When to Go Back Dropped Stitch

When To Go Back

Should I TINK (knit back)? Should I frog (rip it, rip it)? Should I fudge a mistake? How do I know when to go back with my knitting?

Some General Rules – When To Go Back

There are many factors in deciding when to undo knitting, or even when to abandon a project completely. Here are my general guidelines in how I decide.

  1. Is the mistake a simple fix by dropping a stitch and laddering it down to the row with the mistake.

        1. I fix it by dropping a stitch in the column above the mistake, running the dropped stitch down to the mistake and picking up all stitches with a crochet hook or latch hook
  2. How noticeable is the mistake? Can I  easily fudge it on a subsequent row?

        1. I will ignore it unless I question how much it bugs me at least three times.  After I consider it a third time, I go back and fix it.
  3. How far back is the mistake?

    1. Is the mistake 3 rows back or less?
      1. How complex is the stitch pattern? If it’s really difficult to undo the stitches, or
      2. Is the mistake more than 300 stitches back?
        1. This I rip out back to the mistake and recover the first row before the mistake
      3. If I can undo knitting stitch by stitch for less than 300 stitches and it’s relatively simple:
        1. I “TINK” back to the mistake and fix it
  4. Is there a major design flaw (eg. color combination, gauge, fit, fabric density, etc.)

    1. Can I design a quick fix for the flaw (add a new color for balance, block out fabric to get size, etc.?
      1. How many hours am I into the the design?
        1. Less than 4 hours of knitting will be ripped out and I’ll start again or abandon the project.
        2. More than 4 hours, I will attempt a salvage technique before re-assessing.

While I’ve been informally going through this process of assessing mistakes for years, I’ve never really codified it like this before.

How do others assess whether (and how) to fix mistakes in your knitting?

Current Knitting

I mentioned that I started a new chevron striped scarf in my last blog entry.  It is the reasonI am discussing when to go back in today’s blog entry.

Chevron Striped Scarf 03-24-20 01 Abandoned

I started the new project and hated the “cartoon bumblebee” look of the dark and yellow stripes. I went to 4.1 in my decision-tree and tried adding the blue stripe to see if it could be salvaged.

You’ll note it’s no longer on the needle. So, clearly it has been abandoned.

I did start a new Interlocking Crochet Scarf.

Interlocking Crochet Scarf 03-25-20 01

I’m using the leftover yarns from the latest Fox Paws Scarf. Remind me to tell you about my new Craft Show strategy with this idea.

4 comments on “When To Go Back

  1. Thanks for giving me something to read every day, “Quarantine Killer Joe!”
    Oh, and by the way, if there is ever a question…………….I always Tink!!!

  2. Someone in my knitting group said, “You’re going to be knitting anyway, so take it back and knit away the mistake.” I took that to heart, so now if I can”t ladder down, I tink. I only frog if I have a lifeline, which is rare. Thanks for continuing your blog. Love your foxpaw!

  3. I agree that your posts are greatly appreciated!

    Bear in mind that lots of mistakes are easier to fix than you think.
    I once crossed a cable wrong about three feet back on a complex blanket. Maybe no one would notice. But it was a wedding present. I had read that you could drop the whole cable (this was a simple 8 stitch cable) down, fix it and re-knit the cable. Fortunately, the yarn was white DK and pretty tightly spun (easy to see and not splitty), and I had some DP needles the right size, so I tried it. It was actually quite easy. The people who had been telling me to leave it alone and no one would notice were suitably impressed. And I learned a new skill. Win win win.

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