Ripping out stitch by stitch

If you're lucky enough to catch your mistake before the end of the row in which you made it, you can rip back to your mistake one stitch at a time. Basically, you undo what you've just done until you get to the problem spot. Here's how:

1. With the knit or purl side facing, insert the LH needle from front to back (away from you) into the stitch below the one on the RH needle.

Figure 7-12 shows how this looks when you undo a knit stitch or a purl stitch.

Slide needle out

Figure 7-12:

Unforming a knit stitch (a) and a purl stitch (b).

Stitch below

Figure 7-12 shows how this looks when you undo a knit stitch or a purl stitch.

Slide needle out

Stitch below

2. Slide the RH needle out of the stitch and gently pull on the yarn to free it.

Your work won't unravel because your LH needle has secured the stitch below.

3. Repeat Steps 1 and 2, stitch by stitch, to the point of your mistake.

Ripping out row by row

What's the worst-case scenario? You notice a mistake several rows down in your work — a bump or glitch that can't be rescued easily by backing up a few stitches. In such a situation, ripping back one stitch at a time may take longer than simply taking the piece off the needles, undoing your work as far back as necessary, and then starting over. It's a pain. It's no fun. And you'll mourn the time (and possibly inches) of finished work you lose, but sometimes ripping everything out is necessary. When it is, take a deep breath, do an unkinking exercise or two (see Chapter 19), and follow these steps:

Locate the row your mistake is on and mark it with a safety pin.

You don't want to rip back any farther than absolutely necessary. If you're working with an exceptionally thin yarn, you may want to thread a so-called safety line of yarn through the stitches on the last good row of knitting (the last row without a mistake). Using a tapestry needle and a different, smooth yarn, thread the yarn through the center of each stitch. When you pull out the stitches above, the safety line will keep you from going too far.

Slide your needle out of the stitches.

This is where you probably want to take a few deep, steadying breaths.

Pull gently on the working yarn, undoing the stitches. When you reach the row above the mistake (which you've marked with a safety pin), slowly rip to the end of the row.

Place your knitting so that the working yarn is on the right (flip the fabric over if you have to).

Insert the tip of the needle into the first stitch on the row below (from back to front, toward you; see Figure 7-13), and gently pull to free the yarn from the stitch.

You should have one stitch solidly planted on the RH needle.

Using a needle several sizes smaller to pick up the last row of your ripped-out knitting makes it easier to snag the stitches. Then, when it's time to begin knitting again, work the next row with your regular needle.

Figure 7-13:

Insert the needle into the stitch below.

Figure 7-13:

Insert the needle into the stitch below.

6. Repeat Step 5 until you reach your mistake.

Figure 7-14 shows what it looks like as you work across the row to your mistake.

Figure 7-14:

Put stitches on your RH needle as you work toward your mistake.

Pull gently on the yarn to unravel the stitching

Figure 7-14 shows what it looks like as you work across the row to your mistake.

Pull gently on the yarn to unravel the stitching

7. Rip out your mistake, turn your work, and start knitting again!

Karma Crash Course

Karma Crash Course

Finally, The Ultimate Guide To Changing Your Life Forever. Get Your Hands On The Ultimate Guide For Improving Karma And Live A Life Of Fortune And Certainty. Discover How Ordinary People Can Live Extraordinary Lives Through Improving Their Karma.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment