Knit Tips: Lace

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Some of your favourite lace knitting tips…

Let’s dive a little further into lace knitting; using lifelines, marking repeats and any other tips along the way.

While I don’t tend to use lifelines I do recommend them for less confident knitters, they make ripping back a section so much easier – I just take a deep breath and go for it when the need (fairly regularly) arises. Not for the faint hearted! I do generally mark all of my pattern repeats for lace and other patterns. It does help me to stay on track and quickly determine if my count is out and where.
I buy closed jump rings in bulk for this purpose as I need a good pile of them, here’s a fun selection I found in an etsy search. The jewelry section of your local craft store will have a selection of these too.

I asked you on Ravelry and IG what your favourite lace tips are and here’s what you shared:

Most of you are also fond of marking each lace repeat with stitch markers.

Life Lines: Not as many of you use these but those who do swear by them. What is a lifeline you may ask? This is a seperate piece of yarn or string (many knitters love to use dental floss for this) that is threaded through the live stitches of a row and left in place as the knitting continues. If an error is found and the work needs to be ripped back, the knitter can take the project off the needles and rip back to the life line, which will then hold the live stitches while the needle is threaded back through. If the lifeline isn’t required it will be easily pulled out later.

There are a couple of ways to insert a lifeline. One is to use a tapestry needle to thread the line through the stitches at the end of a row. The other is to use the tiny hole at the end of some circular needles, the lifeline is thread through this hole and carried along for a row, then dropped at the other end. Because the two ends of the lineline are left loose while the knitting continues a knitter shares this clever trick: “I put a button on each end of the lifeline so it doesn’t pull out accidentally!!”

Another tip many shared is to get used to dropping down and fixing the odd stitch or two. This does take some practice but certainly saves ripping out hours of work to fix a small error. I find that being able to read a chart and seeing how it should look helps to visually keep track of reading the knitting along the way and also when fixing little errors.

One other tip – best to avoid knitting lace when tired, unwell or after that second glass of wine!