View Full Version : Discouraged

04-24-2008, 03:54 AM
I've been knitting for about 6 months and loving it. My main problem is that I can't fix mistakes. I've both read and been shown how to unravel or unknit but my attempts lead to a complete mess. I put one scarf away unrepaired several weeks ago waiting until I can get the hang of it.
But I'm 2/3 done with this noro scarf and decided to give it a try: http://www.oceanwindknits.ca/sectionpage2.asp?blog=free%20patterns

My only option is to rip it out and start again- but there's no guarantee I won't make a mistake again.
Can one be a "knitter" if she can't undo mistakes?

Jan in CA
04-24-2008, 05:22 AM
Do you mean you can't tink back stitch by stitch or that you can't use a crochet hook to go back down a few rows to fix a stitch?

One thing you can do is to use a lifeline when working a complicated pattern (or any really). Put a length of smaller gauge yarn or embroidery floss on a yarn needle and run it through the stitches on the needle after you've done a certain amount of rows and then move it up as you get more done. I think it's usually best to do it after each pattern repeat so if you have to rip back you now right where you are. There are 8 rows to the pattern repeat on this scarf you linked to so at the end of row 8 you put the lifeline in. :thumbsup:

04-24-2008, 05:46 AM
If you go to the video section on this site there are a tips section which show videos of how to do the life line as Jan described and other commen mistakes. Take a peek might help if you can see it in action.

04-24-2008, 09:11 AM
For me that just came with practice. There are still mistakes that I cannot fix and have to rip out. But I have gotten better and there are more times when CAN fix the mistake. Don't give up ...

04-24-2008, 09:26 AM
don't get discouraged with your knitting. it takes practice and patience. I can recommend a good book to have on hand.. "Knit Fix" by Lisa Kartus. I use it alot! Hope it helps.

04-24-2008, 01:15 PM
don't get discouraged with your knitting. it takes practice and patience. I can recommend a good book to have on hand.. "Knit Fix" by Lisa Kartus. I use it alot! Hope it helps.

I also highly recommend Knit Fix. It is always near me when I'm knitting. Between that book and this website, I have learned to correct my mistakes.

Remember that we all make mistakes, even the most experienced knitters, so don't be discouraged. Accept that mistakes are part of knitting, and like learning to knit and purl, it takes practice to learn how to correct mistakes.

Do you have some yarn you can play with and use for practice? That's what I do. I bought some bright, inexpensive yarn and use it to practice techniques before knitting on my 'real' project. I learn so much that way, because I'm not nervous about messing up the project or ruining the yarn.

04-25-2008, 02:29 AM
I'm going to try the lifeline. I think that will help. I seem to do ok on the techniques (except entrelac which is my current project) but can't seem to repair mistakes.
I also ordered the Knit Fix book.

Thank you all for your help.

04-25-2008, 10:04 AM

04-25-2008, 08:48 PM
That does come with experience. Once you knit a LOT and you really understand what it is that your weaving you will instinctivly(sp?) know how to TINK...and for the rest there is KH!!! The lifeline is a great idea though. I used one when i made my first cable and lace baby jacket because i knew i wouldn't be able to fix it if i screwed it up, but I ended up screwing it up on a totally different level and you know I would NEVER have been able to fix it without the help of people on this site. If you need help just explain it the best you can on here and you will be so surprised at how many people will understand and be able to help. We have all made EVERY mistake there is to make and will probably discover and make totally new mistakes of our own (I think that's what I did with my baby sweater). Don't you dare be discouraged! The fact that you can recognize a mistake is a skill on it's own. Keep trying and WE CAN HELP!:grphug:

04-26-2008, 06:06 AM
Yeah...sometimes I like to knit and knit fast while I'm watching the tv and other stuff and when I look back...drats...something has gone wrong because the stitches don't tally...lol...it's a pain to tink or worse frog your lovely hard work, but do we really have a choice? sigh. At least in knitting we can undo the mistake we'd made :P So lesson at hand, be patient and focus on the work at hand. And if all else fails, look to the experts for help! yay!

04-26-2008, 08:57 AM
Mistakes happen. Fixing mistakes is probably one of the hardest things to learn. You've only been knitting for 6 months, it takes time to learn and develop skills. Relax and give yourself time. The more you enjoy it the better you learn.

I've only been knitting for a little under a year and a half and am far from being expert at knitting. I learn a little bit more every project. Some mistakes I can fix, some I can't. I just accept that and do the best I can. Heck, some mistakes I just let go and move on because odds are high that nobody but me will even notice them anyway.

The lifeline suggestion is an excellent one and can save you a lot of frogging.

04-26-2008, 11:17 AM
:hug: It will come...it took me awhile to figure it out...I finally sit down one day and followed a stitch...I see how it looked already knitted the path it took...and it kinda clicked then as to how the st worked and how to fix it...:hug:

04-26-2008, 03:40 PM
Unraveling is the only method I use to fix mistakes because the other's are a little to advanced for me.

The most important thing i've learned about unraveling is when your doing it don't unravel the last stitch. Go up to the last stitch. THEN what you have to do is start inserting your needle into the loops.


What I learned is, when i'm unraveling I use a small needle to put the stitches/loops back on. I routinely use 9.0mm size needles so I break out my very thin needle and thats what I put the stitches on. This PREVENTS stretching of that row, which is what I always had and it drove me nuts PLUS it's much much easier to put the stitches on a thin needle so you don't loose the loops. If you do use your regular needle to put the loops on you might pull on it so hard that the next stitch "loops" comes out.

I keep the stitches on that thin needle (left hand) and in my right hand use the 9.0 mm needle. It won't change the size of your stitches because they're going ONTO the 9.0mm needle. Then when your done with that row just put the thin needle down and continue the project.
continuing on....When you have ALL but the last loop on the needle, insert the needle into the stitch/loop coming from that LAST STITCH that you haven't unraveled yet. If you need to know where that is, just look at where your yarn is coming from, pull it, and you will see it. Insert your needle into that stitch and pull on your yarn. Now your unraveling is complete. If you don't do that step and you unraveling the ENTIRE row you will notice when you put all the stitches/loops back on the needle your yarn will be at the 2nd stitch not at the beginning of the needle/row. IF THAT DOES HAPPEN you can just slip the stitch to the right needle and continue knitting it.

It can be a hassle to do this twice in a row.

I hope that helps......I hope it makes sense :)


04-27-2008, 02:51 AM
You said you had read about how to fix mistakes and been shown how. Have you been really taught how? I have a friend who is a great knitter but she would show me how to do something and that isn't enough. I need to be walked through it slowly and I have to do whatever it is while the helper watches my every move to see if I do it right. AND I need to do it more than once. I'm a slow learner. LOL But I can get it if someone really teaches me how.

If you have such a helper make a small swatch or several with mistakes in them and get them to watch you as you try to fix them and correct you if you start to do something wrong. Fix the same type of mistake several times under close supervision and see if that doesn't help. It is a hard thing to learn, but you will be so happy when you get it. Don't give up, get better help. :-)

04-27-2008, 10:57 AM
I have the same suggestion as Merigold -- take regular old worsted wool yarn. Grab your favorite fix it book. Start knitting swatches and intentionally make mistakes and learn how to fix each one.

Actually, I may just do the same :)