Monday, April 02, 2007

Safety First

I am one third of the way through my Vest and Jacket. I am going to run safety lines through at this point. Safety Lines are like umbrellas, if you carry one you never need it. But if you end up needing it, you are very glad you have it. If you are not familiar with safety lines let me explain. The safety line is like a big stitch holder.

Using a thread or yarn in a contrasting color and a different weight, I take a tapestry needle and run the contrasting yarn through all of the stitches on the needle. I do this at a point in the fabric where everything is perfect - the correct number of stitches are on the needles and the patterns match the chart or whatever. Then I proceed to knitting the second third or next pattern repeat. If any errors are found in the next section, and ripping back is necessary, I only have to rip back to my safety line. I can pull out my needles rip back and when I get to the safety line I stop. I just feed my needle through the stitiches on the safety line and start knitting again. There is all of my error free work with all of the stitches in the proper direction and everything, now back on the needles and ready to go.

One of my Instructors at Knit and Crochet 2006 Conference told me about this technique. Safety Lines are especially useful in lace knitting. I believe it is one of Elizabeth Zimmermann's unventions. There are lots of articles, examples and how to's on the WWW. I have read that the hole in the Knit Picks Options needles is a handy way to run a Safety Line in lacework; I have not tried it yet.

1 comment:

Adrienne " A little dramatic at times" said...

Ohhhh, I must start using safety lines! GREAT IDEA!!!!