Broomstick Lace: Working with a Lifeline
My broomstick lace tutorial is getting heavy on the photos, so I am breaking it into two parts. Today, I’ll give a quick run-down on using the lifeline, and tomorrow I’ll bust out the lace tute (and list a few pins in the shop).
First of all, I think lifelines are mainly used in knitting, and they are threaded through rows with a needle. For our purposes here, the lifeline is worked through the lace row as you go – it is connected to the end of the pin. This lifeline is meant to help guide your hook and is especially useful for beginners, if you are working really long rows, or if you want to work in the round.
Choose a lifeline material that is easy to see and has a slickness to it. The slippery-er your lifeline is, the easier it will glide through your loops without pulling on them. Ribbon, waxed cord, or nylon cord will be good choices.
Cut your lifeline so that it is several inches longer than your finished row will be. For accuracy, you can work your chain or base row first and measure your lifeline based on that.
Now, attach one end of your lifeline to the pin with a knot that is both strong and easily removable. I use what’s called a slipped overhand knot. If you have a favorite knot, please share it in the comments!
Start by folding over one end of your lifeline, so it forms an arc. We’ll call the top of this arc the “working end:”
Slide the working end through the eye hook:
Grab the working end and cross it over the top of the non-working end, then wrap it to the back and pull it through the circle you made when you crossed it over:
Pull the working end tight. You are basically making an overhand knot with two thicknesses (from when you folded the end over):
Make your broomstick lace as usual, and slide the loops off the butt end of the pin as you work (if you need to – in this example, the work was short enough that it was not necessary).
When you are done making all your loops, slide the pin out of the work, leaving the lifeline inside the loops. The lifeline has become a place-holder for the next step:
Now, carefully untie the knot and set the pin aside, leaving the lifeline in the loops:
To start the next row, follow the lifeline with your hook. The lifeline guides your hook correctly through the loops:
Work your row to the end, leaving the lifeline in place:
When you have finished your row, slide the lifeline out completely and tie it to your pin again. Now you’re ready for the next row!