What are lifelines? They allow you to safely and easily go back to a previous line of knitting.
If you’ve dropped stitches you can’t recover, or if you realise the item is not the right size you’ll be grateful for them. It provides a nice little safety net that you can rip back to.
Typically this is done by threading a contrasting bit of yarn through a row. It can be difficult to stop knitting to thread a lifeline through. I knew a lifeline provided a safety net but I still seem to put it off for ages. I’d rather just be knitting!
The quicker, easier, minimal effort way?
If you use interchangeable needles you already have a very handy tool at your disposal. You can add lifelines almost effortlessly while still knitting!
Grab yourself a second interchangeable cable, the same length as the one you’ve been using, and a couple of cable end caps. Twist one of the needles off the live cable and pop an end cap on. Make sure the cap goes on the side with the end of the row.
Put that needle on your new cable with the second end cap to save your stitches from falling off the other side. You now have two cables, each with a needle on one end and an end cap on the other. Using the new empty cable knit across your next row, leaving the original cable in place. When you are done the row transfer the second needle to your new cable and pop its end cap on the original cable.
Now you have a lifeline built in and ready to be pulled out later. Or otherwise, it’s ready to have the needles just popped back on the end should you have to rip back!