OK Guys and Gals I am a novice at this craft and could use some help. My first two attempts came out well after starting each about ten times. Then the next two when finished required washing and blocking. I thought things were going well and became a little too self satisfied until I saw the final products. Both look like something that ends up at the thrift store the day after Christmas. Question: Is is possible to rewash and reblock, or am I stuck with ugly mishappen products?

I am currently knitting an Irish Hikers Scarf requiring cabling. Love it! However, yesterday I discovered that I made yet another boo boo two rows down from the current one I was knitting. Question: I have no problem with "tinking" back but is there some magic I need to perform when I get to the cables? Thanks for being out there, you are one great family. A Happy New Year to all.

Phew, as in good grief that was tough!


Hey Phew,
Perhaps one of the veterans here can give you a better idea, but myself, when I have to tear out cables, and I'm quick to do it, I usually just pinch them. What i mean is, when i get to the spot where the twist is I pinch the number of stitches in the twist. Slowly pull out the needles and the yarn, then I put them in their original order.

So far this has really saved my sanity (of what little there is). Hope that helps.

PS happy new year

phew's picture

David: I like the idea of "pinching" perhaps I won't drop any stitches. Gosh why did I ever get started with all of this?


CLABBERS's picture

Hi there Phew,
I do the same thing as David...I tear out cable stitches very slowly. Before I tear out any more of that row, I stick a double pointed needle, a pen, whatever I can find in the cable stitches so they don't slip away from me. I remember ripping them out initially thinking, "What have I gotten myself into?!" Once I slowed down and examined what was going on, it made more sense and it became easier to not screw things up...which I am very good at doing! LOL Just thought I'd add my two-cents worth. :)


phew's picture

Thanks Mark for the two-cents; a worthy commidity in todays market. I think I will just have to bite the bullet and follow the suggestions that you and David have given. Will let you know how things come out in the end. I certainly have no hair to pull out, so what can I loose? Don't answer that.


AKQGuy's picture

Question One: Yes, you can re-wash/soak and block again. It's just like laying a sweater out to dry after each time you wash it after wear. That is technically re-washing and blocking. If you notice it keeps popping back into the "mishappen product" You might need to get a little aggressive with it. By aggressive Idon't mean pulling it's hair and talking dirty. Pin it out tightly into the desired shape before letting dry and depending on the yarn fiber content you may want to add some starch to it. With wool I've even been known in the final rinse to add some oil back to it by adding some of my own hair conditioner to the water to help hold final shaping and provide additinal softness.

Question Two: When tinking back to an error in the same row I'm on, I will just tink through and leave the stiches in their order for reknitting back through. If I'm needing to go back a row or two and can't just drop the specific stitches above them to fix, I will just pull my needle out, tear back the needed rows and slide all stitches back on in their original order and recable as I move across the row.

Does that help at all or just make it all confusing?

phew's picture

Q - you are certainly a guru among men who knit and I will give your advice a try. So pleased to read that one can wash, block, wash, block, etc. I would use your suggestion to use hair conditioner in a final rinse before blocking to give it some "body" but the only hair I have is on my face therefore no conditioner. However, it might prove to be a worthy purchase. Thanks for the hints.


JDM511's picture

Watch this video.

I learned it from Kelley Petkun and she has some really good photos of fixing a cable with an incorrect twist. I can even see the yellow gold wool she used for the sweater, but can not find the post.

Good Luck, it is stressful to drop several rows, but much better than ripping out several rows.


Look here:

phew's picture

Thanks for the hints Jim I will certainly give them a try and hope to learn from them. The thought of ripping off is always freightning. I have a good friend who sometimes will rip off for me, the only problem is that the end result is worse than then when she started ripping. However, it might be the only thing to do.

Have a great New Year.