I've had a bit of a cold so have been curled up on my couch knitting yesterday and this morning. I am taking a class through Craftsy called Mastering Lace Shawls, taught by Laura Nelkin. I am a relatively self-taught knitter; I watched my grandmothers knit and crochet as a child but was never taught by them. When I started knitting I had a general idea of how to create certain stitches. I then resorted to "How to Knit" books and a couple of friends that I met while taking the OHS Spinning Certificate program. After rooming together for 8 days every summer for 6 years you can really pick up a lot of tips. Today, however, I added the most valuable trick to my knitting toolbox. After all the times that I have had to rip out and start again, why did no one ever teach me about the LIFELINE?
If you, like me, have never heard of a lifeline, this is what it is....
See that white strand of yarn through my knitting. That is the lifeline. Using a contrasting yarn and tapestry needle. thread the yarn through your stitches after finishing your purl row (edit: ws row). Cut your (lifeline) yarn larger than your work, keeping in mind that your work will be larger when blocking (right now my shawl looks horrible but when I stretch it out...beautiful!!!...I know there is hope once it is blocked). So....why the lifeline is important....
Well, somehow I messed up while tinking to get back to an error in my knitting. On my last repeat, I had one too many stitches. I went back and fixed it then got back to the last repeat and was one stitch short (I knew I should have stopped the row before for a break!). Then I saw it...the dropped stitch and chaos following in its path. After "muttering" loudly for a while I then remembered that Laura gave us that lifeline. I can easily pull my work back to that row and start again from there rather than risking dropping more stitches and losing everything.
Ta-da...first I removed my needles from the messed up work (sorry about the picture, it is just loosely draped over my knee). Then I picked up all my stitches along my lifeline (without removing the lifeline). Once I
closed my eyes was ready, I simply started winding my yarn back onto the ball, unraveling my work back to the lifeline holding my breath the entire time, completely confident that I would not lose all of my hard work.
I am ready to knit again...after a cup of peppermint tea. This time though...I'm adding a second lifeline up in that section where I messed up so I don't lose so much.
I would have appreciated knowing this on my last shawl...around the 5th time that I pulled it all out. Now that I know this trick, I will forever be using it!
If you are interested in the Mastering Lace Shawls class, I do believe their 75% off sale ends tonight. Laura is a fantastic instructor and she really takes the time to break down the steps to make it an enjoyable knitting experience. I love that she knits along with you (and you can pause her because she is a much faster knitter than I am...I am now intrigued with Continental knitting!)
Designer: Laura Nelkin
Yarn: Filisilk (70% Merino/30% Silk) made in Germany (my mom brought me 3 skeins from Electrictree Yarns in Kamloops, BC)
Needles: 4.5 mm Clover bamboo circular