Yet again, I need your help!!!!!

For the life of me, I cannot tink a stitch! I have tried and tried and end up having to frog the whole damn piece! Any good advice on learning how to unknit and unpurl stitch by stitch? You have all been great help in the past. Please!!! Help me out here!!!!


scubasinger's picture

First, grab a set of needles, grab a length of scrap yarn, and practice on something that doesn't mean anything.

Probably best also to go for something large..#7 or #8 needles and worsted yarn would be my thinking.

Then cast on a few dozen stitches and stockinette stitch a few rows (aka knit one side, purl the other).

Then try to undo each row. The key is to slip the left needle into the hole UNDER the stitch on the right needle. That hole is really the previous stitch, the one you want to recapture and free from the current stitch on the right needle. Once you have your left needle in that hole under the stitch, slip the right stitch off of the right needle and pull your working yarn free. It should slide out of the "old" stitch (now on your left needle) leaving the "old" stitch free and clear on the left needle. Then do the next stitch.

Knit or purl doesn't make too much of a difference. The key is always to get your left needle into that hole below the stitch on the right so you recover the previous stitch before you pull out the current one.

Honestly this will be one of those "AHA" moments...once you see it, visualize it, it becomes totally easy.


eyedoc's picture

Well, that does sound pretty easy! Thank you for you help, Vic!!
I will give it a try!

I agree with Vic, The way I learned was to watch really closely when I knit/purl and to see how the stitch layed when complete, then just simply stitch it backwards. There is some really usefull video's on youtube.
Hope that helps

scubasinger's picture

I also meant to add....

Look REALLY closely at where your working yarn is running...follow it.... Speaking of that hole under the previous stitch....You'll see that your working yarn runs INTO that hole, around the right needle and then OUT of that hole.

That's what you created when you knit or pulled that working yarn THRU that hole, or through that previous stitch. And you pulled that yarn through (by either knitting or purling) while the "Old" stitch was on the left needle, then you let the old stitch go free leaving the new stitch on the right needle. Tinking is just the reverse: You put the old stitch (the hole below) onto the left needle and release the 'new' stitch from the right needle and pull it through.

You might also try knitting a single stitch, then watching VERY closely as you let the old stitch drop off the left needle. See how that old stitch drops down to wrap around the new stitch on the right needle. Then immediately put your left needle down into that 'hole' as it wraps around the new stitch on the right. Lift it up onto the left needle, drop the stitch from the right needle and pull the working yarn out.

As you can probably guess, I've had WAY too much experience tinking back.

The truly tricky bit gets to where you need to tink some ssk or k3tog stitches. THOSE can be a REAL pain in the you-know-what!!

MMario's picture

yeah - like tinking a k9tog created from three consecutive KOK in single stitch.......

(Only had to do it once, Thank all the hairy little gods!)

MMario - ambiguity is cultivated, it doesn't happen in a vacuum!

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

Aaronknits's picture

KABOOM!!!! (that's the sound of my head exploding!)

scottly's picture

I learned from Stitch 'n Bitch, there's a really good section on undoing in it. Lot's of cool tips that helped me out a bunch. Actually the whole book is filled with useful information but the patterns suck.