Skip Navigation Website Accessibility

How to Use a Lifeline in Knitting

A lifeline is a neat tool that can save you hours of stress and frustration if you ever have to unravel your knitting. If you’re not already using a lifeline, it’s time to add it to your projects!


You may be wondering, what is a lifeline in knitting? A lifeline is a spare thread or yarn that sits in your knitting project and can be used as a safety measure to save your stitches in case you need to unravel your knitting later on. When you’re unraveling, the lifeline almost acts as a knitting needle by keeping your stitches in the right position.


If you need any more convincing as to why you should to be using lifelines, when you drop a stitch the lifeline keeps it from going to the bottom and ruining all of your work. For an activity that brings you peace of mind, you should keep that peace by taking advantage of this tool.


Best Lifeline Yarn Types

You’re ready to use a lifeline once you’re sure you have the right number of stitches on your needle and there is no mistake in your work. For best results, you’ll want to start by using a smooth yarn type, thinner than your working yarn, and different enough in color.

Once you’ve found your yarn, make sure it is twice as long as the width of your project and cut it to that length.


Most Common Way to Add a Lifeline

First, take your lifeline yarn of choice and thread it into a wool needle. If you’re working on a project using small knitting needles, use the thinnest you have. 

Then, take it to the beginning of the row you want to add it into. Begin to run it through every stitch that’s on your knitting needle. It’s very important that you don’t make the mistake of dropping a stitch here or your lifeline won’t do its job properly.

Once you’ve reached the end, pull enough so that both ends of your lifeline are at an even length on both sides of your work. Finish it off by tying a knot on each end so your lifeline doesn’t slip out as you knit.


Update the Location

If you’ve knitted many rows past your first lifeline without needing to unravel, you can remove it from your work. You can repeat the same steps as above to add and move up your lifeline to the most current row.

As a rule of thumb, it’s good practice to move your lifeline every two to four inches of your work. If you’re working with a more complex pattern, you may want to update the location more often.


Sheep Thrills Knitting in Lauderhill, FL

If you’re a South Florida local, Sheep Thrills offers private lessons for knitting, crocheting, or weaving during open hours. Call us today at 954-742-1908 to schedule your private lesson. You can also visit our website to shop online for the materials you need and find more information about our safety guidelines for shopping in-store.