How to Safely Rip Back to Fix a Knitting Mistake

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Duration: 15:38

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Yes, sometimes you do have to rip back. Maybe that mistake is several inches back, or you knit the wrong pattern row, or you made multiple mistakes. Ann Budd shows you how to put in a lifeline that “saves” all of your good knitting and lets you rip back without going too far. If you don’t have a lifeline, all is not lost; see how to pick up live stitches and how to “tink” (or knit backwards) to get your work back on the needle.

Ann begins by discussing how to simply rip out your knitting. She pulls the needle out of her knitting and then starts pulling on the yarn to unravel it. She rips down past her mistake, and then puts the stitches back on the needle, making sure that the stitches are oriented the correct way. When using this method to rip back to fix a mistake, she uses a circular needle – that way it doesn’t matter which end your yarn is on, you can easily slide the stitches to the end they need to be to start the reknitting process.

Another method to safely rip back your knitting is to “tink” (that’s knit spelled backwards) or unknit your project. When using this technique, the stitches are slowly unknit one at time. This can turn into a lengthy process – especially if you must unknit several rows. Ann mentions that she typically will rip out her knitting until one row or round before the error, then get the stitch back on the needle and unknit or tink the last row to make sure she hasn’t lost any stitches.

Using a lifeline is another method that Ann demonstrates in the video. She shows how to insert the lifeline as well as how to use it if you make an error and need to rip back. She suggests placing a lifeline every pattern repeat; by doing so you know exactly where you need to start your pattern again.

How do you rip back your knitting when you make a mistake?