Knitting Rage!

Hello everyone,

I’m new to knitting and I’m determined to make it work. I know how to do all the stitches and I’m currently still only knitting cloths etc to perfect this.

Tonight I have experienced my latest bout of knitting RAGE! I’ve unravelled my knitting and thrown it across the room, and even tossed the cat of my lap! :gah: My problem is always the same, I’m knitting away and I realise that I’m knitting instead of purling or the other way around. But I have no idea how to unknit or unpurl a stitch. I always end up dropping stitches or getting them all mixed up (or throwing my knitting across the room).

Can someone tell me how I can unknit and unpurl please?

Thanks in advance!


Firstly i am going to say don’t get to stressed by your knitting, remember it is supposed to be and enjoyable hobby. Secondly i couldnt agree more, sometimes knitting rage does happen. There is a very tangled skein of yarn that has been living under our sofa for several months now and won’t be allowed out until it as thought about what it has done. It got flung there.

now for the un-knitting. The quickest technique, especially if you have a lot of stitches (several rows) to undo is frogging, or ripping somthing out. that means you take you take out your needles and literally unravel the knitting. You don’t have to go all the wayy back to the start, you can stop at a correct row and reinsert the needle into the loops. Ifind that a bit tricky somtimes so a very usefull method is to reinsert a needle into the ‘destination’ row before you start ripping and the yarn will stop there with the loops magically on the needles the right way!

The other method, which is my prefered method, is tinking or un-kniting stitches. This is ideal when it is only a few stitches, although i have been known to go back several rows doing this due to my hate of frogging. To do this you insert the tip of your left needle into the loop under the stitch on your right needle. slide the stitch of the right needle and give a little tug on the working yarn to free it, you now have an unworked stitch on your left needle.

there is a much better description and some nice clear pictures of both techniques on this page from Knitty.

This site also has a video on picking up stitches after frogging and how to insert a needle before frogging. just scroll down the page to the 'fixing mistakes section.

Thank you for your reply. I will try both before I start my next piece and get it down pat before I start.

I might leave it a couple of days though.

Thanks again!

I hate frogging too. I usually end up more screwed up than I was originally. I like to work backwards stitch by stitch. I’ve found that for me, it’s usually quicker than frogging anyway, since half the time I totally mess it up trying to reinsert needles.

Also, if I screw up a project more than once, I set it aside and work on something else. If I screw up that project too, I figure my knitting mojo is off and I put it down for awhile. I make way more errors when I’m tired so if it gets late I either work on something really simple, or don’t knit at all.

You go apologize to that cat right now, or else, ultimately, there will be unpleasant consequences. Cats do not forgive such unseemly behavior.

What I do is rip out to the row before I want to start over again on and take a needle to insert into a stitch as I pull the yarn out of each one. Don’t worry about whether the stitches are sitting on the needle correctly, just get them on the needle. Then when you reknit the row, you can reseat them so they’re facing the correct way.

If you loose your place, get familiar with the way the sts should look so you know where you are at in your knitting.

If you are doing stockinette st- the flat side with v’s is your knit side. All the sts on that row should be knit.

The bumpy side is the purl side, and all the sts on that row should be purled.

If you are doing a row that calls for both knit and purls, such as ribbing, then get in the habit at looking at the sts underneath the needle to remember where you are at, such as K2, P2-

the knit sts are a V and the purl have a piece of yarn that goes parallel to your needle at the top of your sts.

I would practice doing these sts while alternately looking at them to get a feel for what they look like. Once you know what you are looking at, it is a lot easier to keep your place in your knitting.

Thank you for your help everyone. I’ve put my knitting down for a couple of days and when I pick it up again I’m going to practice all the different ways I can fix this mistake and get used to the one I feel more comfortable with before starting up again. I don’t want to give up so thats a good thing.

On another note - I did apologise to the cat. It’s winter and quite cold where I live here in Australia so he was way more forgiving than usual!