Lifelines in Ribbing

Let’s say you’ve knitting ribbing, you’ve made a mistake, and you need to rip back. Here is a way of stringing a lifeline through rib stitch, so that you don’t have to worry about retrieving dropped stitches!

Information on things you’ll see in this video:

The sweater on the mannequin is my Three Rectangles, Two Triangles pattern + video tutorial.

The shawl I’m wearing in the video is the Clapotis, knit in Noro Silk Garden.

The purple yarn I used for demonstration is Malabrigo Chunky. The bamboo needles I used are made by Clover.

13 comments on “Lifelines in Ribbing

  1. This is soooo helpful…Nothing is more discouraging than getting halfway through and not knowing how to fix your mistake.

  2. OMG! This is brilliant! I’m one of those who plan on putting in proactive life lines but keep thinking…just a few more rows so they never go in. Reactive ones seem to be my destiny.

    Thank you Lisa and Staci!

  3. Hi Staci, thanks for this great tip. I have a question about an odd (maybe) way of using a lifeline. I placed a proactive lifeline in the ribbing at the edge of a hat, and now that I’m farther on in the work I can see quite a few flubs in the first few rows of ribbing. Is it possible to just finish the hat, then rip out the rib stitches between the cast on row and the lifeline and redo them in the opposite direction? Then I would be ending with a cast off at the bottom edge. I’m working with circular needles and wondering if the jog at the end of the row would make this impossible.

  4. Hi Laure – there are folks who have had success with ripping out a cast-on row…I am not one of them. You may be able to do a Google search on that and see what others have done. I would recommend ripping back the old fashioned way.
    S t a c i

  5. Thank you so much for this video. It really was a “lifeline” for me. I had read a lot about all knit stitches but nothing about ribbing which I had to unravel. I just started knitting on circular needles and I was worried that I was going to have to rip the whole hat apart. The person who gave the directions had written the decrease rows incorrectly and my decreasing looked horrible. So, thanks again for this wonderful video and tell Lise thanks also. I’m off to try this technique on my project!

  6. I just did this technique on a 2×2 ribbed hat in the round and was successful. I can’t believe I was so scared to do it. Thank you for posting this!


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