"Life Line"

I’m really curious about the ‘life line’ that’s mentioned for using with lace knitting.

When will a video of this, or at least an explanation, be available?

Otherwise I have to say that this site is excellent. Even my other half, who’s sitting next to me, thought he’d be able to learn to knit from it. Mind you, if he did, I’d be VERY surprised.

~Sharon J

A life line is simply a bit of fine, undyed cotton thread drawn through the loops of a row of knitting. In the enven that you flub something and need to rip back, the “life line” holds those stitches. The reason this is so useful to lace knitters is that the variety of YOs and decreases is very hard to parially undo. Drop stitches are not easily reworked because of the complexity of the stitches.

Most people who use life lines place them at regular intervals. Because the yarn is a fine weight of undyed cotton (I like crochet theead) it won’t shed, felt or rub off on your working yarn. When you are done with your piece, you simply pull the thread out. It should slide easily.

Ok, I get the idea but which row would you put the thread in because surely, when you rip back to it, it’s going to be really difficult to pick up the stitches in that row anyway?


You place the life line in the row that is on the needle. Just thread a tapestry needle with the life line and zip it through. While the stitches are a little hard to pick up off a life line, it’s far easier than picking up loose stitches. Also, I usually pick up stitches with a needle several size smaller than the working needle and then knit those onto my normal needles.

have done some lace pattern knitting and usually there is a repeat of a certain number, for example,10 rows make one pattern repeat. i put the lifeline in that 10th row,so if i mess up,can just frog back to that row, and begin again with Row1 of the pattern. hope this helps.linknit41

I just finished the Knitty Branching out lace scarf. It had a ten row repeating pattern, so I placed a life line every 10 rows. After awhile they were unnecessary so I stopped, but I did use a few of them!! It’s much easier to pick up a stitch from a life line than trying to frog the pattern back. Try it, you may or may not need them, but it never hurts to have them.

i did this one too, twice in fact, once for DD and oce for a charity. really enjoyed it, once i used lifeline–after starting over several times on the first one! linknit41

There is a demo video here on KH - Go to the main page - knitting tips - fixing mistakes. There you go, I’m sure that will help you.
Good luck!