Lifelines-what do you use?

So, I have been participating in the KH July Lace Challenge and am using (and using and using) lifelines…I have tried several different materials(dental floss, embroidary thread, thin yarn) but haven’t found what I REALLY like - found the dental floss difficult to pick up the stitches from, yarn too thick leaving a kind of “ridge” in my work, etc. So far I like the embroidary thread best, but just wondering what those of you experienced with lifelines use and how you “anchor” it so it doesn’t slide out of your work…you know, looking for the “perfect” tool :think: So, what do you use? and what do you find are the pros/cons of it? TIA!~

Glad you are asking… I will be curious of the responses.

But – I am going to try the embroidery thread, as even with splitting yarn to make as thin as possible, I would get the “ridge” you describe. And the friction as I am pulling it out makes me nervous… no matter how careful and slow I go.


[B][FONT=“Comic Sans MS”][SIZE=“5”]I use crochet cotton…works great…doesn’t get in the way and it’s really cheap! :slight_smile:


I use fishing line.

The texture is thick enough to allow it to be threaded through the stitches without using a needle. Thats a big plus to me. Sometimes a needle is jusst too thick.

Its relatively clear so it doesn’t disrupt the look of the pattern making it easier to spot errors. It also doesn’t give you a ridge line like some yarns do.

Its cheap-I got mine free from my brother, but its only a couple dollars for a whole spool and you can get it anywhere. Plus it has other uses around the house, as well as in knitting. Its great for helping to block lace evenly.

It pulls out like a dream without creating that fuzzy line I got from some yarns. I have even used it on mohair with no problem whatso ever. The yarn fibers just do not cling to it, as long as your ends are cut smooth.

crochet cotton from walmart. It’s about a dollar and comes in all sorts of cute colors. One ball will last you a good 20 years or so : )

Thanks everyone so far for ideas! Chel - how do you keep the fishing line from slipping out of your work? Never used it - does it “tie” so you could tie a bead on?

I use crochet cotton as well. It’s thin, inexpensive and I’ve never had a problem transferring the stitches.

You can tie it, as long as you tie it several times over, but I just cut my piece thats a few inches longer on each side and let it hang down. I started using this after my yarns kept sticking together and I knitted my lifeline into my project. Not only did I have to frog back, the short lifeline had pulled out of half the stitches it was supposed to be marking. :doh:

I’ve been using unwaxed dental floss or baby or sock yarn. I liked the dental floss because I could keep a spool in my knitting tools bag, but that crochet cotton sounds good!

I use the thin nylon cord that came with my knitting machine for my hand knitting as well. It’s thin, strong, and slick which makes it very easy to pull out.


I use regular worsted weight yarn.

I use fishing line like Chel, and I secure each end with a “stop bead”. I get the super-light weight for maximum yardage.

Some great ideas so far everyone - thanks a lot :hug:

In a current item that uses feltable yarns I’m using an acrylic type yarn to run through every few inches. I posted a while back about the potential weight of a rug breaking the circ cord and there were various responses but I’m glad now I’ve been doing lifelines. I’m only 2 balls off finishing but it is quite heavy at this stage even though i don’t at any time carry it without supporting the weight.

I found the hardest thing initially with the lifeline was ensuring it did not catch strands of the ‘fluffy’ sections of one of the feltable yarns. I really have to work carefully along the cord line when I run it through but when I do do a ‘clean’ run the next row is easy to knit. That is a good benefit of the floss etc I think as thicker lifelines can make the next row of work harder as you battle with the smaller stitch ‘room’. I’m working double stranded and errors (catches) in initial lifelines made the next row hard. NOT catching fibres and doing it well made the next row easy :slight_smile:

Same for me. I got a spool of yellow somewhere and I use it all the time! It fits great into the holes of KPO’s, too!

I came across this today

has loads of info. about lifelines, charts and fixing mistakes on previous rows (scroll down a bit for that last one).


I use crochet cotton too. I tried fine acrylic and random scrap yarn but crochet cotton is by far my fav. I like that it works well with all sorts of projects, including lace (where I need it most).

Is there a reason for the [I]unwaxed[/I] dental floss. I put my first lifeline in last night, and I used some unwaxed dental floss that I found buried in the bathroom. I found a box of the waxed stuff first and as I dug though cabinets and drawers I had to wonder why I was still searching. Does the wax cause problems?:shrug:

I use crochet cotton too. I haven’t tried anything else because I have a whole cone of the cooton, and I don’t crochet. It is easy to work with, easy to pull out and doesn’t bits and pieces behind.

I wondered if youall are putting the lifeline in the hole of the interchangeable types of needles?? And IS waxed floss a harder type to use, or doe it matter ? I haven’t been using a lifeline, foolishly, and I’m trying to learn to knit Conti, and I am finding it really hard to Unlearn how to knit!! Actually, my guage is so off that even on garter rows (I’m trying a log cabin baby blanket) my guage looks awful!! I wonder if it’ll get better–I’ve been doing this for a month now, after knitting English for the last 5 years!! :pray: