I've been thinking a lot lately about how knitting and crochet are oral traditions and although nowadays there are oodles of resources out there, we still probably learn the most from each other. Since blogs are the new fireside, I thought I'd start posting a tip every week that I've learned in my crafty travels--either from hosting Knitty Gritty, researching for my own books or, just talking to other stitchers. I picked-up this first tip a few years ago from my friend Lori Steinberg. She later used lace-weight cashmere as the gateway drug to bringing me over to the lace-knitting dark side.
Lace Knitting: Use a Safety Line
There's nothing worse than working oh-so-carefully on a lovely piece of lace knitting only to discover you've made a mistake a few rows down. Unlike with straight knitting, undoing lace can be the highway to the unravelling danger zone! An easy way to prevent hitting a point of no-pattern-stitch return however, is to run a safety line. Here's how:
After every few pattern repeats, simply thread a piece of dental floss through a tapestry needle and then feed it through the live stitches. Make sure to LEAVE THE STITCHES ON THE NEEDLE, though.
Snip off piece, leaving a couple of inches on either end. Continue knitting as normal.
Now, if you have to go backwards there's no risk of you losing all of your hard work. The safety line will act as a book marker of sorts, keeping the row that it's in "live" if you should need to unravel to that point. Once you've bound off your project, remove floss (by pulling gently) and discard.
Remember, safety first...even in knitting. ;-)
Have any tips for lace knitters? Post 'em here!