When I was a brand new knitter, I didn’t know of any ways to fix knit mistakes. Once I learned more, I still only knew of one way to fix knit mistakes. And it wasn’t really a fix at all! In fact, it was the opposite of fixing.
It was quickly un-doing. It was called frogging. So, I would just start to frog out the mistake. But then I couldn’t figure out how to get my needle back in the knitting and I’d end up frogging the whole thing. Then restart. And repeat.
It was so frustrating! Because as a new knitter, each stitch was very carefully and slowly made, when I reached any number of rows and saw a mistake, I thought I only had one choice. Frog back. Then when I couldn’t figure out how to get my stitches back on the needles, I’d give up and rip it all out.
Listen knitters, frogging is just one way to fix a mistake! And especially for you, new knitters, there are many other ways to fix a mistake that will honor the time you have spent on your knitting and still fix your mistakes.
Tutorials and more details on this can be found in my Learn to Knit Resource Kit.
Number One: Tinking!
I think for new knitters this may actually be the easiest way to go back and not undo everything. Though even as an experienced knitter, I still tink. It’s useful to fix knit mistakes.
- Insert your LH needle into the stitch below the stitch you on your RH needle.
- Place this stitch securely on your LH needle.
- Pull the working yarn to remove the stitch that was on your RH needle.
Tink = Knit Backwards. Repeat these steps until you get to the stitch you need to fix.
Number Two: Unravel Down
Unraveling down may be the scariest way to fix a mistake for a new knitter, but it is definitely worth practicing because it can be the quickest way to fix a stitch. Once you gain experience, this can be the quickest fix. Practice it.
- Knit to the row before the mis-knit stitch is located.
- Drop the stitch off the LH needle that is directly above your mis-knit.
- Carefully unravel down the row including your mis-knit stitch.
- Using a crochet hook you can now repair the stitches to your live row.
Number Three: Frogging
Knitters who’ve been around for a while are so familiar with frogging. There’s plenty of reels, tiktoks and more of knitters showing themselves frogging projects. It’s oddly satisfying. Check it out on Instsagram #ripitripit.
If you are a new knitter and you’re confused on why this is called frogging, it’s rather fun actually. Frogging is when you take your needles out of your knitting and pull your working yarn and unravel your knitting one row at a time. “rip it, rip it, rip it”. Not only do you watch your knitting unravel but it makes a fun rip it sound.
- Remove your knitting needle.
- Take your working yarn and pull.
- Unravel rows until you have done the row with the mistake.
- Insert your knitting needle back into your live stitches.
Number 3.5: Lifelines
Learning about lifelines was a lifeline to me as a new knitter. Lifelines take a bit of time to prepare for but can save you from frogging your work entirely. A life line is scrap yarn that is inserted into your stitches across a row.
There are two ways to make a lifeline. You can insert one periodically in your knit object especially if it is a larger project or has different sections that you are worried you may need to re-do. You do not need to prep though, you can also set a lifeline after the fact. Just insert the lifeline one row below the mistake.
With a tapestry needle and scrap yarn, you can either insert it into the stitches along your knitting needle if you are setting one in advance. Or you can insert it in the row BELOW the mis-knit.
- Thread your tapestry needle with scrap yarn.
- Insert the needle and thread through your stitches (either at your knitting needle or below your mis-knit).
- Thread the scrap yarn all the way to the other side of your fabric.
- Pull the working yarn and unravel all the way down to your lifeline.
- Insert your knitting needle into the stitches that are on your lifeline.
- Once your knitting needle is through all those stitches, you can remove your lifeline, or leave it just in case.
I don’t consider this a whole way because it is just one part of a bigger solution. Even with a lifeline, you will still need to frog.
How to Choose Which Way to Fix Knit Mistakes!
So how do you decide which way to fix your mistake? I would take a deep breath. Often times, when I was a new knitter, I would feel so emotional about my mistake that I would be hasty to fix it. Now, I’ve made so many mistakes, that I find it far less distressing. Sometimes, I put the knitting in time out until I’m ready. Other times it I decide not to fix the mistake. Hey, this is a handcraft. Mistakes happen.
So, assuming I’m deciding to fix the mistake, I use a particular thought process. I mapped it out! If you already have a process, and it works for you, keep doing that thing! But if you’re a beginner knitter, or if you don’t have a process, try my way.
Keep your chin up knitters! Mistakes happen. Every item you knit does not have to be perfect.
Not Fixing a Mistake Is also an Option!
When I knit my first sweater, I did such a good job on it! I thought I didn’t have a single mistake in it! My seams were done well. The knitting was beautifully even. My ribbing was crisp. I slipped the sweater on proudly and clasped my hands. My fingers rubbing over something weird. Upon examination I found a mistake.
Here’s a picture of it. See, I missed and put one purl stitch where it should have been a knit. Oops! But you know what I learned from this. When people see me in this sweater, they always love it. They say, wow that’s a great sweater, I love the color! Where did you get that sweater? I proudly tell them I made it, and I rub the little mistake. No one has ever noticed it.
So, keep on knitting and don’t sweat the mistakes. They happen. Sometimes you won’t notice until the end. And better yet, others may not notice them at all! So it can be your little learning secret.
Hugs & Happy Knitting!