Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.
Once you get into the rhythm of knitting, the project grows and grows and then you begin to wonder if it is time to put in a life line. If you are wondering, then the answer is 'yes' and best to do it before you make a mistake that you can't recover by tinking as frogging lace back past a mistake and picking it up again is hard.
Maybe not impossible, but hard.
So what is a lifeline and where do you put one?
A life line is a thread or yarn passed through the stitches in a row of knitting which will stop the work unravelling if you need to take the knitting off your needles to pull it back to correct a mistake.
In a complicated pattern it is easy to loose your place and a lifeline will not only provide a safe place to frog back to, but will also help you find your place if you need to count up how many rows you have done. For a lifeline to work properly you need to keep a record of where you place it, write it down LOL
In the Antarctic pattern the wrong side rows are purled, as they are in many lace designs. This makes it relatively easy to insert a life line. It is possible to insert a lifeline on a pattern row but take care with yarn overs; actually this type of lace with pattern on all rows possibly benefits more from the use of lifelines.
Using a thread of a similar or lighter weight than the knitting yarn, take a sewing needle and pass the thread through each stitch on your needle after you have completed a purl row.
A contrasting thread is a good idea because you need to knit the next patterned row without picking up this thread with the stitches as you knit. Once you get the thread through all the stitches on your needle you can tie the ends together to stop the lifeline pulling out. Take a little care to make sure you don't miss a stitch or pick up the wrong row. If you have stitch markers in don't pass your lifeline through then too or you wont be able to move them until you take the life line out.
Ideal places for lifelines are before major pattern changes, adjacent to shaping changes (not applicable to this pattern but useful in lace garments) and before knitting a pattern repeat that you may need to pull out if you are not sure you have sufficient yarn, so that you can use the yarn for a border or edging.
My lifeline has gone in before the start of chart 2 :)
By the way, this yarn is really nice to work with and the knitted fabric is gorgeous, Natalie's colour is a delight too. Thankfully the cold virus has left me and I am clear headed enough to knit lace again. I'm still not sure this is the right pattern, I haven't enjoyed this first section much really :( the pattern is irregular/random and despite the warning not to worry about completing exactly as per the chart, I still don't like making 'mistakes' - I am looking forward to the next chart though as that is a 'proper' pattern which should be easier to follow :) Fingers crossed.