How to Use a Lifeline

Lifelines are so helpful in lace knitting.  When you make a mistake in lace, it is difficult to pull out your work and not lose stitches.  Lace usually contains a lot of yarn overs, and these can be easily lost when pulling out stitches.  Enter the lifeline!  Using a lifeline is so simple, and yet can save you so much time in the long run.  Here’s how you place a lifeline.








Pick a smooth contrasting yarn to use.  You can also use sewing thread or plain dental floss.  Thread the yarn on to a tapestry needle.  Then use the tapestry needle to thread the lifeline yarn through all your live stitches.  It is easier to thread the stitches over the cord section of your circular needle because the cord is thinner and allows more space for the tapestry needle to slide through.






Make sure you DO NOT put the lifeline through your stitch markers.  Thread the lifeline around the stitch markers.  If you put the lifeline through the stitch markers, they will become “stuck” in the lifeline row and will not move up each row with your knitting.

Then mark on your chart or pattern where you have placed a lifeline.  If you find a mistake that cannot be easily fixed, you can pull back to the last lifeline row and know exactly where you are.  You can also be secure that you not lost any stitches.


If you happen to have a lace interchangeable needle set, such as the Addi Lace set, the cords contain a small eyelet into which you can thread a lifeline.  Then you can just knit your row like normal, and the lifeline will be placed automatically.  However, you may want to use removable stitch markers, so the stitch markers can be moved from the lifeline and up to the next working row.



I like these removable stitch markers that look and function like a safety pin.

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