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Weekend Knitting (and Unknitting!)

Jan 27, 2010

Knitting Retreat by the Sea!

There's nothing like spending time with old friends, is there? My Seattle knitting group got together last  weekend in Gig Harbor, Washington.

We had such a great time, watching movies (The Proposal and The Hangover; great cinema, not, but good laughs!), eating and drinking, and KNITTING.

Michelle and Koni finished projects and modeled them, which was fun, and Molly and I started new projects. I worked on a pair of socks and Molly started a vest for her husband.

Lisa progressed on a beautiful cabled jacket in a rich chocolate color, and Laurie made progress on a cardigan she's been working on forever, but her knitting is so perfect you wouldn't believe it! It looks like it's coming off the needles blocked and ready to wear.

Everyone was working from different pattern booklets and we had a lot of fun looking through each others' magazines and helping each other with problems and giving advice.

We also spent a lot of time fondling each other's yarn, too! You know how it is. . .

Oops! Unknitting is Good

During all of this revelry, most of us made a mistake here and there. I crossed a cable the wrong way in my Heather Hoodie Vest knit along project, so I had to use one of my old standby skills, "unknitting." Seems counter-intuitive, doesn't it? We want to build stitches on the needles, not take them off!

Well, we've all been merrily knitting along, watching TV (or sharing a belly laugh during a silly movie!), and whoopsie! we see a mistake we made a row or so back. What to do? Lots of people take the work off the needles, which is fine, but what I do is unknit.

This skill is something I learned in an Oops class I took during my first year of knitting, but I learned to do it by taking one stitch at a time off the needles, unwrapping the yarn from each stitch and dropping it as I went, which was a very slow process!

Over the years I've perfected the technique and I can unknit almost as fast as I can knit. Something cute: Lots of people call this "tinking;" "tink" is "knit" spelled backwards!

Here's a video tutorial for you. You can use this technique on any piece of knitting; here's hoping you don't have to use it too often!



Now that you're armed with a tool for fixing mistakes you make when you're not paying quite as much attention as you should be, I encourage you to plan a knitting retreat with your knitting friends. Even a day at one of your houses—just an opportunity to be with other knitters to share the joy of each other and of knitting! I had such had a wonderful time reconnecting, relaxing, and knitting with my friends; I know you would, too.

Cheers,


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Comments

jo-anna1945 wrote
on Sep 5, 2011 11:08 AM

loved your "tinking" demo, it was helpful, thanks.  JM

LoriEmm wrote
on Sep 2, 2011 7:35 AM

WOW ... I want to thank you for sharing this. "Tinking" this way was news to me, and I'm so glad I now know how to do this! I was doing it differently in a way that was quite time-consuming. This will help me immensely! :)

-Lori

madmaddy wrote
on Sep 2, 2011 1:05 AM

It was interesting to see how you take back your knitting, from right to left.

I have been taking back knitting in this manner for nearly 60 years but have always worked from left to right - and yes, you can work at a good speed.  To go back more than an inch or so I find it quicker to take the stitches off the needle, pull back and then replace the stitches.

redjax wrote
on Sep 1, 2011 2:09 PM

I have been 'tinking' for years and I can tell you that its a great skill to learn.. If Im knitting a large piece, about every 3-4 inches of knitted fabric, I will use a craft needle and put a row of an alternative color through an entire row so that if I make a mistake beyond that row, I can remove the needles and go back only as far as the row of alternative yarn. That has also saved me from having to completely start over.  if anyone would like to know further how I do that, just email me at redjaxjm@yahoo.com

maryisbusy wrote
on Sep 1, 2011 1:54 PM

i always do it backwards from how you showed it. i have an empty needle in my left hand and work the stitches off the right hand needle. your way looks SO much easier! i will definitely be trying that next time i have to 'tink' ;)

on Feb 20, 2011 11:12 AM

Sharon here in Beaverton OR.   Thank you sooooooo very much for this video.   Last night I noticed on a knitting piece (started in 2006 LOL on a dare with a ball of string) that about 2 inched down I had one lousy stitch twisted.  YUCK!  The though of taking this tiny stuff off the kneedle was like going to the dentist. :(  So in a frenzy I headed to Knitting Daily and YEE_HA - and this video.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.   Have a nice day everyone.

lune wrote
on May 25, 2010 1:44 PM

thanks for the video.it helped alot bcs I always had to reposition the stitches after unknitting

echu wrote
on Mar 2, 2010 2:32 PM

Thanks Kathleen for this great technique! I was trying it out on a sleeve I needed to unknit to get the size right, and discovered a way of doing it saves me winding the yarn on my finger with every unknit stitch.

This is what I do:

1. I put my right hand needle through the back of the stitch on the row below (your unknitting technique)

2. With the same needle, I then go in from the front under the 'bridging' yarn connecting the stitch I just went into with the next stitch along

3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 several times, and when I want to just pull on the yarn to free it from the unknit stitches - freeing the unknit yarn all in one go instead of pulling it out one stitch at a time.

on Feb 17, 2010 12:28 PM

I feel very confused. Was this a row of purling you are taking out or do you normally knit the stitches from your right needle to your left? (Left handed Knitting) Since the stitches end up on your right needle to replace them you would have to turn your work and purl back, right?

To take our a row you have just knitted do you turn your work and remove your stitches from the purl side of the work?

Dear@2 wrote
on Feb 1, 2010 1:48 PM

Thanks Katheleen.  A very helpful idea.  We all have to take off stitches sometimes.  Also, thank you for the email on 'Ease' in sweaters.  I am really excited because I am going to start on my first sweater soon, and your email was very helpful.  I love your emails.

Thanks, Darlene

AnneC@3 wrote
on Jan 31, 2010 4:14 PM

Most of my projects also involve other stitches - pearl, slip stitch, etc. This is great for knitting - could you also share this technique with the other stitches?  Thanks!

on Jan 30, 2010 9:45 AM

Would be nice if you added captioning so those of us who can't hear can get all the information as those who are able to hear.  

Julie AnnP wrote
on Jan 29, 2010 5:12 PM

I belong to a group of women called the College Club here in the Berkshires of MA.  The club was started over 90 years ago by women who had at least 2 years of college (quite an accomplishment back then!) and has many interest groups within the club.  I started a new group that I called "Needlework and Tea" and invited anyone who does anything with a needle or hook to come to my home.  We had a great response and we all had something to show and share.  One woman brought some of the most amazing counted thread work.  As we talked, we realized that many of us also have other loves in common, such as gardening, so the group is now called "The Work of Our Hands" to include anything we make or do with our hands.  There are separate gourmet groups within the club so this won't include cooking/baking.  We meet monthly and rotate homes and hosting so it's a great way to see and learn new things as well as 'show and tell'.  

Lmarcus wrote
on Jan 29, 2010 4:06 PM

That is a great way to unknit. I unknit from the back (purl) side, which moves quickly but leaves stitches going the wrong way. I compensate for that when I correct the mistake, however.

AnneB wrote
on Jan 29, 2010 1:00 PM

To Fliss-

A size smaller crochet hook can aid in picking up a dropped stitch - if you knit loosely enough.  Place a stitch marker in the loop of the dropped stitch to prevent it from laddering further.  Lay your knittig as flatt as possible.  Then with the crochet hook  - either in from the front or back, depending whether the next row up need a kint or purl - pick up the yarn from BETWEEN the two knit(purled) stitches.  Continue until you reach the place to put the dropped stitch back on the needle.

Sometimes dropping the stitches on both sides of the original dropped one will save you from tinking back.  This sometimes gives you enough slack so the stitches still look uniform.

Tinking is the only way I've found to correct mistakes in mosaic knitting.  But then I'm just learning this technique.

kdlong wrote
on Jan 29, 2010 11:07 AM

How would you recommend to un-purl?

juliemn1 wrote
on Jan 28, 2010 1:31 PM

I had never heard of this before, but I used the technique last night!  I had purled a stitch in the previous row that should have been a knit stitch - I was able to "unknit" it and continue on in the pattern.  I would have never thought of doing this - I normally would have left it!  

gweadgirl wrote
on Jan 28, 2010 12:40 PM

Thank you!  That little video was so helpful...and makes the ripping out  process so easy.  I have always had trouble getting the stitches back onto the other needle the correct way.

LadyKRose wrote
on Jan 28, 2010 9:16 AM

'Tinking' and 'frogging' have come to me from a variety of sources.   Unknitting is something I developed to correct errors.  I just figured everyone did this.   Guess I was wrong.  But, then, I'm a mostly self-taught knitter so inventing what is needed is SOP for me.  

I love my knitting groups - best mental health thing I do for myself each week.   Even if we don't knit/crochet/stitch, it's great to visit with the group and feel connected to other women.   The variety of projects and ideas is wonderful and keeps us all interested.  My knitting backpack goes with me everywhere.   Even hubby knows it has to come along no matter what else is in the car.  ;~)))

PhebeW@2 wrote
on Jan 28, 2010 9:05 AM

When I have an oops I find most of them can be fixed by dropping the stitch directly above it and making a "run" down to the mistake.  Sometimes the oops requires making a couple of "runs",  one at a time.  With cables you have to run all the stitces in the cable at once.  Doesn't everybody do that?  Of course if it's a whole row (should have been a knit row instead of a purl row, for example)  you have to unknit.  Phebe

happycow wrote
on Jan 28, 2010 7:41 AM

Interesting to see you unknit.  I've found that if I switch hands (left needle to right hand, right needle to left hand) it works easily.  Keeps yarn in the hand I'm used to having it in.

Fliss wrote
on Jan 28, 2010 5:57 AM

Oh dear, was I the only one to find this so blindingly obvious?  How else would you do it if you were only going back in the same row or maybe one row below?

I was hoping for something that will show how to fix a problem like a dropped stitch several rows below.

Sorry, not inspired in the least by this !

fliss

Carole Ann wrote
on Jan 28, 2010 4:52 AM

That was a Knit stich being shown.  

What about the purl stiches?

Alaska Nana wrote
on Jan 28, 2010 2:32 AM

We call that "tink-ing" which is knit spelled backwards.

GerdaP wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 9:53 PM

Cool, I seem to have trouble wrapping the stitch without my finger going numb but I will add this to the Oops class next time I teach it!

joan07 wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 9:11 PM

Kathryn,

Thanks for the demo. I have have invented my own method, but yours looks so much better and faster!!  My stitches were often not oriented correctly on the needle so that slow me down in the next knit row!

joan

on Jan 27, 2010 9:04 PM

yeah, we call this the "frog stitch" (rip-it, rip-it)

on Jan 27, 2010 8:50 PM

Kathleen, I encourage you to learn how to drop down just the involved columns of sts rather than unknitting whole rows.  This is escpecially easy when one makes an error on cables.  Just "unknit" or tink the cable and reknit the crosses in the correct direction.  Easy Peasy!

Your Bud,

Sande

on Jan 27, 2010 6:47 PM

And...I also want to say I LOVE this entire discussion thread and all of the wonderful tips for fixing mistakes.  What a great topic and I've learned so much from these comments.  Thank you everyone!

on Jan 27, 2010 6:41 PM

Unknitting.  Wow!  I've been doing this since my first non-scarf knitting project.  I thought that I was an oddity because frankly, I had a mental block about how to fix mistakes.  With nobody to teach me I learned knitting from books.  As a self-taught knitter I had to learn by a lot of trial and error!  I'm sure I knit a few items purling by wrapping the wrong way.  (Which I later learned is a valid "technique" and pretty well any error can become a "technique"!)

No matter what tutorial I used, it only covered certain kinds of mistakes and did not allude to how in the world to take knitting off and then get it back on the needles.  I experimented with taking knitting off, but at the time did not know what to study when examining stitches for stitch mounting.  I woudn't know a twisted stitch from one that was mounted properly.  So I developed the unknitting technique...or so I thought at the time.  I thought that I was the only person "dense" enough not to "get it", whatever "it" was, which is pretty funny because in most other disciplines in life I'm a very smart girl!

Well, now I feel pretty smart for discovering this on my own.  I find it very useful when I'm not entirely certain how the stitch mounting will work out if I frog.  And I even like the name.  Now I will tink proudly knowing that it has it's usefulness and that I'm no dummy!

moskvavava wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 6:38 PM

If the mistake is a few rows down I find the 'life line' method is invaluable. It requires only one row of repositioning the needle and then some pulling:

When at the end of a row, I make sure the RS is facing me. Then I insert my free needle into the right loop of each V along the entire row just before the mistake. Then I take the top needle out and simply pull the yarn until all the stitches on the lower needle are ready to be knit again.

Here is a video:

www.youtube.com/watch

JulieV wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 5:54 PM

I've done this on lace shawls, undoing 2 rows at a time. I just put the needle in the stitch 2 rows down, and pull the top stitch undone, then the lower one. I hold the unravelled yarns for the 2 rows on separate fingers like in 2-colour knitting, in my case one in the right hand and one in the left.

Sounds scarey but is really easy if you proceed calmly and systematically, and saves a lot of time. In lace the mistakes often are found 2 rows down, because it's hard to spot them on the 'purling back' row but you find them when the next right side row isn't working out.

St Luke wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 5:29 PM

I have been using this "unknitting" technique for the past 60 yrs.  However if there is a mistake several rows down, simply drop the stitch on the needle which is directly above the mistake and let the dropped stitch run down until the mistaken stitch occurs. Then using a crochet hook, hook each of the dropped stitches gradually working upwards row by row until the row you are on is reached.

joycesparrow wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 4:39 PM

I would also like to know the brand name of the needles in the tinking video.

js in FLA

CindyM@15 wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 4:36 PM

Loved the video!  Thank you.  You've taken some of the fear out of mistakes.  Question: Do you do exactly the same thing for purls? What if you need to "unknit" a decrease or increase?

DorisW@2 wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 4:24 PM

I would love to see a video on how to correct cable mistakes. Have heard of the ladder thing, but must see to understand. Thanks Doris Weed

dillpickle76 wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 4:19 PM

Thanks for a really helpful tutorial! It will improve my speed and technique enourmously, I think! Up until now, whenever I try to 'unknit', my reknitting often involves turning stitches around before knitting them again, so I'll try your strategy next time. My current issue though is how to easily unknit k2tog and slip 1, k1, psso's. I'm making lots of mistakes in my current lace project, so easy unknitting would be a major bonus!!

GrannyJ wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 3:43 PM

Thanks for the informative "tinking" video. Just tried it to see how the method will work for us "Continental knitters( who carry our yarn from the left side), and it does

fine. Just have to work tension from left as ususal, and is bit slower probably, but I have just begun to try it.  I'll probably get very good at  Kathleen's  "tinking" method

in days to come.

From comments-- I like the idea of sliding a smaller needle into the row below the mistake and frogging down to that row to begin again. I just learned two faster ways to save a project.  Thanks a hank.   Joyce in Utah

JudithO@2 wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 3:28 PM

Oops! I thought I was going to learn something new! I have been using this method of "un-knitting" for many years. It is the best way I've found to make sure I don't drop any stitches, as could happen in pulling the work off and putting it back onto the needles.

Thanks! I'm glad to know someone else uses this method!

Judith O'Hare

LynneG wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 2:58 PM

Wow! What a grea tip- just the tiny tweak of adding tension will make unknitting so much quicker! thank you!!

Grammy wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 2:57 PM

I do what Eliza does.  You can go even faster if you don't bother to keep winding the excess yarn around your finger.  Just insert the needle into a stitch and slide it off the needle, then go on to the next stitch and do the same, and the next and the next, etc.  Then, every once in awhile, pull the working yarn and it will easily zip out of all the stitches you just pulled off the needle.  You don't really have to keep a tension on the working yarn because the stitches you are picking up from the row below already have a tension.  I will do about ten stitches at a time before pulling the yarn out.

rainrain wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 2:42 PM

I think the beginners would appreciate if you also show how to unpick 1 stitch a few rows down and put it back with a crochet hook.

Even I occasionally knit when I should purl or purl when I should knit, a good eye and a crochet hook can save all that tinking!

CarolC@9 wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 2:36 PM

Interesting!  All this time I've been doing this from the back side - working from left to right (onto the left needle) to undo the previous stitches back to my "point of error".  That way, tension isn't really much of an issue - when I've captured the stitch from the row below with your left needle tip, I just pull the working yarn out of the stitch.  Then I can fix my boo-boo and continue forwards (right to left), hopefully correctly.  Learned this myself, I guess, from LOTS of trial and error.

To comment on another's comment - I always thought "frogging" was removing all stitches, without intending to continue with the piece - just ripping it out, winding it back up, and hoping for something better next time!  Whatever you call it, it's better than balling it up and sticking the whole thing in a corner somewhere.  Never admit defeat ! - well, at least not very often.

mary@288 wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 2:31 PM

Thank you, Kathleen, for the tink idea. I started a cowl scarf but messed it up. So I took it off the needles and decided to make leg warmers instead. Now I think I have enough courage to try again. Thanks again. Mary Ann

elizaduckie wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 2:14 PM

If you are doing plain knitting, it's faster to take the right needle and go under the same leg but one leg after another, after another, after another.....then zip the yarn out of a whole bunch at a time. Lightning fast! Ask me how I figured this out! :D  

ShirleyG wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 1:26 PM

A friend posted a free ad in the local newspaper in New Braunfels, TX saying she would be at a local coffee shop on a particular day and time and asked for other knitters to join her and the rest is history.  We have an incredible group.

Grendlftz44 wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 1:15 PM

Love your site and your YouTube video on unknitting.  Down here in Florida, though, we call it "frogging".  (you know "rip it, rip it.")  It took me a long time learning how to frog and not cry.  I now consider myself a real knitter and frog with the best of them without a tear.  I just take a little break, grab a diet drink, put on some great music and frog away.  We put a lot of time, money and love into our needlework and it's worth doing right!!!  

Susan in Jacksonville

carolm38 wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 1:14 PM

As I understand it, there is a distinct difference between unknitting or "tinking", and "frogging."  When you tink, the project is still on the needles.  On the other hand, when you frog you take the project __off__ the needles and just rip back to the area you want to correct, thus, "Ribbit, ribbit," or "frogging."

McKennaO wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 12:23 PM

When I start a project, I always include a set of DPs of the same size as those used in the project along with everything else I will need. Then, if I find I've made a mistake several rows down, I can use the working needles to keep the project intact while I "unknit" and then "re-knit" the affected rows with the DPs.  

If the error involves only one or two stitches, say a K where a P should be, I still keep the project on the working needles but switch to a comparably-sized crochet hook to correct the mistake.

on Jan 27, 2010 12:08 PM

I can do the tinking with knit and purl stitches. It's the pattern rows with Yo,sl1,K2tog,psso ect. that I can't tink. I've had to rip these all out and start over. Do you have a vidieo on these kind of projects? Maybe that's where the life line would be good.

looeez wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 11:56 AM

Thanks...learned another method of tinking!  I sometimes think I'm alot better at unknitting than actually knitting...it's debatable.  Real question is, what needles are you using, anyone know?  What sort of work do we favor these for?  Never have seen them but always interested in new tools. Thanks in advance for response.

on Jan 27, 2010 11:55 AM

Instead of unknitting, which is necessary at times, try just dropping the single stitch down to the mistake and picking it back up again with a crochet hook.

If you make a mistake on a cable, such as you described, drop the cabled stitches down and redo just those stitches.  On cables, especially, it is handy to have a set of double point needles in the same size.  You can use these to work the stitches.  When you finish with one row of correction, you just slide the work to the other end of the needle and do the next row.

Judy Walker

Lindajane wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 11:49 AM

I learned a different method of tinking (from the right needle back onto the left needle), but I think I might like this way-to-tink better.  I'll give it a try next time I make a mistake...which probably won't take too long, haha!  Thanks.

Linda

AliceG@13 wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 11:48 AM

Stitch by stitch works great with textured yarns and with complicated patterns.

I make baby blankets and I will pick up 3 aor 4 stitches at a time sliding the needle as shown in video  keeping it on the right needle till I have several stitches and then carefully slip them off the left needle and pull the yarn to unravel.

LifeIsGood wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 11:38 AM

This video couldn't have come at a better time for me!  I'm a very new knitter and had to "tink" a row on a scarf last night.  Your technique looks much easier and smoother than what I did.  I will try this way next time.....and I guarantee there will be a next time!

Anne S wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 11:30 AM

Isn't there a way to "thread" a knitting needle through a project if the mistake is several rows down?  Once the threaded knitting needle is in place you just pull the first needle out and unravel the stitches above the threaded needle to "erase" the mistake area.  It safer than just pulling the needle out  and unraveling down past your mistake.  Any tips on this technique?  Thanks

CarolR wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 11:29 AM

I've always tinked from the other direction, before turning the work. But since I'm right-handed, I think your way would work better for me. I also recently learned that you can fix a mistake in the row below without frogging or tinking: When you get to the stitch directly above the mistake, you drop that stitch and let it "ladder" down to the mistake, put the mistake on the left needle and reknit it, then use a crochet hook to pull your stitch up the way you do normally for a dropped stitch. It'd be great if you put a video of that on your site.

dlboyett wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 11:23 AM

Love the tinking - have been using a left hand remove method but I think I'm going to change.  A mistake that I seem to make often is dropping the edge stitch by accident and I have not found any instructions for fixing this dropped stitch correctly so that it looks the same as the rest of the edge.  Also, I too live in the Seattle area and would love to be involved in a knitting group.

SallyO wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 11:15 AM

I'm making a cropped cardi and I arrived at the armhole shaping on the back.  Unfortunately I skipped ahead to the shoulder shaping section of the pattern and am now in the process of tinking knits, purls and bind off stitches for three rows. No way am I going to frog all the way back!  When I do it I work from right to left instead of left to right as in the video.  It looks easier your way, but I don't know if it would work on the bound off stitches.

on Jan 27, 2010 11:03 AM

When I have a mistake several rows back, lets say reversed a cable, I do not take the work off the needles, I transfer the stitches onto the open needle to the edge of the area where the mistake occurred. Then I un-knit the width of the stitches row by row, transfering the stitches needle to needle until I am down to the error. I fix the error and knit back up to the current row, transfer the stitches back onto the working needle and continue my project. It is a little tricky getting that last stitch in on the previously knitted rows, but much less time to fix.

mongruad wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 10:50 AM

I "unknit" as well - which is especially helpful in intarsia work. I find that removing needles and ripping in intarsia simply makes a giant mess!!

KnittyKat wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 10:48 AM

Super helpful! I was sort of doing it before, but not quite right. Thanks!

on Jan 27, 2010 10:47 AM

So glad to know I wasn't alone when I slowly, slowly "unKnit" one stitch at a time to correct the million mistakes i made on a recent lace hat! (Lace and TV don't mix!)

twfancynancy: if i find a mistake many rows below, I split the knitting between 2 needles or stitch holders, stitches on 1 side of the mistake on one, stitches on the other side on the other. Then I "unhook" the column of stitches with the mistake very carefully. I "rehook" them correctly with a small crochet hook - knit stitches coming from back to front, purl from front to back, one at a time up the ladder. Then i breathe again when it's done. (wish I had a nice video to explain!)

JudyG@43 wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 10:39 AM

I don't see where you would use this much.  You are not going backward but forwards.  Usually tinking (the kind I'm familiar with) is useful if you catch a mistake soon after you made it and want to go back to it.  This technique would not work in that sort of case.  Very many mistakes can be fixed if you have already completed a row by simply knitting over to them and fixing them when you come to them without undoing.  

Reader EllenD had a good idea if you need to do this sort of thing.  Thanks Ellen.

KristenG wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 10:39 AM

thanks for the tinking video maybe I'll finally get it right. What brand of needles are those?

on Jan 27, 2010 10:35 AM

I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one who has been ripping out after I've discovered a mistake in a row below. It's usually after several rows when I hold up the work to see the pattern. I've been doing it stitch by stitch but like the idea of inserting a smaller size needle in the row below the mistake and ripping out to there - it seems much faster. I'm only afraid I'd lose my place in the pattern if it's an intricate one.

Veronika r wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 10:26 AM

I taught myself to "unknit" long ago when I first started knitting, I find it much less scary than just taking the work off the needles. I've done that a couple times, but I get so scared I'll pull one too many stitches out. Like lviernes said, I tink with my left hand too, it's much easier to follow what I did wrong that way, just working my way backwards across the row.

twfancynancy wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 10:18 AM

Thanks, but you might have explained that you pick up the stitches from the direction the yarn comes out of the next stitch. That way if you are tinking a purl stitch or ribbing, instead of all knit stitches, it will position the stitches properly on the needle. What if you just dropped a stitch maybe 5 rows previously? Could you show the best way to pick it up without having to undo those rows? Thanks, twfancy...Nancy

on Jan 27, 2010 10:17 AM

Good video.   Would love to see one showing how to  unknit "down" a row when you notice a mistake such as a misplaced knit stitch rather than a purl stitch several rows down.  I can unravel  down the row easily but never know how to twist the stitch to change a purle to a knit.  Also, can anything be corrected  if a cable is involved.  

Maryann@612 wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 10:14 AM

.. probably the most basic way to go back ... just un-do (unknit).  managable for beginners.  often times, if it's a simple enough mistake, I just knit back  in pattern 'til right over the mistake (it might be more than one row down) ... drop that stitch & as many as needed (a ladder effect) & correct using a hook, working  back up the ladder with the hook to the needle.  on occassion, have corrected mistakes in cabling & lace knitting by dropping a whole section of stiches to just below the mistake & then using a sz or two smaller double points, knit that section back up (up a "ladder" with wide floppy "rungs") & replace on the working needle.  

kneonknitter wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 10:00 AM

I use waxed dental floss to create a 'life line' in my knitting so that if I make a mistake I can take the knitting off the needles & rip down to the life line row & then the stitches stop unraveling. This is especially helpful when working with pattern rows and/or yarn overs. I do 'unknit' if it is only a few rows.

AbracaDebra wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 9:56 AM

I appear to be a master Tinker!  Have been using this technique for decades on close errors!  For more than three rows I will frog!

on Jan 27, 2010 9:54 AM

Hi Folks!

Many of you asked about tinking purl stitches, and you do it exactly the same way, but the yarn stays in front of the needle.

Regarding getting a knitting group started, just visit your local yarn shop; they will probably have an open knitting group you can join. Look online, too, and on Ravelry. Lots of knitting groups have Yahoo pages or Ravelry groups.

Kathleen

1kate1 wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 9:46 AM

Kathleen,

Thank you for such a timely video on "unknitting"! I have been knitting for 3 mos. My second  scarf I had to pull everything off and start again 10 times because I had made a mistake and did not know how to fix it. Your video is perfect! Thank you again. I shall look forward to more of your educational opportunities!!!

LonestarS wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 9:46 AM

Wow! Great video thanks for the tip, much better than the clunky way I was doing it before. I almost want to make a mistake in something so I can rip it back!

Stevie@2 wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 9:45 AM

I've been knitting for 47+ years & have been tinking backwards all this time.  : )  After I got back to the point where I had made the mistake, I would then have to correct the placement of each stitch before I could knit it!  Thanks, Kathleen!

About ten years ago I took ongoing knitting lessons with a group of women I knew only slightly.  We became fast friends, but have drifted apart since our teacher got a "regular" job.  So, I too would love to get a knitting group together, but I don't have friends who are knitters.  I do belong to a book group though & just last Sunday I brought a maternity sweater I am making for my dil.  Maybe some of my fellow book group members will want to learn to knit!  

Thanks for the great video tutorial Kathleen.  

Stephanie R.

HelenH wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 9:31 AM

My mother put knitting needles in my hands when I was maybe 6, say 65 years ago.  I think tinking is wonderful.  Now will check that other website the gal gave us.  Love this site.  I just signed on and live in Cheyenne, WY and I was just in Spokane, WA for the National Skating Finals and went to Paradise Fibers.  All this last week.  Was with my daughter.  Too bad I couldn't hook up with Kathleen

Tree1110 wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 9:27 AM

WOW! I didn't know you could 'un knit' like that. Thanks so much for sharing that with us. I am a beginner-intermediate knitter and often get involved in watching a TV show or a conversation. This is going to save me alot of misery by not having to take the knitting off the needle. Great method!

seawatch wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 9:21 AM

The process for tinking was great - but I would also like to see a video of tinking a purl side of the kniting.  

Karen

kris6636 wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 9:18 AM

Do you take of Purl stitches the same way as a Knit stitch?

lacustodio wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 9:13 AM

Love the "tinking" term, I think I'll use it from now on!

By the way, you were so close to my home (Tacoma) you could have stopped by for lunch!  I'm relatively new to the area and still haven't found a knitting group.  Do you know of any in this area?

Linda

on Jan 27, 2010 9:12 AM

While I do unknitting often, as explained in Kathleens video, mistakes in patterns, such as a cable wrapped the wrong way, stay as they are: mistakes. I turn them into trademarks, such as an oriental carpet has always one mistake in the weaving. It is a little game I play with the recipients of my knit wear: Find the mistake! Happy and Carefree Knitting everyone!

alena@5 wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 9:07 AM

Tinking - I love the word!  That's precisely what I've been doing these last weeks with my project - first knitting and then tinking half of it...

Craftyrad wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 9:06 AM

Here's a way to fix a cable cross without tinking everything back to the cross:

www.ehow.com/how_4594338_fix-miscrossed-cable-knitting.html

lviernes wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 9:05 AM

When I have to "unknit" I do it differently.   I turn my work around and   "unknit" with my left hand.  I have been able to undo cables much easier that way.  

tinyknits wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 9:05 AM

For purl stitches you would do the same thing...grab the stitch from underneath.  Unfortunately, I have lots of experience with tinking (frogging).  :-)

Brice wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 9:05 AM

too diificult for me et so long. I don-t understand this technic and his utility. I had make some errors but I have corriged simpler.

Lesley Levin wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 9:03 AM

I loved the video and I love this page.  I would also like to see how you tink a purl stitch.

Connie Q wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 9:00 AM

I have been doing something like this to correct my mistakes...but, seeing this video helps me to know which direction I should be inserting my needle.  Otherwise, I seem to have to correct the orientation of the stitch later, before re-knitting it.

I like in Bremerton, WA.  Wish I could've crashed the knitting retreat in Gig Harbor!  hee hee  I am fairly new to the area, and need to find some knitting friends!  

PhoebeR wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 8:55 AM

I never heard the term "tink" before.   I like St. Paul's term "frogging" too.  I've been doing this a long time only instead of using my finger (I have very small hands), I use my mouth.  I've had more knitters laugh at me, but it works great.  I'm as fast taking off knit stitches as taking off purled stitches.   I'm glad I have a term for it now.  Thank you.

EllenD wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 8:53 AM

Or, just get a slightly smaller needle and pick up all the stitches from the row you need to un-knit to, then rip until that point.  Then switch back to the right sized needle.  This is MUCH faster if you have more than 1 row to un-knit.

Also, the video is somewhat out of focus.

BetsyZ wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 8:48 AM

I have been knitting for years and never saw you technique for ripping out.  it is great and I will remember to do it forever.   betsy

AJM wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 8:38 AM

A staple in my knitting bag is a long size 1 or 0 needle. If I need to pull my work off the needle to go back several rows it's much easier to get the work back on a small needle. This doesn't affect the gauge as that's determined by the needle the work is going onto not the one it's coming from. My size 1 needle may not get used often, but when I do need it I am SO glad to have it handy.

Maji wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 8:37 AM

Love the video on un-knitting and-like Mary-would love a 'just as easy' tutorial on un-purling, too!  These videos really help!  Thank you so much, Kathleen!

Margie

JanetM@5 wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 8:28 AM

I've perfected the art of unknitting just a few stitches multiple rows down if I purled when I should have knit or something that involves the same number of stitches. It doesn't work with cables or lace or the accidental yarn over ”why do I have more stitches?”

winnie@12 wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 8:27 AM

Hanne, go on Yahoo.com and search for knitting or yarn groups in your area.  that is how we promote our group here in South Florida.  good luck

KimC@35 wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 8:27 AM

As my mother used to say "as yee knit, so shall yee rip"

on Jan 27, 2010 8:27 AM

Kathleen,

I LOVE IT... TINKing - How clever - you continue to make knitting fun and easy!

Thanks for sharing this essential technique.  Every time I gather with friends your concentration goes by the wayside and oops there goes your count.  

Happy tinking,

Sylvia

on Jan 27, 2010 8:26 AM

I would also like to see tinking done with the purl stitch as well as the knit one purl one rows.  I am not quite the experienced knitter and this has helped me very much!

on Jan 27, 2010 8:24 AM

I would also like to see the "tinking" done with purl stitches as well as the knit one purl one rows.  I am a novice knitter and this video has helped me tremendously.  I have it saved!

on Jan 27, 2010 8:20 AM

I love the "tinking".  Friends here is St Paul, MN, call it "frogging". You know, rip it, rip it.....

Mariest wrote
on Jan 27, 2010 8:18 AM

Thanks for the unknit, "tinking" video. But please could you show it with purls also. That would help an a ribbing pattern.

Thanks,

Mary

on Jan 27, 2010 8:17 AM

Tinking––I love it!

When beaders get together like this our biggest mistake is trying to stitch an M&M or pop a crystal in our mouth!!

Leslie

editor, beading Daily

on Jan 27, 2010 8:17 AM

I live in Charles Town, WV and would love to get a knitting group started, but I'm not sure how to.  Anybody have an idea :)