On Losing at Yarn Chicken, Frogging, and the Benefits of Lifelines

I lost my game of yarn chicken.  Have you ever played this game before? You know the fun game where you continue knitting, unsure if you have enough yarn to actually complete what you’re intending to. Well, I played and lost.

The pattern was Braidsmaid by Martina Behm, and the aforementioned yarn was my hand-dyed DK weight cashmere and merino.  This lovely pattern is knit as one but contains several sections. After some dodgy math on my part and consultation with a friend, I opted to add an additional 16 rows of section 2 before moving onto section 3.  I’ll have enough yarn, I smugly thought to myself.  Foolish, but not entirely, for I had enough sense to thread a lifeline before knitting those fateful 16 rows.

Lifelines are fantastic and as their name suggests, they are a lovely re-assurance. They are AMAZING when you’re making a complicated lace pattern, because heaven forbid you have to rip back and try to pick up yarn overs and k2togs. They are dead simple to do too, simply thread waste yarn through your live stitches on your needle, and once it’s thread through all stitches, knit as normal.  Your lifeline will stay put, holding your stitches and if you have to rip back, your stitches are saved and easily picked up again.

Demonstrating the lifeline – the white yarn is being thread through the green live stitches while on the needle. Once thread through all the way, the white yarn will ‘hold your place’ if you have to frog your work.,

Side story – we talked about lifelines at the Wednesday knitting circle I attend this past summer.  Bev, who has been knitting for decades, had never heard of this technique before, and she still talks about it!  If I am half as awesome as Bev is when I’m an octogenarian, it’ll be a win. She’s great.

After knitting 50 rows of section 3, and with 30% of my yarn remaining, I removed the needle and re-wound my yarn.  It’s both amazing and heartbreaking to see how quickly the yarn is re-wound.  Hours of work gone in less than three minutes.

PicMonkey Collage
Left: Before frogging; right: after frogging. Thank you lifeline!

Stitches are picked up, but the lifeline is still in place. You never know.

7 thoughts on “On Losing at Yarn Chicken, Frogging, and the Benefits of Lifelines”

  1. If you run out of yarn and all you have left is the bind off, you can also use a yarnless bind off to get the job done so you don’t have to rip back.


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