines
Typically, to create a lifeline, you would use a sewing needle and thread or yarn (better a different color so it stands out better) and simply slide it through the stitches that are on your working knitting needle. However, I have a fear of knitting up that thread or yarn accidentally, so I prefer using a pair of circular needles considerably smaller (so they will thread through easily) than the ones on your working needle.
Creating a lifeline for your knitting project is one of those things that you have to show (at least I think so) how to do so I’ve put together a video How-to so you can see how it’s done.(Bear with me since this is my first how-to video… evah.)
Creating a Knitting Lifeline with Circular Needles