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Lifelines for Knit Socks? Hell yes!

Sock #1 – My very first sock ever! And it fits! ….*Just* fits. It had better not shrink! 😛

I recently reblogged a really helpful post on lifelines, but I have decided to share my experience because a lifeline absolutely saved my knitting last night!  (NOTE: This post is about lifelines and stockinette stitches.)
I have read about them before and they always sound like a great idea…for someone else. 😉  Often I’m excited about my project and I just want to get going.
*knit! knit! knit! purl! purl!*  (Okay, not sure what pattern THIS is but bear with me…it’s an example) So, I’m happily knitting, purling and a lifeline wants me to pause the happy energy to start with a needle and thread?
As I say, it doesn’t often happen.
BUT last night I discovered that one can add a lifeline after the fact!
No need to pause the *knit! knit! knit!* until you get to “oh crap!  grrrr”.  Then, when you’re paused anyway (and panicking because you need to frog back) you can take a deep breath, pour yourself a cup of tea (or a glass of wine!), calm yourself and add a lifeline where you need it to be.
At least with stockinette stitches you can….other stitches=different process.
So back to my experience….Yesterday I was knitting sock #2 of a pair.  My very first pair of socks ever!

I have taken to calling them my Christmas socks as it took me pretty much the two weeks of holidays to make them….the first one took me so bloody long but I was incredibly proud at the end!
Sock #1 – My very first sock ever! And it fits! ….*Just* fits. It had better not shrink! 😛

The second one was coming off the needles pretty quickly.  I was now somewhat familiar with the pattern and I have the number of rows I needed to fit my feet written down so there was less testing the sock as I went.
Woot! Sock #2 on its way!

Knitting faster?  Great!
Comfort level rising so I can chat with a friend while doing it? Even better!
Discovering after friend departs that I’ve knit 10 rows past the stop point? “Oh crap! Grrrr!”
So, I found myself in panic-mode.  I did NOT want to start the sock again.  So I followed my own advice.  Poured a glass of wine, took a few deep breaths and googled “oh my gods need help with knitting!!!!”.
I DID google…but not that 🙂
I came across articles on lifelines, which as I said, I had read about before.  I didn’t such a think would be helpful at this point but yes, lifelines can help at any time and they saved me last night!
I had to frog back 10 rows, so I threaded a tapestry needle using a piece of the same sock yarn that was on my needles.  Some articles suggest using a thinner yarn or even thread…the sock yarn worked fine for me.
I counted back the number of rows I needed by counting the vertical V stitches (marked in blue) from the top, down.
counting 10 rows
Then I threaded the lifeline around the sock by picking up the right arm of the V stitches all the way around the row where I wanted to stop the frogging. (Again, this applies to stockinette stitch.  Haven’t tried lifelines with other stitches yet)
Thread the right arm of the V stitches as this will keep them from twisting when you put them back on the needle.
Below marked in green are the right sides of some V stitches in a row.
Marked in red is my actual lifeline after I picked up all my stitches.
right hand V arms
I knew I was supposed to have 60 stitches on my needles so I counted them.  Then counted them again.  And again.
Just to be sure.
Whew!  60 stitches!
Then, I counted them a third time and checked each vertical row of V stitches (again, marked in blue in a photo above) to be sure that each row had a matching stitch on the needle.
It did.
THEN…with much hesitation and a deep breath….I pulled out my circular needle and frogged back.
It frogged 10 rows and stopped…at the lifeline!  As it was meant to of course, but I don’t think I truly believed that it would.
But it did!  And the stitches were then all lined up and ready to go back on the needle!  It seemed too easy, but it worked!
Frogged back and ready to go!

So, yes, lifelines may seem to be a pain but they do exactly what they’re supposed to…whether you create them DURING your knitting (Nah!) or AFTER a problem has come to light!

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