Lifelines - A Machine Knitters Secret Weapon

Has this happened to you? You are knitting a complicated stitch pattern or you've just worked a very detailed hem.

The power goes out, or you drop a stitch, or your yarn breaks or something catastrophic happens.
What do do? Drop the work from the machine and start over?

Heavens no!!!

machine knitting tips
machine knitting tips Plan ahead! Add lifelines at regular intervals
Use a double eye needle or a tapestry needle and a smooth, contrasting color yarn.

Run it through each of the stitches of a row. Note the row number or place in the pattern repeat.
machine knitting tips
machine knitting tips If (when) disaster strikes, you may have to rip ... but only to the point of your last lifeline.

With each live stitch "secured" with the lifeline, you can pick up stitches and re-hang them on the machine.

Then continue knitting.

machine knitting tips
Fewer tears .... guaranteed!
Saved by the lifeline!
machine knitting tips

Work another "lifeline" method at regular intervals:
  • Knit a few rows of waste yarn
  • Remove the work from the machine
  • Re-hang the work and continue knitting
BUT - this requires a lot more work .... putting a lifeline through the stitches is much faster.
Posted by Sue Jalowiec on 08/18/2014 at 10:04 PM | Categories:


Sue (UK)

Sue (UK) wrote on 08/19/14 7:15 AM

What a great idea. Simple but so effective. Thanks.

Margit wrote on 08/19/14 8:04 AM

What a simple yet brilliant idea. Thank you!
Francine Deguire

Francine Deguire wrote on 08/19/14 8:04 AM

This is really great! It will dare to try without fear. Thanks again Sue for your so helpful hint.

Catherine wrote on 08/19/14 9:02 AM

This will be AWESOME and I will definately be using lifelines in the future. THANKS for the life saving tip!

MarjaMK wrote on 08/19/14 10:56 AM

I am so happy with my lifelines when I knit my lace scarfs with very thin yarn. You have to write down in which row of the pattern you place the line so you can select the right needles!

Wena' wrote on 08/19/14 12:14 PM

This is a wonderful idea and will definitely decrease my frustration levels when working on intricate or any other piece. For a lot of us, time is precious and having to start over again and again wastes much effort and yes, of course, time!! Thanks :)
Mara Davis

Mara Davis wrote on 08/19/14 2:02 PM

What a great idea. Just wish I knew about this several years ago and much frustration ago. LOL
June Bonfield

June Bonfield wrote on 08/19/14 2:55 PM

wowzers!!! what a fabulous idea !!! I will be using this from now on. many thanks

Jean wrote on 08/20/14 12:30 PM

Lifelines are great. When I hand knit lace I use them every fourth or fifth row. I truly never thought of using them with my knitting machine. Terrific idea!!
Morag Walker

Morag Walker wrote on 08/20/14 1:13 PM

What a brilliant idea. Thank you for all your hints tips and ideas.
Colleen Weiss

Colleen Weiss wrote on 08/20/14 7:15 PM

Wonderful tip!! I bet this can be used for not only machine knitting, but also hand knitting!
Nancy Mangeri

Nancy Mangeri wrote on 08/20/14 11:29 PM

Have used lifelines successfully both in hand and machine knitting. Greatest thing on a tricky neckline that the customer had to okay! Running the lifeline just after the shaping was done and before the cowl collar was added; didn't pull the lifeline until after the customer tried on the top and said it was just what she wanted.
Shirley Grossman

Shirley Grossman wrote on 08/25/14 3:01 PM

What a great tip. I have ripped a garment off the needles many times because of a mistake and started over again. This is a magic solution to many frustrations.
L newland

L newland wrote on 04/15/15 8:01 AM

Brilliant idea. So pleased I found 'knit it now'! Thank you
Hilary Collis

Hilary Collis wrote on 05/16/15 8:36 PM


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