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February 22, 2011 / KristenMakes


The other day I utilised for the first time a certain trick that has saved knitters everywhere – the lifeline.

A lifeline (for the non-knitters) is a contrasting yarn threaded into a particular row of work.  The purpose of this is so that if a mistake is made a few rows onwards, all your stitches are perfectly preserved on the lifeline so that you can rip back to the lifeline and start over with no one the wiser.  It comes very much in handy with difficult lace or if you are progressing from one chart to another in the pattern and want to mark the transition.

It got me thinking of lifelines manifesting themselves in real life (much like Liz Lemon’s Do-Over in 30 Rock).  If you could knowingly place a lifeline in a certain shaky point in your life and if things go awry, rip back to where the lifeline was (thus erasing your mistake and any memory of such), would you?  Would you know when to place that lifeline?

Considering back in my own life, where might I have then placed a lifeline, it is actually difficult.  Any decision I have made (whether knowing at the time if it was the right choice or not knowing at all) I have accepted the possible outcomes no matter what.  Plus, any unforseen circumstance or wrong path has still brought me here, and I am exactly where I want to be.  I’m not saying I would never have placed a lifeline if I could, I’m not sure actually.  It’s just a bit trickier to think on that than it initially seems.

The only instance where I may have placed a lifeline in a questionable turning point was when I was deciding which university to go to at the young age of 17 (or was it 18?).  Unsure of my path, I went with an easy choice, and a year later, a bit more sure, I changed my path and moved on.  Even still, if I had lifelined that first year spent at the ‘wrong’ university, I wouldn’t have experienced the forced-introspection that comes with wrong choices and I wouldn’t have known why I was currently on the right path, or even that is was the right path.

I am very thankful for lifelines in knitting (although I haven’t needed to use the lifeline pictured, thankfully!), but I think I am happy without lifelines in real life.


Pattern: Lakeside Socks by Julia Vaconsin

Yarn: Fyberspates Sock Yarn


One Comment

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  1. Angeli / Feb 22 2011 8:33 am

    hrmm…interesting question. i’ll have to ponder that one. i am pretty sure though i’d like to put a lifeline right before i read your post so i could start over after spilling coffee on my PJs!! 🙂

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