40 comments on “Lifelines

  1. Wow–I never thought of putting a lifeline after I discovered a mistake. I usually put a lifeline every so often in case I make a mistake. I was just telling my daughter about lifelines last night–she was very upset because she dropped several end stitches on a blanket she was working on. She was going to just throw it away but now she won’t have to. She can do just what you did in this video. Thank you from both me and her!!

  2. OH.MY.GOD – how did I never know about lifelines before??? Brilliant! (not that i’ve been knitting that long, but still!) This will save me soooo many headaches in the future. Thanks so much!

  3. Like Sheila, it never occurred to me that I could insert a lifeline after I noticed a mistake. I’m a big believer in putting them in as I go when I’m knitting lace.

    And — I love your nail polish! What color is it???

  4. I would love to be able to download your videos to iTunes and then put them on my iPod. So many times I am on a plane and knitting and need a great reference like these for a stitch etc.
    Have you thought about making these available for downloading or even create a podcast so the videos can go onto an iPod?
    As you can see I am a big fan and love the videos. Thanks for sharing your passion.

  5. Staci, as usual, awesome! I am a fairly experienced knitter, but you always bring me something new. Thank you! Because I believe if someone gives an inch, I must take a mile (I know! Rude!), I wanted to ask you if you might be willing to do a video some time down the line about techniques (throwing vs. continental, for example). I love the way you knit, and so quickly! I want to learn to do it (I’m a thrower, and it seems slow to me)! People around me keep having babies, and since I’m the only one who knits… well I spend most of every weekend making tiny sweaters. Also, while I’m asking, I’ll echo Janna and request info on your nail color, too!

  6. My nail polish is nothing special…it’s just an eggplant color that I bought at the drug store. The secret is to use OPI Chip Skip with dark nail polish. It makes it last forEVAH.

  7. The life line technique is very awesome!!!!!!! I have knitted projects and of course like others I have dropped stitches and needed to go back and fix them and ripping them out and trying to pick up the stitches was hard. The lifeline is a life saver :~) thank you so much!!!!!

  8. This will save me the frustration of giving up and throwing away my work. Thanks so much! I am a new knitter, and I do knit fairly well, other than knowing the correct way to hold my yarn and learning how to fix a stitch on the beginning or end of a row that is dropped, I guess. All I know is that it is unraveled and I don’t know how to twist it to place it back on the needle the way it was so that I can knit or purl it.

  9. Help! How do I do a lifeline in a garter stitch project? There aren’t tidy little V’s – just little ‘u’s and upside down ‘u’s Thanks in advance 🙂

  10. Hi Phyllis – there are little Vs there, you just need to know where to find them. 🙂 If you separate the purl bumps, you’ll see a row of Vs there. Sort of behind the purl bumps. You can string a regular lifeline through those Vs.

    Hope that helps!
    S t a c i

  11. Hi!
    I made lifelines a lot during the knitting of my first scarf, wich was Knit a line, purl a line. (thank you Staci!!)
    Now i’m making a scarf with de brioche stitch and I’m really stuck since I made a mistake. I just don’t know how to fix it and how to make a lifeline in a brioche stitct. Can you help me?

  12. Very nice tutorial. Usually I am tearing my hair off trying to correct mistakes. You tutorial helped me a lot and now I am not scared of mistakes

  13. How do you use the lifeline in the 2-colour brioche stitch? I find it really difficult to find the right legs to pick up.

  14. Ilse – I’m guessing that you’re trying to put a lifeline into Brioche stitch after you’ve made a mistake? You’re right – that is tough. Your best bet is to skip the lifeline and just rip back, then pick up the loose stitches on the needle again. It is easier if you actually pick up the stitches on a smaller needle size, then proceed with knitting with the correct needle size.

    “Proactive” lifelines are the way to go with Brioche stitch. Just run some yarn through all of the stitches on the needle every few inches or so. Then, if you make a mistake, the lifeline is in place.

    Hope that helps!
    S t a c i

  15. Hi Staci, this is more of a question than a comment. Would you please do a tutorial on using a lifeline with circular needles, some of the current sets of are coming with a hole for a lifeline, how do you get the yarn thru the small hole….please.

  16. I have somehow dropped a stitch 5 rows back in the spiral scarf pattern, and I can’t figure out how to insert a lifeline to rip back to the last proper row. Can you help?

  17. Hi Phyllis – with all of the short rows and turns in the spiral scarf pattern, I don’t recommend trying to use a reactive lifeline. Ripping back is your best bet. To make it easier to pick the stitches up after you rip back, use a smaller needle to grab the loose stitches.

    Good luck!
    S t a c i

  18. I’ve gone through several your videos and found the Lifeline. The term alone make me click immediately. Have to say this tip is absolutely invaluable. As a relatively new knitter, and having ripped out and restarted a couple of small projects, I was so thrilled to see this demonstrated. I have purchased your Zasio pattern and look forward to working on it guided by your helpful tutorials.

  19. Staci,
    I am so happy to have found you!! The lifeline is the most wonderful tip I have learned! I am a new knitter and get so frustrated trying to fix mistakes, dropping stitches, and winding up with a muddled mess. It happened just this morning on a scarf I’m knitting. I have a daughter in Austin and hope someday I will run into there when I visit the Gauge store. Thank you for sharing your gift of teaching.

  20. Hi Staci,

    Upon being very new to knitting socks and ripping work out uncountable times, ( which is ok, because it is teaching me ) I have now knitted 6″ on a sock and just ran actress your lifeline video. I am working a circular needles and I am so afraid of making a mistake now; can I put on a lifeline in the round and then move it along as I go? I know I am coming up on the heel flap and I am probably going to make a lot of unwanted mistakes. I am scared, but knowing about the lifeline would give me a “huge” since of comfort.
    Thank you Staci, you are a “lifeline!” 😉


  21. Tricia – YES! If you’re worried about making a mistake moving forward (or, if you’re just a cautious person), you can thread a lifeline in every couple of inches, or more. Then you KNOW you never have to worry about ripping back. I have several regular students here in Austin who have taken this advice to heart, and always string lifelines every few inches, for this very reason.
    S t a c i

  22. Thank You so much Staci ,

    I don’t know how you do all you do, but please know it is deeply appreciated!!!


  23. How do you put in a lifeline into a row with both knit and purl stitches.

    Row I’d like to put a lifeline into is a k,p all the way across.

  24. Lisa – any time you have stitches other than straight stockinette, it is easier to do a “proactive” lifeline than a “reactive” one. A proactive lifeline is threaded through the live stitches on the needle, which means it doesn’t matter if you have knits, purls, decreases, increases, whatever – it’s easy to run a thread through the live stitches.

    A “reactive” lifeline through complicated stitches is tricky. With knit and purl stitches, you can keep turning the work so you’re always looking at a knit stitch (a V), which will make it clear how to run the needle through the stitch.

    Hope that helps!
    S t a c i

  25. Yes, it helps. Thanks.

    I forgot to do the “pro-active”, so I was hoping to figure out how to do it on the k2, p2 ribbing.

    But, I’ll try with reversing the work on the purl stitches.

    Thanks again.

  26. FYI, I figured out how to do a “reactive” lifeline a k2, p2 rib pretty easily.

    With Staci’s suggestion of turning the work and enter into the knit stitches on the opposite side, instead of constantly going back and forth, I put one color lifeline on the K sts on the RS and then turned and used a different color lifeline for the K sts on the WS. (Could use the same color lifeline, but the different colors just made it that much more easily identifiable)

    I suppose this could work with other stitch patterns as well if they’re not too complicated by YO etc.

    **The important key though is to make sure you’re on the SAME ROW on each side.**

    • Lisa, when you have put in a reactive lifeline in ribbing, did you pick up the Right leg of the knit stitches on both the RS and WS? Or, did you pick up the right leg of the knit stitches on the RS and the left leg on the WS? I am going to attempt this on a project, and am concerned the stitches may be twisted.

  27. Staci, just left a comment on your Youtube page but want to add it here also as it is more appropriate. The only way I do lace is with your ‘proactive’ lifeline every few inches. A friend showed me a really cool effortless way to do the lifeline using interchangeable needles. Most interchangeables have a small hole just below where the needles are attached to cord. At the start of a new row, push a needle threader through the hole and insert a long piece of embroidery floss. Then as you knit the row you are automatically creating a lifeline. At the end of the row, just remove the embroidery floss from the hole leaving it in all the stitches on that row. There’s your lifeline.

  28. Staci,
    You are my hero!! How did I ever get along without your tutorials? I was one of those knitters who would rip EVERYTHING out and start over. Not anymore. You saved me hours of work. My daughter (whose project I was working on) and I thank you.
    I know it has been said before and it is super cheesy, but…your tutorials are my “lifeline”.
    :0) Anne

  29. Hi Staci, I just used a lifeline which I knew about thanks to you. I was using circular knitting needles so I used a circular needle instead of a piece of yarn so now I am completely ready to start my knitting again. Just need to lay off the wine so I won’t make further mistakes. I’m at Garden City South Carolina on my family beach week. A great place to knit, wish you were here.

  30. Oh my gosh!!! This tutorial just saved me!!! I’m working on a blanket and lost a few stitches off the end of my needle. I couldn’t figure out how to fix my holes. This was perfect!!! Thank you!!! I love having you as my very own private knitting tutor! You are awesome! 🙂

  31. Hello! My first lace project is a modified Roman stripe shawl. I’ve found a problem several rows lower…is it possible to put a survival line below the mistake? And if yes, and I try to run through a row with more knitting stitches and less yarn overs or k2t, will it still work if there are a couple yarn overs in the row?
    Lastly, how the heck can I tell which rows are the simpler knitting rows to pick for the survival line?
    I’m afraid if I rip back without a survival line, I won’t be able to tell if I have gotten all the stitches back on the needle as the stitch count increases and decreases over every row.
    Thank you so much for any advice you can provide. I am loving your work!

Comments are closed.