Lifeline insertion when knitting TAAT magic loop sox

Good morning! I just discovered this site while searching for an answer to my question, and hope someone can help. There are many posts and videos online for adding lifelines before and after, in flat knitting and round, but I cannot find anything about the proper way to add a lifeline when knitting TAAT socks in magic loop. It doesn’t seem as straightforward to me as say, adding a lifeline to a hat being knit in the round. Can anyone help with a link or the actual technique? Thanks so much.

You’d pretty much do the same thing as for a hat in the round, just twice and with shorter lifelines. Treat them like two tiny hats.

So then, each sock is done individually? Or is it one long loop? I see where the second sock can be done like a tiny hat, but the first sock is “separated” by the second. Done individually, aren’t there actually 3 separate lifelines? There is my confusion.

Each sock should be done individually. I suppose they could be done together, but I’d end up with my yarn getting tangled around my lifeline because I’m just super good at that kind of thing.

What’s coming off your needles is still just two tubes, right? Regardless of how they’re presented and worked on the needles, if you run a lifeline through the stitches for one sock and another through the other, you should have two short lifelines, one in each tube.

Thanks so much for replying.
I tried knitting the lifeline in along with my working yarn, and since that was one long loop, it just didn’t seem right when finished so I cut it out.
To my mind, knitting it around 2 socks goes like this: front of first sock/front of second sock/ back of second sock/back of first sock. That is the one I cut out.
To knit it along with the working yarn, only the second one would be like working a tube, while the first sock would be a separate front and back.

Perhaps I should just do an afterthought lifeline, but that is difficult for me with such tiny stitches.

Again, thank you for taking the time to reply.

You can just do two different pieces of thread/yarn for the first sock, one for the front, one for the back. Or just start putting it in as you work the back, then the front, which would do it across two different rounds, but that’s not a big deal. Once you rip back and replace the stitches on the needle, you can just tink back as needed. I frequently use two pieces of yarn and just overlap the ends as I never seem to be able to find a long enough piece of scrap yarn just when I need it.

The goal is just to catch all the stitches so none of them drop should you have to rip back. It’s not a precise kind of technique here. Don’t overthink it. :slight_smile:

Oh! It just never occurred to me to start at the back of the first sock! Duh. That eliminates a whole separate piece of yarn and makes perfect sense. I should have over-thought a bit more as I might have seen this. :wink:

I’d put the lifeline on the first sock at the beginning of the round, drop the waste yarn, move to the second sock and add the waste yarn all around, then pick up the waste yarn for the back needle on the second sock.

I’ve done lifelines in socks but find dealing with waste yarn and fingering yarn too fiddly and would only use a lifeline if I’d done an extremely complicated instep pattern. Getting the tiny stitches back on the needle with the lifeline in place is very difficult for me. I prefer to just frog and/or tink.

Speaking of running lifelines…I had found a video that shows an easy way of running one using the “key hole” on the interchangeable needles. It’s a great technique but I discovered a flaw with that idea. I tried it when I was knitting the lacy baby blanket last month and discovered on the following row that it had run the line through all 28 markers I had for the repeats. I ended up pulling out the entire line and running it by hand with a tapestry needle. Any suggestions how to avoid the lifeline going through the markers?

You could just leave the markers so they’re already in place if you have to rip your work and use new ones on the next row. Replace the markers with loops of yarn, leave them on the lifeline, use the markers you removed on the next row. I like the locking markers that look like safety pins. If I decide I need them they’re easily moved and I can put a piece of yarn in that row instead.

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That’s a good idea. I’ll have to invest in more markers. I’m currently using the wafer-thin rings because they don’t add any space between the stitches they mark. When I first started knitting, I did try using small pieces of yarn to mark my stitches. I ended up knitting them into the fabric every single time! I saved my allowance and purchased some cabone rings. In recent years I’ve found that they tend to add a bit of laddering from the space they take between stitches.

So… I should run the lifeline as the video shows and on the next row drop the marker on the line and replace with a new marker. Why didn’t I think of that???

Why didn’t I think of that? Someone else told me. lol

Hmmm…in thinking about it later, I wondered about the other way as starting it with the back of the yarn would actually make the row uneven, right? So I will do it this way.

I agree it is sure fiddly, but I just cannot get the knack of tinking and frogging successfully with such thin yarn and tiny stitches. I drop stitches and can’t get them back. No matter how careful, I start off well with the picking up of the right leg of the stitch in the correct row, and suddenly am picking up the left in the row above or below when trying afterthought lifelines or just trying to reinsert my needle.
Last week, I’d posted on the other forum about the mistake I’d made on the heel, and though I’d tried for a day to frog back, I made such a mess on those socks that I finally just pulled them completely out. Two weeks work for me as I am slow.
I am so appreciative of the time you folks take to help.

It can be painful but I’m sure you’re going to get this to work. All the do-overs are hard won experience for all of us.

It may help if you pick up the stitches without regard to right or left leg. Just get that little loop on the needle. When you come to knit it on the next row, you can reseat it or work into the back of the stitch to untwist it. This is my go-to video for tinking which may also help:

Even though it may be tedious, when I’m working on fine stitches with tiny needles, I often take out more than one row this way in order to avoid dropping sts.

TAAT socks are a neat way to go but when I run into problem areas on two at a time anything, I work on one at a time.

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I have some steel crochet hooks that are much smaller than I’ve ever crocheted with. I use them for picking up dropped stitches. As long as I get something on the needle or can grab a stitch that’s dropped lower with one of those locking stitch marker that looks like a safety pin to hold it until I get back around to fix it it, I consider picking up the stitches done with fingering yarn a success. Like salmonmac said, I’ll often tink a number of rows after getting the stitches back on the needle and will move the second sock or ??? to a holder until I get the messed up one fixed. Yesterday I was working on my Skew socks and had to do just that. Again. This time I’d decreased when I should have increased and couldn’t fix that one by dropping just a few stitches and reworking. In this case my holder is a smaller circular needle.

Thanks again, I’ve enjoyed the replies. I have stopped worrying so much about which leg is which when picking up, so that is good. I did buy the tiniest crochet hook the store had, but found that the curved end of a dental floss pick lying handy actually worked better not only for picking up, but holding and reknitting the stitch. :slightly_smiling_face:


What a clever idea, a dental floss pick! Many thanks.

I have Knitter’s Pride interchangeable knitting needles and there is a hole before the joining to the interchangeable cords, where you can insert some crochet cotton or dental floss to make a Lifeline. When you have done one whole round, then you can snip the crochet cotton or dental floss. You won’t be knitting with it, it will carry along with your knitting inside the loops.

Otherwise you can just use a darning needle and dental floss or crochet cotton and do it that way.

But the technique I prefer is to use a fine circular knitting needle and then you insert it in your worked stitches when you need a lifeline and you don’t have to lose as many rows plus then you are able to begin knitting again.

The way I would do it is to put it through the hole in the needle and thread through the back and fronts of both socks, then I would cut the string in between each sock and then tie the ends together so each sock ends up with it’s own separate loop.

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No, do not try to knit them in! Simply work the lifeline ON A DARNING NEEDLE after you knit that row. It is easier to do when the stitches are on the cable, since there is more space on each stitch.
Or you can attach the lifeline to your needle through the hole on the interchangeables, or tape the lifeline to your working needle, and then knit your row. The lifeline will follow in both instances.
Yes, do each sock separately! You essentially have TWO different projects there, and each will require its own lifeline. The knitting needle is the same that goes around both socks, but the yarns (and lifelines) will have to be separate.

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