Would you rip out your work to fix a mistake?

timgets2's picture
How dare you ask that? MY precious stitches?
1% (1 vote)
Just a little, but I would try to hide the small flaws
24% (29 votes)
After throwing it across a room, making sure not to hurt anyone, sure.
18% (21 votes)
For the right price....
6% (7 votes)
All the time! Anything for perfection!
52% (62 votes)
Total votes: 120


Parrot's picture

I frequently rip out what I have done.  On several occasions, I have stopped and contemplated whether to try to cover up small mistakes, but invariably rip it out and re-knit it.  I want to to the best job I can.



It depends on the piece, how big a flaw it is and, frankly, what kind of mood I'm in. I've ripped 20 rows to fix something that was probably not noticible to anybody but me and I've left something slightly more noticible a few rows back just because I didn't want to go back and deal with it. Is there such a thing as bipolar knitting? 


JPaul's picture

I'm much more relaxed about ripping back than I used to be, although I've never been one to leave a mistake if I catch it before I'm finished.  But the prospect of yanking out the needles and freeing all of those stitches...Scary!  Who knows if you'll ever be able to round them all up again!

Before, I would spend hours tinking back one stitch at a time to correct an error, even if it was rows away, and I've probably abandonded a few projects over the years because I couldn't face the prospect of unknitting stitch by stitch to an error that I didn't see in time.  But I eventually learned a few tricks and had a few realizations that calmed (or maybe steeled) my nerves.   These days, I'm much more bold.

YarnGuy716's picture

Ripping out for me is more of a case by case senario.  I frogged an entire sweater once I realised my gauge was too tight and it would never fit me.  But other times I'll look and think, will anyone ever really know this is an error?  If I can fudge it, or if it isn't obviously noticible, I will let it go. Another option is to drop the stitch down to the error, then pick it all back up with a crochet hook. But some times you just have to rip it out.

victor's picture

I do rip sometimes, just depends on how far back or how noticable the mistake is. I have a friend who says a mistakes is your "signature", she has been known to make them deliberatly just to see if anyone notices, usually she does them on the back.

timgets2's picture

ok so i am not insane or crazy like some of my knitting buddies think. i love to have a garment done correctly. i do sometimes put it away shortly after i find the mistake....take some time away ya know. separation helpos. then i pick it up later to find that its not a big deal and rip it out, start over and fix it. much better feeling when the mistake is fixed. nowadays this is how i figure it out. def. pull it out though...when it gets done is the real kicker...who knows?:)

Yes! although I now have an armoury of techniques to remedy this maddening problem.  May I also recommend the use of a crochet hook as a wonderful tool in re-working stitches/patterns.  The only thing I've never been able to fix is a wrongly crossed cable  when discovered too far into a garment.  Like Persian Carpet makers, I usually explain the error by saying that it's deliberate; only God is perfect ( but then perhaps the Almighty takes more time to read the pattern through first).

I strive for perfection but occasionally give in to reality and try to imagine how visible the error will be.  Mostly, I frog but not always.  I love the comment that stated it depended on their mood :-)


technocowboy's picture

I just dealt with this issue on a sweater I'm making.  I got 50 rows into the bottom of the front, and it's a cabled MESS.  I spent three days not knitting and just looking a it.  It's a lot of work for those 50 rows, but there were just too many mistakes in it to make me comfortable with my work.  Frog, frog, frog.  Now, I'm close to 90 rows, and I'm much happier with the results.  It was totally worth it.

If it's a major error that I can't fix with a crochet hook I'll rip it out, but I'll likely ignore an incorrect stitch that only I will notice in the finished product.  If I've missed an increase/decrease and notice within a reasonable distance, I'll just make it up and continue on as long as it doesn't obviously detract from the pattern.

I too am a ripper.  I have made mistakes that probably no one but me will notice and i keep going.  Then when I look at it after dong , say 20 more rows, I make the final decision to go back and "un-knit" to the mistake.  On larger yarns i can just pull it apart, pick up and start going again.  Bit those fine finger weight yarns that have a tendency to split, have me un knit stitch by stitch.  How does one refine undoing mistakes??

JPaul's picture

If I'm afraid I'll have difficulty getting all the stitches back on the needles, I won't rip back all the way to the mistake in one big yarn pulling frenzy.  Instead, I yank it all out until I have about 1 row left to reach the error.  Then on the last row I'll slow down and put each sticth back on the needle as I undo it or rip out 5-10 stitches at a time, pick them up with my needle, rip out the next small group, etc.

I rarely go back; I find that often that yields more damage than the initial mistake and I have to start from the very beginning again.

james's picture

While I've done my share of frogging, I prefer to think I work in the manner of the Navajos who intentionally make errors in the rugs they weave, so as to not offend the Gods with their perfection. Well . . . that's my story and I'm stickin' to it. I love when I find a really amazing excuse for my laziness!

kiwiknitter's picture

When I do a pattern in which I know a mistake can't be repaired with a crochet hook, I run a piece of sewing thread in a contrasting colour through the stitches on the needles from one end to the other.  I always do this in the first row of the pattern.  I repeat this every so often.  Then, if I do find a mistake and have to frog back, I can rip instead of tinking and then I come to the row with the thread, it's easy to pick up the stitches.

Friends don't let friends knit drunk.

Never trust a man who, when left alone in a room with a tea cozy, doesn't try it on.  ~Billy Connolly

DutchJan's picture

DJ Being too perfect is not good for me, so usually you can find little mistakes in my first sock and the 2nd one goes much better. A pattern in english can be a bit confusing for a Dutchman sometimes. I am quite good in ripping out and have found my own way to repair things. I do not mind ripping things out because ususally the process is as important than the product itself for me But anyway: usually the mistake in the sock is while wearing them not visible, so who cares? I used to have a postcard in my filofax with he text: A mistake is fabulous!!


trpc's picture

If I can, I will fix it, but have no problem starting over. I often encourage people that resist it to tear it apart and start over. It's a learning experience, and after awhile it seems like you make fewer mistakes.

kindablue's picture

Crocheting? Absolutely!!! Knitting? Too scared! Still too new in the game and all by myself to ever attempt it. God knows I want to but, the idea of all those stitches running free with no needle to hold them is too much for me to face. Maybe when I get around to attempting a sweater (I wanna, I wanna, I wanna!) I'll feel like I can rip with the best of them!