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Wednesday, December 10, 2003 

Marnie asked, in yesterday's comments, about using a lifeline in your knitting. For those of you who aren't aware of this nifty technique, I'll explain below.

Basically you just take a piece of waste yarn (preferably of a contrasting color), thread it through the loops on your needle (using a yarn/tapestry needle), and then continue in pattern (making sure not to pick up the piece of waste yarn as you knit). Then, if you hit a snag, you unravel until you hit the waste yarn, and the waste yarn holds the stitches for you so that you can put them back on your needle without worrying about the stitches dropping down to other rows. If you have a really complex pattern, you can always put a lifeline in every 10 rows, or every pattern repeat, or whatever you choose. That way, making mistakes doesn't have to be quite as stressful. Then, when you finish the piece, just pull the waste yarn out (it should come out fairly easily with some gentle tugging). Use this technique for everything from sweaters, to socks, to scarfs, to you name it.

You can also thread a lifeline through a row that's already been knit. So, if you forgot to put in a lifeline, and you made a mistake, you can insert a lifeline a few rows below the mistake and only rip back to there. Of course, it's much easier to already have the lifeline in place. The best way I can explain how to do this would be to tell you to check out the fabulous article on the new Winter Knitty that discusses frogging. She discusses how to insert a needle into a completed row of your knitting. It includes clear pictures, so be sure to check it out. Of course, instead of doing a lifeline in this situation, you may just want to use the needle. But, if you want to insert a lifeline, do as the article instructs, except use waste yarn and a yarn/tapestry needle instead.

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  • I'm Dani
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