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Spring Lace Shawl Knit-Along: Save your sanity with a lifeline!

KAL_BADGE_2014-300x180Welcome back everybody. Its week three, we’re halfway through the knit along and I’m sure you are all starting to see some progress. Some of you may be cruising along without a care but more likely you’ve ripped back so many times that if you have to do it again you’ll be ripping out some hair as well! This week I’ll show you how you can save the work you’ve already done, and your sanity, with a lifeline.

A lifeline is a piece of yarn that you thread though a row of stitches. Once it’s in place you can rip back to the lifeline if needed without disturbing any of the work below it. I like to put a lifeline in after finishing a pattern repeat or after any part that I’ve struggled with and don’t want to risk having to do it again. To put a lifeline in thread a needle with some waste yarn then thread the yarn through each stitch on your needle.

lifeline1

Here’s what it looks like when it’s all the way in:

lifeline2

One other thing to contend with, especially if using four strands, is all of those ends to weave in. Wouldn’t it be great if you could finish your project and not have to weave any in? Here’s a way that you can take care of the ends as you go so when you’re done you’re really done. It’s called the Russian Join. This is a great technique for any project but especially for lace since it can be hard to hide ends behind open work. When it’s time to add a new ball thread a darning needle with the yarn coming from your work, then weave the needle in and out of the same strand a few times and pull the end through leaving a little loop at the top:

lifeline3

Put the end from the new ball through this loop and repeat the first step to make a loop:
lifeline4

Pull on the ends to tighten up the loops then trim the ends. You will be left with one continuous strand that will be nice and secure.

That’s it for this week, I hope these tips are helping it all go smoothly. Check back in next week when I’ll be talking about some finishing touches. Happy knitting!

About Grace: Grace DiLorenzo has been knitting for the last 10 years. What started as a hobby quickly grew into a passion. Her favorite things to make are garments and lace. As a teacher at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio in New York City she has been able to share her love of yarn crafting teaching beginning through advanced knitting and yarn dyeing classes. She has lead the first four in studio knit alongs and is excited to do it again! grace_200px
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