Skip to main content

How to Fix Mistakes in Circular Knitting

Learn how to fix mistakes in circular knitting from expert Jessica Kaufman in this Howcast video.


Now I'm going to show you how to fix some mistakes in circular knitting. These tricks also work for knitting flat with straight needles. So what I've got here is I've put in some accidental purls here in my c of stockenette [?]. So I'm going to show you a couple different methods of going back to fix them. The first method I'm going to show you is called tinking because tink T-I-N-K is knit backwards. So we're not actually knitting backwards we're unknitting one stitch at a time but in knitters terminology we call this to tink. So when I knit a stitch I put my right needle into the left needle and add a new loop of yarn. When I tink I put my left needle into the stitch on the right hand side but instead of putting it into the top stitch that I just made, that's the one I want to get rid of so I actually stick it into the stitch one row below . So I stick my left hand needle in front to back, remove my right hand needle and pop out the yarn. Stick the left tip into the front of the stitch, the row below the one that you're trying to get rid of and pop out the yarn. So we're going to tink back to this accidental purl. I've got three more to go. Three, two, one and here's the stitch that I need to undo. because it's a purl I need to move the yarn back to the front where it was when I made the mistake. And again stick the left hand needle into the front of the stitch no matter what it is, remove the right hand needle, and pop it out. See, there's where I put my yarn in front. I'm going to now move it to the back because this is supposed to be a knit and I'm ready to knit on. So that's how to tink.

Now I'm going to show you a great way to fix mistakes that are not on the round that you just did way down here a couple rounds ago I made an accidental purl. So now I'm going to show you how to drop down just this one column, fix the mistake and ladder back up. This is such a nice alternative if all you know how to do is take your needles out and frog which means to rip it, rip it, rip it until you get back to your mistake. We don't want to waste a whole inch of knitting. So instead we're going to drop down. I can see here that the offending purl is in this column which tops out with this stitch. So this is the stitch I need to drop. I'm going to do the brave thing, take it off the needle, pull out the yarn, and what I need to do is I need to drop down on purpose, pulling like a run in stockings, pulling our every single ladder until I get..there is the offending purl. I'm going to pull this one out and now I have to ladder back up without making any purl stitches. I'm going to take my crochet hook just take it into the front of the stitch because this is knitting, I want to make knit stitches. So just like in knitting the instrument of your choice goes into the front and the yarn is behind the stitch. I'm going to grab the ladder, pull it through the loop. There we go. And I'm going to do it again and again until I get all the way back to the top. Grab the ladder, pull it through the loop, grab the ladder, pull it through the loop. Make sure you grab the ladders in order. This is the lowest one so it has to come next. Grab the ladder, pull it up through the loop. Tow more to go. Last one. And n ow I have to make sure that when I put my stitch back on the needle I don't put it on twisted. If I just slipped it right onto the needle here you can see the left leg of the loop is in front, where what I want, stitches that are mounted correctly have their right legs in front. So often when I am laddering back up with a crochet hook I end up with the left leg in front so I could either twist it around and slip it on or I could slip it straight on and then just turn it with my fingers.

You can ladder down a whole chunk of stitches at a time. Like if you're doing a cable and the cable is let's say six stitches wide and you've made it cross the wrong direction you can drop down six stitches. It's a little tedious but it's better than pulling out, let's say if you're making a 40 inch sweater that's a lot faster. But if you do need to frog here's how you do it. You're going to take the needles completely out, and on a good solid wool yarn they're not really going to go anywhere. If you're taking out something smooth like moisturized cotton or silk you might get stitches dropping down their ladders without you telling them to but in this nice single ply wool here everything is sitting right where I left it so I'm going to drop down to let's say, this round here. That's my mistake. I'm going to rip it, rip it, rip it, until I get down to where my thumb is. Let's do one more round. Here's the mistake. It's now out. The yarn is coming from this stitch so I know that that is the stitch that I just knit and I'm going to pick up the stitches in front of it making sure that the right leg is in front. You really don't have to worry about the loops falling down, especially with wool and something big and bulky like this. They're not going to disappear on you. You can see I can pick them up really easily. And so you would just continue to pick up stitches like that all the way around until you're back to knitting again. So that's frogging. unknitting one by one is tinking. You can also drop a column and ladder back up with a crochet hook. That's the way to fix mistakes in circular knitting.

Popular Categories