How To Fix Common Knitting Mistakes


This blog post will teach you how to fix common knitting mistakes. 

Knitting mistakes can occur at various stages of the knitting journey. 

Whether you are a new knitter or an experienced maker, you are bound to make an error here or there. 

A dropped stitch in the middle of a row, knitting with your yarn tail instead of the working yarn, knitting a purl stitch, placing your strand of yarn in the wrong direction, accidental yarn overs. 

​Take a few deep breaths, and let’s explore the most common mistakes and the easiest way to fix each of them.

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How to fix knitting mistakes

Usual Knitting Mistakes

Here are some of the most common knitting mistakes a maker can make:

  1. Dropped Stitches: Dropped stitches happen when a stitch slips off the needle, unraveling the row below it. If not fixed promptly, dropped stitches can lead to holes in the fabric. It can even create a ladder and unravel a column of stitches.
  2. Twisted Stitches: Twisted stitches occur when the needle is inserted into the stitch incorrectly, resulting in a twisted loop. This mistake can affect the appearance and texture of the fabric.
  3. Uneven Tension: Uneven tension refers to stitches that are either too tight or loose, leading to an inconsistent fabric. Uneven tension can be caused by variations in hand tension, inconsistent stitch size, or changes in knitting speed. Beginner knitters usually have tension issues as they are not used to hand motions yet. 
  4. Miscounting Stitches: Miscounting stitches can lead to incorrect stitch patterns, irregular shaping, or uneven edges. It’s essential to keep track of your stitch count, especially when working on complex patterns.
  5. Mistakes in Pattern Reading: Misreading or misinterpreting pattern instructions can result in errors. Skipping or misinterpreting a step, missing stitch explanations, or misunderstanding chart symbols can lead to mistakes in the finished work.
  6. Incorrect Increases or Decreases: Increases and decreases are used to shape the fabric, but performing them incorrectly can affect the overall structure and appearance of the project.
  7. Yarn Overs (YO) Mistakes: Yarn overs create deliberate holes and eyelets in lace knitting, but they can be easily misplaced or forgotten. Missing or adding yarn overs where they shouldn’t be can alter the stitch pattern.
  8. Wrong Stitch Placement: Accidentally knitting or purling in the wrong stitch can disrupt the pattern or create unintentional texture changes. It’s important to carefully follow the pattern instructions to avoid stitch mistakes.
  9. Not Checking Gauge: Gauge refers to the number of stitches and rows per inch or centimeter. Failing to check and match the gauge specified in the pattern can result in a project that is too large or too small.
  10. Tangled Yarn: Yarn can become tangled or knotted, making it challenging to work with. This can occur when using multiple balls of yarn or when the yarn is not properly wound or stored.
  11. Not Fixing Mistakes: Neglecting to fix mistakes as they occur can lead to compounding errors and make it more difficult to correct them later. It’s important to address mistakes promptly to maintain the integrity of the project.

Remember, mistakes are a natural part of knitting, especially for beginners.

With practice, patience, and the willingness to learn from your mistakes, you can improve your knitting skills and create beautiful projects.

knitting mistake extra stitches

What To Do When You Make A Mistake In Knitting?

When you make a mistake in knitting, here are some steps you can take to address and correct the error:

  1. As soon as you notice the mistake, pause and take a moment to examine the issue. Identify what went wrong and understand the nature of the mistake.
  2. Identify the specific mistake you made. Is it a dropped stitch, a twisted stitch, an incorrect stitch, a pattern error, or something else? Knowing the type of mistake will guide your next steps.
  3. If you dropped a stitch, use a crochet hook or a knitting needle to carefully pick up the dropped stitch and work it back up to the current row. Make sure to catch all the loops correctly to avoid creating additional errors. Using a smaller needle might also be helpful. Watch The Video Tutorial Here.
  4. “Tink” is knit spelled backward, and it means undoing your knitting stitch by stitch. If the mistake is a few stitches back, you can tink the stitches one at a time until you reach the error. Watch The Video Tutorial Here.
  5. Alternatively, if the mistake is more significant or in a previous row, you may need to unravel (frog) the knitting to that point and then reknit from there.
  6. For twisted stitches or incorrect stitches, you can use a crochet hook or knitting needle to carefully unknit the stitches back to the mistake, then reknit them correctly.
  7. If you discover an error in following a pattern, carefully read the instructions and compare them to your knitting. Determine where the mistake occurred and decide on the appropriate correction. You may need to unravel or tink to the point of the mistake and rework the pattern from there.
  8. Once the mistake is fixed, reknit the corrected stitches, ensuring that they match the pattern and tension of the surrounding stitches.
  9. As you continue knitting after fixing the mistake, make sure to maintain consistent tension and stitch pattern to ensure a smooth and cohesive fabric.

Remember, mistakes are a normal part of knitting, and even experienced knitters make them.

Take your time, be patient, and don’t be discouraged.

With practice, you’ll become more adept at identifying and correcting mistakes, ultimately improving your knitting skills.

Related Posts:

fixing knitting mistakes frogging stitches

FAQ About Fixing Mistakes In Knitting

How To Fix Knitting Mistakes Several Rows Down?

Fixing knitting mistakes several rows down can be a bit more involved, but it’s still possible to correct them. 

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to fix knitting mistakes that are several rows down:

  1. Carefully examine your knitting to identify the specific mistake and determine the affected rows. Understand the nature of the mistake and how it should be corrected.
  2. Consider the severity of the mistake and the impact it has on the overall knitting. If the mistake is minor and doesn’t significantly affect the finished piece, you may decide to leave it as is. However, if the mistake is substantial or will bother you, proceed with the following steps.
  3. Before attempting to fix the mistake, it’s helpful to insert a lifeline. A lifeline is a contrasting thread or yarn that you thread through the stitches of a specific row, ensuring it catches all the live stitches. This way, if you make a mistake during the correction process, you can easily return to the lifeline row without unraveling further.
  4. Depending on the mistake, you have two options:
  5. – Unraveling: If the mistake spans multiple rows and requires significant changes, you may need to unravel your knitting back to a point just before the mistake occurred. Gently unravel the rows, being careful not to drop any stitches. Once you reach the desired row, place the stitches back onto the needle, making sure they’re in the correct orientation.
  6. – Tinking: “Tink” is the process of undoing your knitting stitch by stitch (knitting spelled backward). If the mistake is within a few rows and doesn’t require major changes, you can tink back to the problematic row, unknitting each stitch carefully until you reach the target row. 
  7. Once you’ve reached the row where the mistake occurred, assess what needs to be corrected. It might involve re-knitting specific stitches, adjusting stitch counts, or addressing any other errors. Consult the pattern or your knitting knowledge to determine the appropriate fix.
  8. After making the necessary adjustments, reknit the rows above the corrected area. Ensure that the new knitting matches the stitch pattern and tension of the surrounding fabric.
  9. Once the correction is complete, continue knitting according to the pattern instructions or your desired project specifications.
undoing knit stitches with knitting needle

How To Fix Mistakes On Circular Knitting Needles?    

Fixing knitting mistakes on circular needles follows similar principles to fixing mistakes on straight needles.

However, the technique may vary slightly depending on the specific type of mistake and where it occurred in your circular knitting.

Here’s a general guide to fixing knitting mistakes on circular needles:

  1. Carefully examine your knitting to identify the specific mistake. Determine whether it’s a dropped stitch, twisted stitch, incorrect stitch, or pattern error. Understanding the nature of the mistake will guide your next steps.
  2. Consider the severity of the mistake and its impact on the overall project. Determine if it’s necessary to fix the mistake or if it can be left as is without affecting the final result.
  3. On circular needles, it’s important to identify the stitches that are directly impacted by the mistake. You might need to examine both the working needle and the opposite needle to locate the mistake accurately.
  4. If you’re working with a complex pattern or multiple stitch changes, it’s helpful to use stitch markers to mark specific sections or pattern repeats. This can make it easier to identify and fix mistakes in those sections.
  5. Depending on the nature of the mistake, you can either unravel or tink (un-knit stitch by stitch) to the point where the mistake occurred. If the mistake affects a small number of stitches, tinking might be more appropriate. If the mistake spans multiple rounds or rows, unraveling may be necessary.
  6. Once you’ve reached the affected stitches, determine how to fix the mistake. It may involve reknitting specific stitches, adjusting stitch counts, or addressing other errors. Consult the pattern or refer to your knitting knowledge for the appropriate correction.
  7. After fixing the mistake, reknit the corrected stitches to match the stitch pattern and tension of the surrounding fabric. Make sure the stitches are oriented correctly and that the tension is consistent.
  8. Once the correction is complete, continue knitting in the established pattern, following the instructions or chart for your project.

How To Fix Cable Knitting Mistakes?    

Fixing cable knitting mistakes may seem intimidating, but with some patience and careful attention, you can correct them successfully.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to fixing cable knitting mistakes:

  1. Examine your cable knitting to identify the specific mistake. Determine whether it’s a misplaced cable cross, a twisted cable, an incorrect stitch, or any other cable-related error.
  2. Locate the stitches that are directly impacted by the mistake. It’s crucial to identify the cables involved and the stitches before and after the cable cross.
  3. Depending on the severity of the mistake and its location, you may need to unravel or tink (un-knit stitch by stitch) back to the point just before the mistake occurred. Use caution to avoid dropping or twisting other stitches in the process.
  4. If the cable cross was misplaced, determine the correct location by referring to the cable pattern or chart. Carefully insert a cable needle into the stitches involved in the cable cross. Slip the stitches onto the cable needle, holding it in the front or back of the work as required by the cable instructions. Then, reknit the stitches from the main needle, ensuring they follow the correct cable cross order.
  5. If the cable appears twisted, it may be due to incorrect stitch placement. Identify the correct alignment of the cable by referring to the pattern or chart. Insert a cable needle into the stitches involved in the cable, slip them onto the cable needle, and carefully reknit them, making sure they align correctly according to the cable design.
  6. If the mistake involves an incorrect stitch within the cable, carefully tink or unravel the cable stitches until you reach the erroneous stitch. Then, reknit the stitch correctly, ensuring it matches the surrounding cable pattern.
  7. Once you have corrected the cable mistake, reknit the unraveled or tinked stitches back up to the current row, ensuring they align properly with the surrounding fabric and cable design.
  8. After the cable mistake is fixed, continue knitting in the established pattern, following the instructions or chart for your project.

How Do You Fix Messy Edges?    

Messy edges in knitting can occur due to uneven tension, loose stitches, or inconsistencies in stitch size.

To fix messy edges and achieve neater results, consider the following tips:

  1. Pay attention to your tension throughout the knitting process.
  2. Avoid pulling the yarn too tightly or leaving it too loose.
  3. If you consistently have loose edges, you can try using smaller needles than recommended for the yarn weight. Alternatively, you can employ a tighter knitting technique, such as knitting more tightly or using a smaller yarn over your finger to regulate tension.
  4. A common technique to achieve neater edges is to slip the first stitch of every row. When starting a new row, instead of knitting or purling the first stitch, simply insert the right needle into the first stitch as if to purl, but without actually working it. This creates a clean edge.
  5. Incorporating selvage stitches at the edges can help tidy up the edges and provide stability. You can add extra stitches at the beginning and end of each row, which can be slipped or worked in a specific manner to create a neat edge. Consult patterns or tutorials that provide instructions for different types of selvage stitches.
  6. Blocking your finished project can help even out stitches, relax the fabric, and improve the overall appearance, including the edges. Wet blocking or steam blocking can help smooth out any irregularities and create cleaner edges.
  7. Try out different techniques, tension adjustments, or needle sizes to find what works best for you and the specific yarn and project you’re working on.

How To Fix Lace Knitting Mistakes?    

Fixing lace knitting mistakes requires careful attention to detail, but it is possible to correct errors and maintain the integrity of the lace pattern.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to fixing lace knitting mistakes:

  1. Examine your lace knitting to identify the specific mistake. Determine whether it’s a misplaced yarn over (YO), a missing or extra decrease, a twisted stitch, or any other error within the lace pattern.
  2. If you are concerned about potential difficulties in correcting the mistake, consider inserting a lifeline before attempting the fix. A lifeline is a thread or yarn that is threaded through the stitches on a specific row, providing a safety line to which you can return if needed.
  3. Depending on the location and severity of the mistake, you may need to unravel or tink (un-knit stitch by stitch) back to the row where the mistake occurred. Take your time and unravel slowly, being mindful not to drop any stitches or lose your place in the pattern.
  4. If you missed or made an extra YO, carefully examine the surrounding stitches to determine the correct placement. Insert the tip of the right needle into the appropriate location and create or remove the YO as needed.
  5. If you have missing or extra decreases, identify the affected stitches and determine the correct decrease type and placement. You may need to tink back to the decrease row and rework the decreases correctly.
  6. If you encounter twisted stitches within the lace pattern, unknit or unravel back to the twisted stitch and carefully reinsert the needle to untwist it. Ensure the stitch aligns correctly with the surrounding lace pattern.
  7. Once the mistake is fixed, reknit the unraveled or tinked stitches, making sure they match the lace pattern and tension of the surrounding fabric. Maintain proper yarn overs, decreases, and other lace-specific techniques.
  8. After the correction is complete, continue knitting the remaining rows or rounds of the lace pattern, following the instructions or chart provided.

How Do You Fix A Slipped Edge Stitch?    

Fixing a slipped edge stitch can be done by picking up the slipped stitch and reinserting it correctly.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to fixing a slipped edge stitch:

  1. Examine your knitting and locate the slipped edge stitch that needs to be fixed. The slipped stitch will appear elongated and out of place compared to the other stitches along the edge.
  2. Insert the left needle into the slipped stitch from front to back as if you were going to purl it.
  3. Slip the slipped stitch back onto the left needle, ensuring that the stitch is correctly oriented. The right leg of the stitch should be in the front of the needle, while the left leg should be at the back.
  4. With the slipped stitch now back on the left needle, reknit it according to the stitch pattern you are using. If you are working in stockinette stitch, you would typically purl the slipped stitch on a right-side row and knit it on a wrong-side row.
  5. After fixing the slipped edge stitch, continue knitting the rest of the row or follow the pattern instructions as usual.

How To Avoid Mistakes 

  • Errors are unavoidable in any craft and part of the learning process. 
  • The most important thing is not to give up and remember that even seasoned knitters make mistakes.
  • And at the end of the day, your mistakes wil make you a better knitter. 
  • But there are always some helpful tips to help you be more careful. 
  • Be mindful of your tension throughout the project to create more even stitches. 
  • You don’t need loose stitches or tight stitches.
  • For new knitters having even tension across your project. 
  • Make sure you count your stitches every few rows to have the correct number. It’s a common problem for newbies to add an offending extra stitch here and there. 
  • Carrying a crochet hook in your knitting kit can be a lifesaver for undoing stitches or dropped stitches. 
  • Making a gauge swatch can be a lifesaver, especially when trying out new stitches, and it won’t take you much time. 

Knitting Lessons 

For more knitting tutorials, check out the knitting lessons here – Knitting Lessons.

There you will find blog posts and video tutorials for different knitting techniques like how to cast-on, how to cast off, how to knit the knit stitches, how to knit the purl stitches(how to knit the purl stitch (for beginners + a video tutorial)), how to create ribbing, and many more. 

Happy Knitting!

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