Knitting Mistakes Got You Down?

Knowing how to fix knitting mistakes can be almost as much fun as mastering a new technique!

Ha! Not so sure? It really can be if you change your mindset and learn how to fix the mistakes in the most efficient manner.

Rarely does a knitter complete a challenging project without errors. When you think about it, an advanced knitter is more likely to take on more challenging projects, hence more potential for errors.

Simple logic will tell you that the more complicated the pattern, the more likely there will be errors along the way. So, no matter what your skill level is, if you know how to correct most errors, you will be much more likely to actually finish your project.

You may also be quite thrilled with the fact that you've fixed errors along the way that many other knitters would have "thrown in the towel" and given up.

Since we want to "keep on knitting", see if you know how to fix some knitting mistakes that others encounter every day.

Unknit or Tinking

If you are new to knitting, this is required learning!

It amounts to undoing your knitting stitch by stitch. You may hear knitters refer to this as "tink"ing (because it is "knit" spelled backwards). If you find the error while you're still on the same row, this is most likely the best solution. You "unknit" back to the source of the mistake, fix it, and knit on. Here is a good video demonstration:

If your row contains knit and purl stitches or ribbing, this video is a good demonstration on how to "unknit or unpurl".

Dropped Stitch

Eek! I've dropped a stitch! Have no fear. It is easy to do and surprisingly easy to fix.

I'd recommend you make a small swatch and intentionally drop a stitch, knit on for a few rows and then go ahead and fix the dropped stitch. You will have the confidence to know that should you make this knitting mistake while working on your project, you've got the solution in your bag of tricks.

There are different ways to to this (many use a crochet hook), but the following video shows the method I like the best.


Okay, now we face a bigger problem. In this case, you find that you made an error in the pattern stitch numerous rows back. It also means that all of rows since the offending row are also wrong.

Tinking back stitch by stitch is not an option for most of us as it is simply way too time consuming.

So, unraveling the work back to the last correct row is the objective.

Some knitters will just take the needles out, lay the work flat and start unraveling. That is the easy part.

When you reach the last correct row, putting those loose stitches back on your needles correctly can be a challenge.

Some will unravel back to the row after the offending row and then tink back to the last correct row. This insures that the stitches will be on the needles in the correct orientation.

The following video demonstrates my preferred method. It is the most foolproof way to avoid further mistakes and get you back on track.

Missed Yarn Over

When working lace patterns, it is sooo easy to forget a yarn over. If you find it in the subsequent row, it is pretty easy to fix. Sometimes though, it doesn't make itself known until you are several rows past it.

This video demonstrates a great way to correct this knitting mistake.

Fix a Cable Twist

If you've ever done projects with cables or cable panels, you invariably will find that you will occasionally twist a cable in the wrong direction.

Consider a scenario where you are working on an Aran sweater with numerous cable panels. You find that you made an incorrect twist 4 rows back. No way am I going to tink back. Unraveling would be almost as bad.

What is a knitter to do???

I found the solution on Elizabeth Zimmermann and Meg Swansen's DVD "A Knitting Glossary". Did you know you could rip out a whole cable panel, knit it back up properly and keep on going?

After knitting a very complex aran pattern, this technique was absolutely one of the most valuable tip to learn.

When you first see it, it looks quite complicated. I have been unable to find a good video that clearly shows you how to do it. However, Stepahnie Pearl-McPhee or the "yarn harlot" as she is known, has done a fabulous job of showing step-by-step how to do this through still photos.

Check it out here.

Try this one on a simple cable swatch. Once you try one, you will be thrilled with the results. Your approach to cable projects will never be the same.

Have fun fixing your knitting mistakes and be proud of your accomplishment.

Hope these tips help you to...


Return To Top Of Knitting Mistakes

Return To Knitting Tips

Return To Keep on Knitting

Can't find what you are looking for? 


Have your say about what you just read!

Leave me a comment in the box below.

What's on your needles?

Fun Projects...

Fun Techniques...

Lacey Socks With Nupps

Lace Cuffs with Nupps

Bobbles and Eyelet

Knitting Bobbles

The Complex Cable Stitch

Complex Cables

Entrelac Hat



Mitts and Bag

magic loop toe up socks

Magic Loop