S.O.S. (Save Our Stitches!)


As many of you know, today we kick off Yarn Patch Brown Bag Mystery Knit-a-Long #6! Knitters all over the nation have been receiving mysterious little brown packages stuffed with colorful silk and wool lace yarn, and today they’ll receive Clue #1 and (hopefully) cast on to begin their adventure. While the exact details of this project remain a mystery, the technique is now a dead giveaway: we’re knitting LACE!

Lace knitting is a fun technique with beautiful results, and the possibilities are nearly endless. However, knitters are sometimes intimidated by the seemingly complex stitch patterns and the very fine gauge. In truth, the pattern is just a combination of stitches you probably already know and the repetition helps you learn quickly… but we’ll admit that fixing a mistake in a lace knitting pattern can be a real pain in the needles. That’s why we LOVE lifelines.

A lifeline is a contrasting yarn or ribbon running through one row of stitches. Its job is to be one part stitch holder, one part marker- in the event of a mistake (surely that’s never happened, right?) you can quickly and easily rip back to the lifeline, which will prevent dropped or twisted stitches AND indicate what row you’re on when you resume knitting. Lifelines can be used when you’re knitting flat or in the round, and with any type of yarn or stitch pattern. They are a MUST when knitting lace. If you’re never used a lifeline before, read on for a great tutorial!

lifeline1        lifeline2

Step 1: Decide where to place your lifeline. A good idea is to add a lifeline each time you complete a pattern repeat- in other words, after knitting the last row of your chart. You may want to make a note of which row were on when you added your lifeline.

Step 2: Thread a long piece of a contrasting color yarn or a very narrow ribbon onto a tapestry needle.

lifeline3        lifeline4

Step 3: Insert the tapestry needle through each stitch as if to purl and pull the lifeline through the stitches. Do not drop the stitches off of the needle, and be careful not to split the yarn or to get the lifeline wrapped around the needle.

lifeline5        lifeline6

Once your lifeline is correctly inserted, it should look like the picture on the left- all of your stitches are sitting on your needle just like they were before, and the lifeline is visible as a straight line running below the needle through every stitch. You can now continue on with your pattern- just leave the lifeline where it is in case you need it!

What if you make a mistake or need to rip back for another reason? Well, here’s how your lifeline can help…




Simply remove the whole project from the needles and RIP IT. (We’ve all been there, haven’t we?!) When you’ve ripped back all the way to your lifeline, it will catch the stitches of that row and prevent them from unraveling- you’ll know when to stop when you feel that pull on the yarn. Now you can simply reinsert your needle in each of the exposed stitches of that row. Viola! No twists, tangles, or runaway stitches- and best of all, you know exactly which row to pick back up on!

That’s all for now. To all our MKAL knitters starting their projects today, lots of luck and happy knitting!

Sheri, Emily, Susan, Shawndrese, and Anita



1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Dee Martinez
    Feb 13, 2016 @ 13:01:00

    I plan to learn to knit like all of you and make beautiful sweaters, hats, scarfs well not scarfs so much I’ve knitted some pretty ones. Y’all are awesome!!!!



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