Saturday, February 12, 2011

I’d Like to use a Lifeline . . .

Oh the pains of unraveling one’s work!  Recently as I was making significant progress and feeling really good about my vintage sweater – I noticed a mistake.  It was small enough that probably no one else would ever notice it; but to me it stood out like a ketchup stain.  I had knitted 10 rows in my pattern instead of 9 before switching to purling. 

My heart sank to the bottom of my stomach and panic set in I can’t take out all of these stitches, it will take forever.  Really, we are talking sock yarn on size two needles, not to mention some complicated cris-cross detailing.  I began the process of slowing removing one stitch at a time . . . after a long time I could hardly see my progress.

I decided to put a lifeline in my knitting.  I know of several knitters from my knitting club who have put these in their lace projects.  The only problem is this is typically something that is put in as you work on your project – not once the mistake has already been made. 

What joy, it worked wonderfully!  I figured I would post a little how to, since my go to methods were starting the project over from the beginning (if it was a big mistake, or several rows back) and reverse knitting/taking stitches out one at a time (if there weren’t too many rows involved). 

So in case there are any knitters out there who have made a mistake or two ten rows ago, there is hope.  Aside from the pain of unraveling your work, this solution allows you to unravel quickly without having to worry about losing your stitches.

Tools needed:
·         Your project
·         Yarn needle
·         Spare yarn that has a larger gauge than the project you are working on.

Start out by threading the needle with the spare yarn.  Find the row before your mistake and thread the needle through each stitch.  Make sure you are picking up the stitches, rather than going in between them.  Remember to appropriately place stitch makers if your project calls for it.

Once you have made it all the way around (or across if your project is not in the round) pull your project off your knitting needles and begin unraveling.  After unraveling down to your lifeline, begin inserting the stitches back on your needles.

Now you can begin again, careful not to make the same mistake twice!

Once I had my project unraveled down to my lifeline, I decided this was a great opportunity to make sure that the sweater would fit!  I first checked it around my bustline, since there is not waist shaping, it is the same width at the bust and waist.
Yes, this picture was taken shortly before bed and those are my pajamas :)
Then I made sure it fit around my waist as well.

It's always good to know that your sweater will fit before you complete it.   I should have done this earlier, but I was lazy and couldn't find my yarn needle.  So the mistake was a good thing!
Yeah, good news the sweater fit :)

Live the moment, love life!


  1. So cute! I don't know your knitting terms, but I think you already know that :) I can't wait to see it finished! I don't even understand what you "messed" up on... haha. Have a great weekend. I think I am going to scrapbook for a bit today. Give me a call if you are bored. hugs.

  2. Thanks dear! I think I might have to give you call . . . in like 5 minutes.