Knitting Help – Proactive Lifelines

Knitting Help – Proactive Lifelines


In this video, I’m going to demonstrate Proactive
Lifelines, and I’ve demonstrated this in tutorials in the past but I wanted to have one video
for reference for when you need it. And I have several videos on different kinds
of lifelines for different stitches, whatever. And if you click the little eye in the upper
right-hand corner, I’ll take you to my website for my “Correcting Mistakes” playlist where
I have all of my lifeline videos, and this is one that I’ll add. Now, Proactive Lifelines, what I call Proactive
Lifelines, are a way to make knitting less nerve-racking, if you’re worried about knitting,
if you’re worried about making mistake. In a lot of stitches that you work, especially
cables and lace, just anything with complicated stitches, it’s really hard to recover the
stitches if you make a mistake and you have to rip back. And the lifeline is actually securing those
stitches so that if you do have to rip back, it’s really easy to recover the stitches,
regardless of how complicated the stitch pattern is. And so, it is a lot less nerve-racking. The only only thing is, is you have to plan
ahead for possibly making a mistake. You can’t add a Proactive Lifeline after the
fact. It’s proactive, right? So that is what they are. Let’s go and take a look at my work. Okay. I have knit up this swatch and it has both
a faux cable in it, and it has yarn overs. I picked this because it would not be very
easy to recover stitches from this if I made a mistake. And information about this stitch, and the
yarn I’m using, and the needles, and everything are in the video description field below and
my website, if you wanna click the little eye to my website. All that information is there. So what I have here, these cords sticking
out here, they’re lifelines that I installed earlier in the work. And there’s no reason to take them out. They can just stay there until I’m finished
with this scarf, or whatever it is I’m knitting. But I wanna show you how to put these lifelines
in. And what I’ve done, you see that these are
placed pretty regularly. Every time I work the last row of this repeat
twice, I put in a lifeline. So if I do have to rip back, I know it’s round
five of this pattern, and the next round I have to work is round one, right? Okay. So I’m using this cotton crochet thread. You can use anything, as long as it’s thinner
than the yarn you’re knitting with. And the easiest way to put in Proactive Lifelines
is on a circular needle, because you can slide the stitches to the cord, and then you have
plenty of room…to get the needle in there. And you just slide it through every stitch. This is all it takes. It’s not, like, a lot of work but sometimes
when you’re comfortable in your knitting chair, it’s like, “I’m just not gonna put a lifeline
in this time,” you know. And then you’re like, “I have to rip back
inches, because I didn’t do it.” Okay. So the lifeline is in there. I have, like, a lot of cords sticking out,
I probably wanna trim that. And it’s just going to stay there and you’re
gonna work the next row. Work the next row like nothing’s different. You just ignore it. I can’t find my working yarn. You’re just gonna ignore that lifeline as
you work across. And then if you need to rip back, I’m actually
going to do this for you. Let’s say I’ve made a mistake like right here,
“Oh no. I have to rip back.” Is this breaking your heart? Well, look at that. All my stitches are held and easy to see and
all I have to do is just put my needle, just run it along the lifeline…and all my stitches
are picked back up and I can just keep going. Okay, there’s one more thing I wanna show
you. And disclaimer here…Oops. No, I’m not going to do that. We can set that piece aside now. This is not my favorite method for running
a lifeline, but I get so many emails about this. If you’re using an interchangeable circular
needle, there is a hole at the base of the cord that you use for tightening the needle
onto the the cord. I mean, different brands attach the needles
differently but with Knitter’s Pride and some other brands, it’s tightened using a key at
the base of the cord. But we can use that hole for…dental floss. I am the worst needle threader, honestly,
but I have some dental floss here. I’m gonna thread into a very fine needle,
and then put that needle through the cord. I guess if you’re crafty, you could actually
just put the dental floss through there without the needle. Now, this is the technique that everyone raves
about. I think it makes my needle drag a bit. But if I actually still had my work on here,
I could just knit across with this on my right needle, or/and then when I slide the stitches
over it, the dental floss is automatically, with really no work from me, through all the
stitches. So I’ve essentially installed a lifeline. I can pull the dental floss out of that cord
and let it hang, just like I did with my other Proactive Lifelines and people really like
that. Like I said, I think it changes my tension,
it creates a drag. And I think doing it this way is actually
just as easy. But there are two different methods. You might wanna try it. You might like it. And that is it, making your knitting a little
less nerve-racking with Proactive Lifelines. Good luck.

67 thoughts on “Knitting Help – Proactive Lifelines

  1. I have started using lifelines regularly. I almost always miss one stitch with it, but it does help when I have to rip some out.
    I had heard with KnitterKnitters pride there was a way to just knit across, and tried it with crochet thread. That didn't work! Thanks for the tip. Dental Floss!

  2. This could not have been more timely. Wish I had known about the PRO part first but you saved me. Your videos, especially the "how to knit socks" have helped me be such a better knitter! Kind of like that ALL I NEEDED TO KNOW ABOUT LIFE I LEARNED IN KINDERGARTEN, insert 'knitting' for LIFE and 'your sock videos' for KINDERGARTEN.

  3. I recently had to look up your reactive lifeline because I messed up and I was so grateful. You've introduced me to do many things. Thank you!

  4. Thank you, I knit lots of charity hats, and sometimes the crown shaping goes haywire… This will save me time and yarn,

  5. this video comes at the perfect time, i'm about to start my most ambitious project to date. i was just saying to myself "i should learn how to do lifelines" hahah

  6. Important note about using the "thread interchangable needle hole with dental floss" method: if you have stitch markers placed, they will end up trapped on your life-line instead of moving along your rows with you! That's why I don't use this method for lace, the stitch markers are more useful that dragging along a thread with my knitting, I just place the life-line after I'm done the row.

  7. Speaking from experience, the second method is not a good idea if you have solid stitch markers in your work. The lifeline will trap them and you'll have to get out more stitch markers to continue.

  8. I use the second method, and the "safety pin" stitch markers. I use crochet thread (or sometimes "ravel cord" (nylon) from my knitting machines. Thanks for this demo, and for adding the 2nd method, as I was about to remind you. <LOL>

  9. I have heard of lifelines but never knew what it meant. What an awesome concept that I will forever be grateful for.

  10. If I have lots of stitches to save, I use thread and a tiny triangle of masking/painters tape: I stick the tip of the thread down on the needle just behind the last stitch (tape perfectly smooth, stitches bunched up a little) then pull the stitches down over the thread and peel off the tape.

  11. Because I am new to making socks, and because I have such a hard time with the toes and then the heels, I decided to put lifelines in right after finishing the toe, and then, before starting the heel. This way, I'm not ripping back and starting over again. This has helped IMMENSELY. Now, I'm almost through my third ever sock and it's only taken me a day–instead of the week and a half each of the first two took me. I'm so delighted I've told my kids I want more yarn for more socks for my birthday.

  12. As you were ripping that out, I was sad, so much so, that when you said:"Is this breaking your heart?" I answered out loud a definite YES, because I am such a slow knitter and your stitches were so pretty. 🙂

  13. This is timely for me because I forget to place lifelines as I went on a brioche project and had to rip back several rows! 😖 when I get squared away I am definitely getting my lifelines in my work again

  14. Wow, my heart sunk as soon you started frogging. Thanks for the demonstration and it is a ​great tool for me to use soon in a project.

  15. For anyone wanting to thread the interchangeable needle cord, as shown in the last part of the video, I recommend looking into floss threaders (e.g. by GUM). I use those things to thread my serger when sewing and they're awesome, because they're no-effort threading and the tip is thin and stiff-yet-flexible enough to thread tiny eyes.

  16. I use lifelines often, but I have made the mistake of not picking up every stitch from the lifeline after ripping back. I didn’t realize it and at the end of the project when I pulled out all the lifelines there was a hole from a dropped stitch. I’m a beginner knitter and I’m afraid I did this several times. I would find these dropped stitches way back in the work and I couldn’t figure out how it kept happening then I realized it was from not picking up every stitch from the life line. Now I check and double check myself. It’s easy to do especially with dental floss or very thin thread as the lifeline.

  17. Staci, you're an amazing person! I just love watching your instructional videos! They've saved me a ton of headaches! Keep up the great work!

  18. Oh my god thank you so much you have no idea how hard I’m working to start an Etsy shop on my own at 15 and when I come home I like to knitt as a stress reliever but it stresses me out so much more when I drop a stitch.thank you so much I can’t wait to try this our

  19. I use another method: I rip one row before the mistake and unravel that row one stitch at a time to my needles

  20. My problem is when I put in a lifeline, when I work the next row, I tend to pick up the lifeline. Any suggestions to prevent this?

  21. This is very helpful for my complicated lacy cable knit blanket I am currently working on and that particular pattern you are demonstrating is very cute!

  22. I use lifelines for heel location for afterthought heels in socks. They are very handy and make picking up the stitches a snap.

  23. Hi I have a question is not about lifelines is about what means in a knitting pattern rib 4 m 1 can you explained please thank you

  24. Honestly, you have the best instruction videos I’ve ever seen on any topic, and you are my “go to” for every knitting “how to.” Thank you so much!

  25. Oh my goodness! I have been knitting for a decade and can't even believe I never knew about this. I feel like my life is changed forever! THANK YOU!!!!!

  26. After seeing this video, I started a completely unfamiliar pattern. After knitting about two inches, I decided to try the lifeline and I'm so glad I did! I think I tore my work out three times before I finally knitted the pattern correctly. This is the first project I've tried with my ChaioGoo red cable interchangeables and I love that they have a hole for a lifeline already in the needle.

  27. I put a life line in a scarf that I was working on in brioche stitch (using worsted weight yarn). I used a slightly lighter yarn for the life line. Unfortunately, it left quite a visible line in the work that I only discovered after I had already knit a good bit. I tried blocking to see if that would take care of the line, but it didn't. It lessened it a little, but it's still there. I decided to abandon it. I need the lifelines, but I don't want to ruin the piece. What is the best material for life lines? Does cotton crochet thread come in different weights? Or would anything labeled as cotton crochet thread work? Thanks in advance for advice.

  28. Hi, I'm looking for your tutorial on calculating CO sts by multiplying and dividing for the change of needle size and yarn. can you direct me to your video? Thank you

  29. Hi Staci, this is a great video, as are all of your others! However, lace and other complicated patterns frequently make use of stitch markers, which you do not address in this video or your other lifeline videos. If you put a life line in (especially one WHILE you are knitting the row, it will continue to run through the stitch markers, making it unusable (because it will continue to travel up with the marker).

  30. Also, I've learned the hard way, don't thread through stitch markers and make lifeline long enough on both ends so that when you do the next row it doesn't tug out on the ends. Thanks for the video!

  31. Thanks a ton for this tip. Am a beginner and i rip my 1st scarf 4 times the whole. Now i start my new project fearlessly.

  32. I love your videos and sense of hummor. You are so serious and funny at the same time. Just love it! I am knitting guy and i have learned a lot from you! Greetings from Poland, and keep doing what you do. Cheers <3

  33. This comment has nothing to do with the video, but just wanted to thank you for showing the knit picks short needle set. I just received the set I ordered today and they are wonderful! I have learned so much from watching your videos. I started learning to knit last year.

  34. I just want to thank you for this video! I have been having a horrible go at a hat with simple lace and have frogged it twice because I couldn't save my stitches when I've made a mistake. With this technique I feel so much more confident about finally getting this hat done!

  35. Saw this video on your website. I am a beginner knitter and learning every day. This is brilliant and I will use for lace. I think putting the thread and needle in my knitting bag will increase my chances of doing it.

  36. Second time I’ve watched this great video. I can’t believe I have been forgetting to use lifelines… It would have saved me so much grief! I’m so glad I finally realized that there is a way to knit without tears… I have restarted too many easy projects, just because I did nit have a lifeline. Never again.

    The first method makes sense to me, as I have vision issues that make threading… and using…very thin threads hard. Thanks.

  37. Never knee that. Biy how helpful that would have been, especially when I had 300 stitches on a needle when I made a mistake. Woukd have been less stressful. Thank you for the tip.👍🏼👍🏼🧶

  38. I use the hole in the cord method but I use the crochet thread not dental floss. I just put it into the hole. Lifelines are a lifesaver. Love your post by the way, you have taught me so much, thank you!!

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