Safety Thread – Why didn’t I think of this!

I can’t say my knitting skills have improved dramatically since I joined a knitting group, but that is NO reflection on my group.  They are hella-awesome knitters (and infinity more skilled at crochet than I am as well).  Nope, my lack of desire to think very hard whilst recreational knitting is the culprit here.  (Garter stitch all the way baby!  No patterns for Nikki.)

Typical pattern attempt:

“Concentrate, concentrate…think, think, think.”  Knit, purl, knit, knit, purl…Oooh, here it comes… “Ray.  When someone asks you if you’re a God, you say YES!”  Ha, ha! That’s never not funny…wait…knit, purl….purl, knit…? Crap, back up a few steps – pay attention Nikki! (Ten minutes later) Knit, knit, knitty-knit-knit…”CRAP! I remember purling being involved here somewhere. Ugh, time to frog again.”

But hard as I try to remain deaf to the good ideas I hear tossed around at my weekly knitting group, a few inevitably weasel their way into my head in between my bites of Qdoba chips and salsa, and I start to think, “Hey, if I did that maybe this pattern stuff wouldn’t be so bad.”

The first good idea was learning how stitch markers work.  Luckily for my knitting laziness patterns often shift and the stitch markers must shift in accordance to what is going on at the time.  Some thinking still required – Phbisht, I’m out.  You can’t trick me into the harder stuff based on these magic tools alone.


THEN I learned about a Safety Thread.  Dang!  My other big excuse for not working harder is that I often screw up at some unidentified location and I have to frog my project either all the to the beginning or way, way, way back until I reach a point where I know I was doing it right.  Then I have to manage to pick the stitches back up again without hopelessly losing or twisting them. And THEN if I manage to do all that, I have to try to guess correctly what row I am now on… Ugh, kill me.  (Are you starting to see where I might have gotten the notion that a Doctor Who scarf was just my speed.)  A Safety Thread makes that excuse obsolete.

How you Insert/Use a Safety Thread:

At certain intervals (like the end of large sets of repeats) you insert a thread into your work,  along the needle, where you know everything is correct. (Correct pattern, correct number of stitches, correct EVERYTHING.)  Then when you get caught up talking or watching TV and you look down and have a “What the Heck!” moment you don’t have to panic.  You just frog your project to its last perfect point (the yarn will stop the frogging just like you had a needle in there), reset your row counter and use the string as a guide to insert your needles back into the stitches perfectly.  When the project is finished just tug these strings out – there is nothing substantial holding them in.


Big giant Duh here! So simple that I have to say again. Why didn’t I think of this?

Thanks to my friend over at Bareblueskin for telling me about this last Monday at knitting group.


2 Comments on “Safety Thread – Why didn’t I think of this!”

  1. Amy says:

    Awesome! I’ve been knitting for 17 years and never used this. . . but you know, I’ve NEVER knit a sweater. I’m about to start my first one. I’d better use this safety thread!

    Love the Ghostbusters reference, BTW!

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