Fixing Knitting Mistakes

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When you are learning how to knit, you are going to make a few mistakes. It might not make you especially happy but believe me when I say that learning about fixing knitting mistakes is absolutely par for the course.

I am pretty sure that you would have seen somewhere on this site that knitting is easy or simple and it is but with a very big but.  There are really only two knitting stitches (knit and purl) that you have to master and a few different ways of combining them to create an infinite number of designs.  And although they are not especially difficult, it does take time and practice to get them right.

If you are just beginning, you are going to make mistakes.  Hell, I have been knitting for over 50 years and I still make the occasional mistake - we all do and so will you.  But before you throw out your knitting needles in disgust check out the information on fixing knitting mistakes on this page.  Slow down, learn how to fix the most common mistakes and persevere.  You are not going to become an expert in overnight or even over the course of a few days.  So give it a go, make mistakes and learn from them.

That's how we all learn.

The first way to fix an error is unpicking or unravelling your work to some point before the mistake so that you can start fresh with your knitting.  There are two ways to go that, ripping or frogging.


Ripping is for when the mistake is too far down in your knitted piece or too tricky for you to be able to fix without pulling all your stitches out to below the error.  

Basically ripping involves removing the needles from your work and unravelling as many rows as you need to to so that you can undo the error and start restart you knitting at a point before you made the error.  Once you have unravelled enough rows to get just below where the error was in the fabric, you pick up all of the stitches (put them all back onto your needle) and start knitting again.


Frogging also involves unpicking your work to before the error, but with this method you unpick your knitting one stitch at a time.  I use this method when the error or mistake is on the same row that I am working on or on the row below. 

To 'frog' a stitch you inset the working needle into the stitch below the stitch on your left hand needle and then slip the upper stitch off the needle.  If you give the yarn a slight tug the stitch will unravel leaving the stitch from the previous row on your working needle.

Common Mistakes and how to fix them...

Fixing knitting mistakes does not always require you to unpick or rip out your knitting.  In some cases you can frog back to the mistake and fix it.  

Incomplete stitches

Occasionally you might come across a stitch that you have not fully completed, usually because although you wrapped the yarn around the knitting needle, you didn't actually pull the loop through the stitch being worked.  When this happens you end up with the stitch from the previous row on the needle as well as what is pretty much a yarn over.

If you don't notice the error it is possible to knit both which in effect forms an eyelet or a hole in the knitted fabric and also creates a new stitch.  The way to fix this is to get back to the row in which the error was made and to knit the stitch.  To do that you insert the working needle into the front loop of the unworked stitch and pick it up and lift it over the yarn over to form a completed stitch.

Dropped Stitches

Every now and then you are probably going to have to fix a dropped stitch.  The easiest way to do that is with a crochet hook.  All you need to do is to pick up the stitch that was dropped with the hook.  Then you use the hook to pick up the ladder rung above the stitch and pull it through the stitch on the hook.  The ladder rungs are the horizontal threads going from the stitches on either side of the dropped stitch.

You repeat this action until you have 'knitted' up all of the ladder rungs.  Then you just slip the stitch off the hook and back onto your needle.

A Visual Demonstration of Fixing Knitting Mistakes

Some of you are going to be visual learners so I have put together a video of some of the more common mistakes that I have seen and how you can fix them.

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