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All about Lifelines

Lifelines are according to some people completely unnecessary, and others will tell you it is the only way they can do any kind of lace knitting. Yet others will have never heard of them. So, I thought I would include a small tutorial for the last group, while showing off my progress to everyone who would like to see. 🙂

I finished the center part of Oregon. Now, that does not mean that I am almost done, I now have an 81 row minimum edge, and then the knitted on border. So, I will be busy for quite a while longer. 😀 Here is the progress shot:

A lifeline is something you can use to safe your sanity when you make a mistake. Note, I said when, not if. 😉 I would be incredibly impressed if there is anyone who does not make any kind of mistake, whatsoever knitting. 😀 Not me, for sure, especially not with 2 children under the age of 3 around. Now, there are a couple of ways to fix a mistake that happened a few rows back.
1. Take your work completely off the needle, and rip it back until you get back to where the mistake happened. While this is very quick, it can be really hard to get your stitches back onto the needles. Some people will resort to a slightly different approach and rip out their entire project in this case. A life line could have prevented this necessity, and make it a lot easier to get the work back onto your needles, stay tuned…
2. Undo your work stitch by stitch until you get to where the mistake is, which can be a very long process, because it may be rows and rows back. But you are less likely to have to rip everything out.
3. Call it a design feature and leave it be. 😀 This is the easiest, but not everyone will be able to live with the resulting project, especially if it is a (in our opinion) glaring mistake, like a sweater where you forgot the arm hole on one side completely.
4. Drop the stitches above the mistake as many rows as necessary, and work them back up correctly. This is undoubtedly the most difficult but depending on how big the project is and how far back the mistake is, also the fastest approach, and I would recommend practicing it on a swatch at some point.

I am pretty good at the fourth option, and rarely undo a large amount of work to fix a mistake. But there are times I believe it makes sense to add a lifeline. Like at the end of a specific part of a project. Case in point being the center of Oregon. The next step would be to pick up stitches on both edges, and undoing the temporary cast-on on the bottom. I decided to add a lifeline just before this point, just because I might mess up all these new stitches somehow. Therefore, I added a lifeline in the last row that is knitted for the center. I am using interchangeable needles, which make adding a lifeline a lot easier. If you would like to see a step by step tutorial, I am planning on adding one right here. I have never made a file like that, but we’ll see. I am planning on adding lots of pictures, which would just make this post much to big to load quickly. Stay tuned, I will let you know when it goes up.

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