Knitting is too Unforgiving


I am still fairly new to knitting and I like it… for the most part. I have more experience with crochet, so maybe that has jaded me a bit with respect to knitting. However, this is what really bugs me… undoing knitting is a royal pain in the arse. I can frog crochet all day and restart at almost any point where I screwed up. Knitting? Not so much. I just spent the last 15 minutes knitting a cable pattern into a scarf that I have been working on. I somehow increased my stitches. I have no idea how and it took such a freakishly long time to undo.

I tried to just work backwards to the increase. The stitches alternate P-K so the yarn is never in the same place twice. Confusing. Not to mention, undoing the stitches requires trying to figure out which strand to stick the needle behind. I got it all twisted and couldn’t see what I was doing - even with my glasses off and the work 2 inches away from my face. So rip it out.

I had to go back to a known stitch point, so I went all the way back to the 4 stitch cable. I think that wound up being 8 rows I ripped out. If it were crochet, I would have only gone back to the screwed up stitch, picked up my loop and continued. Knitting is just too unforgiving.

I’d like someone to convince me not to just finish this scarf, bind off, and drop knitting completely. Why would I want to keep punishing myself with this? I can crochet the cable stitch. I agree that it’s not as pretty, but it’s also not as much of a freakin headache.

What are your thoughts on the subject?


Hey thanks for sharing your thoughts. It’s always good to hear about people’s preferences and why.

I prefer knitting and yes, frogging it is a huge pain sometimes, but I prefer more patterns and designed you can do with knitting.


Oh, don’t give up! You get better, and better with each project! And I know this might not sound encouraging, but, even frogging, you learn things! Once you can read your stitches, you will be able to fix almost anything, easily!


I second that!
Here’s a couple of suggestions that may make things easier.
A lifeline or two:

I rip out to about a row before the mistake and then I place the knitting flat on a table and insert the left needle as I pull the yarn out of the knitting, one stitch at a time.


I felt pretty much the same way when I started out with knitting - I had dabbled once or twice when I was a child (gave up because my child self’s lack of patience led to me doing things like stretching scarves to make them longer, because I got too bored to finish them properly!) but only took it up more seriously in my late 20s. I’ve never been into crochet beyond doing simple chains and edgings for my knit projects.
I think everyone I know who started knitting as an adult found it very frustrating to start with, and it did feel like punishment at times, but when you do get proficient you forget about that.


I can crochet a bit, but prefer knitting. While frogging can be a pain you do learn to do it faster and when you are more experienced you need to frog less, too. In complicated patterns having a lifeline is very helpful when you need to rip back.


I recall wondering if it was worth the aggravation of fixing mistakes, which is tedious. I am glad I persevered. It is very important to learn to recognize your stitches and their correct orientation.
I also use many row and/or stitch markers (I hate having to re-count). If I do need to rip out, I keep a long 1mm needle in my bag to help with getting the stitches back onto a needle, and then I transfer those stitches onto the needles I am working with.


Each time you frog or tink or rip-it out, you’re building your ‘bones’ or ‘skeleton’ of your craft (of knitting). Keep the faith.

Couple things:

1 - Knit five (5); verify five (5). Period. Don’t knit/purl on until your nose is in the pattern whether digital or on paper to verify the work.

Logically, it’s easier to tink or frog back a mere five (5) stitches versus eight rows. Let this become part of the rhythm or your ‘bone building’ and eternal knitting habit. It will work for crochet, too. The more familiar this process becomes to you, add more stitches to the above…I work until I need to push back or advance stitches…10 or 12 stitches…the length of the needles governs this for me.

2 - Use a life line. See this link:…0…1…gws-wiz…0.

…I have a kaboodle of knitting/crocheting items…collecting, too and love it! LOL!! I use small sized circular needles of the correct cable length as a ‘life line’. Or, waste yarn and a yarn needle…both work…if a person errs way back there, and it has happened to me, one can rip back to the life line that still has stitches ‘on’ a needle. Mercy, when one has 200+ stitches on a needle, this truly comes in handy.

3 - I like to have a ‘test’ project going, too…if I’m unsure about pattern directions, I can pop over to the test and work it there…I’m more at ease and not worried about a big fail and lots of rip-it time.

…how about googling ‘improvisation crocheting’…it’s a wonder how folks can design items like this. I learned to knit first and four years later crochet…both are great crafts…

Don’t quit knitting.

Don’t quit crocheting.

Carry on and ‘best of luck’. DRM


I appreciate all the input. I went at it again this morning and made it exactly 6 stitches before I had to rip it out again. These stupid metal needles I switched to were a huge mistake. Very slick and the stiches started slipping while I was trying to get the others back off the right needle. Wound up ripping out another row or 2 just to get to a point where I could figure out what l was going on. This is not pleasant or relaxing at all. I appreciate the encouragement, but I’m leaving knitting for a while. I won’t finish this scarf at least not this year. I’m going to finish the shawl I’m crocheting, then I’m putting it all away for a nice long relaxing rest. Thank you again for the input and encouragement.

Mityeltu out.


OK, so I have a hard time quitting anything … not good when drink, but I did manage to quit that - thanks be to God.

Anyway. I like the lifeline idea. I looked into it. A little time consuming to implement, but I think I can make that work by drilling holes in my needles and making them like really long sewing needles - I tried the tape, but on my bamboo needles it leaves a slightly sticky residue and they’re already ‘sticky’ enough.

I apologize for the venting previously. I was frustrated and angry. Arrogance is no good at all. I get angry when things don’t work the way I think they should. God opposes the proud. I apologize and repent.

I do appreciate the ideas and encouragement. I just wasn’t in a place to receive it. Thank you. I’ll try again.


Many knitters use a lifeline. Then all you need to do is remove the needles and pull yarn out back to the lifeline. Then slip the stitches on the lifeline back on your needle. As a new knitter you might want to add a lifeline every 5 or 10 rows.
There are other ways to fix one wrong stitch – you do not need to rip back to that row. - you can rip that one column down to that stitch. First make sure all of your other stitches are secure with a lifeline in your last knit row – use point protectors or rubber bands.