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Jinxie 02-14-2012 12:18 AM

Stitch Markers AS a Lifeline?
I'm knitting up a baby blanket, and came across the idea to clip together the first (or last?) stitches of the row together, in case I had to frog. Instead of just doing it and risking the blanket, I threw together a 2"x2" swatch, and clipped a few markers on.

Suprisingly, it worked - wouldn't let me unravel past the markers. I did a search on these forums, and on google and didn't find anything.

Do any of you use this method? It seems so much easier than threading a separate yarn through.

ETA: The only downside seems to be that the stitches won't be held in place.

Jan in CA 02-14-2012 01:21 AM

Uhh... I've used lifelines since I started knitting, but I have never heard of that method.

The method used most often and the best for the knitted material is to thread a finer yarn on a yarn needle and then put it through the stitches on the needle. Then continue knitting and if you have to rip back you won't go further than the lifeline. I suggest doing it to the stitches on the needle rather than a row that's already knitted so you don't miss a stitch. this method also makes a lot more sense for a large object like a blanket.

ArtLady1981 02-14-2012 02:14 AM

Well, that is a novel way of preventing yourself from frogging past the particular row!

However, here is one good reason a REAL lifeline is useful: it prevents all the other stitches from slipping, or popping, down a row below when you're trying to pick them back up.

Sooner or later, you have to unravel (frog) the entire row(s) down to the 'marked row'...and you're gonna have a lot of "live" stitches sittin' there, just waiting to escape.

A real lifeline lets you zip your "picking up" needle right on one escapes...and then you continue on your merry way...leaving the lifeline in place until you're sure you're never gonna need it again as a safety net.

I still vote for the real lifeline.

I use a long piece of DMC Pearl Cotton for lifelines. It's really easy to install, and it's really easy to zip out. Word to the wise: use a really long lifeline. I like mine to hang out at each end about 12". No joke.

suzeeq 02-14-2012 10:44 AM

Well, I have no problem ripping back and putting sts on a needle without them dropping. As long as you don't stretch out the piece, they don't drop as easily as one might think. I think you've hit on a novel method Jinxie.

Jan in CA 02-14-2012 02:05 PM

I agree with Artlady on the long tails, too. I've even been known to tie two long ends together although I usually only do that if I'm using unwaxed dental floss. It tends to be slippy in some yarns.

Antares 02-14-2012 03:06 PM

Any idea that helps me fix a mistake is a good one! In some cases, I can see this idea being much better than the original lifeline.

Thanks for this tip, Jinxie!

kittykins 02-15-2012 06:24 PM

I've learned so much since I've joined this site, and must admit the lifeline is up there on my list of the top ten best tips I've gotten. I always use the unwaxed dental floss and also tie the long ends. (Yes, a bit slippery.) A lifeline will truly save you a lot of time and heartache if you find the need to frog. Anyone out there that's never had to frog?....Case closed!:hair: Jeanie

justplaincharlotte 02-16-2012 05:58 PM


I just tried your stitch marker method to rip back the ribbing on a pair of socks. It worked nicely in the round. Especially since the leg of my sock is stockingnette I could just latch up the couple of stitches that laddered down & didn't make it back onto my needles.

Just wanted to say thanks for the great tip! :thumbsup:

BombKitten 02-19-2012 12:03 PM

I don't use life lines as often as I should. Usually if it's a simple pattern, I do like OP and just be careful with the live stitches. However, the moment I realized how useful they can be was when I had my first lace frogging experience. Live YOs are near impossible to catch...

susianna 02-23-2012 03:39 AM

Oh, what a great idea about those lifelines! I do have a few questions.

Jan- you said to thread a yarn needle with finer yarn and put it through the stitches on the needle. Which one, the stitches on the source needle or the ones on the working needle?

Artlady-what is a "real" lifeline that helps prevent live stitches from slipping or popping down a row below when you're trying to pick them up? What does that mean? And how a real lifeline lets you zip up your "picking up" needle right on through? And no one can escape?

Also, what are the long tails and what does it mean to tie them together?

Can y'all explain all this to me? Pretend I'm still in kindergarden (which, being a beginner, I feel like I am.)
I'm grateful for your help.:hug:
Thank you all

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