How to unknit

Hello, I am a very new knitter and have been trying to learn to do cables and just read the thread on cables and someone suggested learning to unknit. Can someone explain how to do this. I know that I didn’t take the stitch off to finish my stitch in the cable. Now I am a row down and have that one extra stitch. Any suggestions. ( I have only made 2 scarves-thats how new I am)

Unknitting is simply where you go back to where your error is by stitch by stitch putting your left needle in the stitch you just knit into and then slowly pulling it off the right needle and tightening the tension to erase the stitch. Be sure to have the left needle there to pick it up, though, or you will have a dropped stitch. It’s a slower but safer way to frog back to where you want to fix. The other option is to take the needle out and rip back which is really only a good idea if your mistake is quite a few rows back since it is easier to drop stitches that way.

Hope that helps!

I spent quite a bit of time looking for a good visual tutorial for tinking and can’t say that I found one. There must be one though and I just missed it.

Most people knit from the left hand needle (LH) onto the right hand (RH) needle . To tink you do just the opposite. You move stitches from the right needle to the left, unknitting them. The way I describe it is to point out that you don’t do anything with the loop that goes over the RH needle. Look for the hole in the center of the stitch right under the RH needle. I usually like to pull up a little bit on the working yarn and maybe down a little on the fabric to “open” the hole up a little more (I knit Continental and for tinking I hold the yarn exactly the same way I do for regular knitting. I stick the LH needle right into the center of the stitch just below the RH needle, from the side facing you, nothing fancy, just straight in. Then you pull the RH needle to the right until the loop on the needle comes off, and tug ever so slightly on the working yarn until the stitch comes completely undone. You have now unknit one stitch and transfered one stitch to the LH needle. Repeat until where you want to be.

If the stitch is a purl, stick the LH needle into the stitch that is just below the loop on the RH needle too. The opening will be right below the “purl bump” that rides under the loop on the RH needle. Again just go head on into it, transferring it to the LH needle the same way you do a tink a knit stitch.

Some other points… if you have any yarn overs you just let them fall off as you come to them, they are no problem. Liz is right about the way to do K2tog. That’s what I normally do too. Just had a brain freeze. There are other stitches you could encounter, but once you get the concept, you will know what to do with them.

Great advice, that is how I normally take apart my mistakes. It is slower, but you are guaranteed not to lose a stitch. Especially when you are using slippery yarn and ripping out the row is almost impossible as it is really easy to lose stitches.

When I unknit, I pull up on the working yarn, which creates a little hole where the yarn feeds through the stitch below. Put your needle into that hole, right alongside the working yarn. Then you let the stitch on the right needle slip off and pull on the working yarn to free it completely. It works the same way for knit stitches and purl stitches. It’s just that for a purl stitch, the hole is a little smaller and harder to see. To unknit a k2tog, you do the exact same thing, making sure you’ve put your needle through both stitches when you go throught the hole. Be careful when unkniting a sl1k, k1, psso. You have to put the slipped stitch back on the right needle OVER the stitch that is nearest the tip, unknit the stitch nearest the tip, and slip the slipped stitch back onto your left needle knitwise. To slip it knitwise in reverse, you put both needles pointing the same direction away from you, put your left needle into the stitch that’s on your right needle, and pull your right needle out.

Thank you so much! I have been trying to figure out where to put the needle in to tink but everywhere I look it just says under the stitch and I don’t know where that is. This is a great explanation and I finally understand what they mean now!!