Frogging bottom of a project

I’m a new knitter and had a question about a baby Afghan I’m knitting. The pattern is simple and I’m about 3/4 done with it. I have noticed that my stitching is much more neat in recent rows than when I initially started. Is it possible to unravel the beginning rows, without making it a big mess? If so, how would I go about that.
Thanks so much.

Guess I should have shared what pattern it is.
Sirdar Snuggly DK 1600 Baby blanket

You can, but it will probably show a bit. I think the stitches go the opposite way when you knit down instead of up. When you’re removing the bottom of something you need to un pick it stitch by stitch and put it on your needles as you go. You could cut it across as well, but that’s a little scary sometimes.

Are you sure this unevenness isn’t something that will block or wash out? I’d try that first I think.

I’m not sure whether I can block it out, as it is acrylic. I don’t want to get in over my head, but if it is easy, I would Frog the bottom.

After re-reading your response, I did want to be clear that I wouldn’t try to re-knit the bottom. I instead would just knit more rows on top. Did I make that clear or is that just a given.
Thank you for your quick response and suggestions. I really do appreciate ppl on this site.

Oh I see. I read it as you wanting to knit down. The problem will still be removing the bottom rows because the bottom doesn’t rip out like the top (where you are knitting). Each stitch will have to be picked out. It’s a pain, but doable if necessary. If you’ve got several inches you may want to try just washing and drying it instead. You could also wash it and then lay flat and slightly pull the fabric both ways to try and even out the stitches.

I sense your hesitation and think I will try the wash and block to see if I can improve it a bit. I have super problems just tinking lace, so trying to Frog the bottom may be too big of a challenge for me at this point. Thanks again for taking the time to explain.

First, you should be pleased that your tension is getting more even. This is something I struggle with.

For whom are you knitting? Is it for someone who is going to love a handmade blanket because you made it? Is it for someone really persnickety that might find fault with anything? My guess is that you’re knitting this for someone you really care about who will be thrilled that you wanted to even bother making them something. I think you should try Jan’s suggestions for washing it. If you really decide it’s just not good enough you should still be able to frog and reknit the yarn after washing. Do cut yourself some slack, please.

Depending upon the method of cast on, with the standard sling shot cast on, I’ve managed to pick out the cast on. If you have used the crocheted cast on, it is far easier.

If you are using slipped stitch edges, then ripping out may require breaking the yarn as it does not rip past the edges as they are in another row.

If you have a smaller diameter circular needle, you can find a spot and pick up all your stitches near where your knitting improved but above the older knitting. As knitting an afghan means you have a lot of yarn invested here. As with anything with so much work in it, I’d test any method on a swatch to see first if picking the yarn our will let you unravel it upwards. If you are using certain decrease and increase stitches, unraveling up from the bottom may not work either. I have not had much success if I had used Make 1s but knit one front, knit one back in the same stitch is easier to take out.

Do a swatch and find what works best. If you insert a smaller needle as I suggest, it give you like a life line to preserve your knitting, then you would knit from that with the right size needle and it will not show. This method will require breaking the yarn and the bottom then can separate from the top, in which case, ripping out your knitting is not a problem. With a swatch you can see if you can knit the other direction and that it will look right. If you have pattern stitches, you may find that there is a slight joggle of one stitch, but only the knitter will notice it.

Some yarns do not rip apart as easily as others. You will find this with a swatch also. Best to solve the problem with the swatch and the solution as then you are not reusing your yarn again and again which will show, especially with light color and reusing yarn you have frogged, may not have the same stretch especially with acrylic if you knit tightly.

Hope something I suggested may prove useful to you.


Thanks so much for the pep talk. I indeed did decide to live with it and move on. I am trying to focus on how well my tension did end up becoming, too. I would recommend any new beginner to knit a small baby blanket, as the repetion has really improved my skills. I sure do love this craft!

I decided to move on, but I think some of your warnings have reinforced my decision. To be honest, I have trouble just unraveling a simple lace pattern, often having to unravel down to a plain stockinette row. I do think I will knit a swatch like you said and just try it for grins:)
Thanks again.

Life is a learning experience, for sure. I have been an English/American knitter since age 8. My mother did not knit like most throwers, not letting go of her work to throw the stitch. I’ve made my own refinements to it and discovered what is called “flicking”. I have learned Continental and I do love it very much, however, it is like learning to knit all over again in that my tension is mostly very good now, but there are times I get rowing out and when I knit an Aran pattern, it bugs be as I almost never got one loose row showing up when I knit with the yarn in the right hand. Phooey, I knit backwards and that solves the problem of rowing (mostly). I don’t get as much rowing when I use the Combined method. I don’t get any rowing when I knit in the round. Always thought people had to be out of their gourds to do a steek (knitting a sweater in the round and then cutting it to make a pullover into a cardigan or add a neck button placard like a polo shirt.) I knit the style which is best for the project now but it has helped me understand why knitting works.

Mistakes in the long run can prove useful. I spilled some coffee on an Aran afghan I was knitting for my sister, and no matter what, I could not restore the color even though I got the stains out. I knit a new panel and finished the afghan. But did not chuck the panel with the coffee spill. I took out a couple of rows to make two pillows with the same Aran pattern on both sides. Finding a row to take out is like cutting, less destructive. Nothing was lost from my mini disaster, I just had to get past being mad at being a clutz. My son loves these pillows now.

I have self-imposed unfinished projects because I got tired of making mistakes. I got bit with the lace bug for a while. If you make a mistake in a semi circle in lace, and you are over half-way done, it is give up time. I left it on the needles and said “forget it”. In time I’ll use it for something. Not sure what.

I used to hate to swatch until I got projects I had to give away as they were just too small. Now I look at swatching like solving a great mystery and figure things out for myself or just improvise, change my knitting style as I have arthritis, I have to knit differently so my hands don’t get sore.