What do you do when your project is just completely messed up?

Hi! I’m working on this sweater:

And I recently noticed that I dropped a stitch several rows back so I tinked back to that spot and I am all ready to start knitting again…except that I’m not sure how many rows I went back and I’m kind of lost. So I start counting my stitches and doing some math and realize that I have made SO MANY MISTAKES that my stitch count and my actual count are just miles and miles off. I may have forgotten to do some decreases along the line. I also think this sweater is going to be too small AND I loathe the yarn. I’m enjoying the knitting but that’s it.

This is my first sweater and I’m not ripping it out again. I had to do that three times at the start and I’m too far along now to rip back. Just for my own sanity. Do I just shove it in a bag and restart with some yarn I like or finish it and learn some lessons and give it to my Mom who will adore it, mistakes and all???

I’m not sure how to proceed here.
Thank you for any thoughts or wisdom!

I knitted a sweater. I wasn’t happy with it and didn’t totally finish it because I knew deep down I wasn’t going to wear it. One day I just unravelled the whole lot and knitted another sweater with it. I’ve worn that sweater several times and absolutely love it.


I would give that sweater a time out. Find some yarn that you really like or have used in the past and enjoyed. Pick another project and have fun knitting again.
In a couple of months (or even 6 or 8 or …) take the problem child sweater out and re-evaluate it.
It’ll help to have some distance from it. I’ve done this and been surprised at how it all worked out.


Thanks y’all.

It seems SO wrong to put it away unfinished but that may be the best plan. I need to knit a hat for a friend going through chemo anyway. I’ll take a look at it again later. I’m sure I’ll be back to figure out where I am.

Thank you!

I changed my mind. I really want this to be right and the more I think about it…the more I think I may just not be thinking about this correctly.

I just found a chart that says how many stitches should be on the needle after row 1 of each section. I had no idea that was there. So…I have 47/50 (I forgot to do decreases on the second front section a couple of times) stitches on the front panel and for row 1 of set 4 I should have 51. Now let me jump back and say that my notes say that I just tinked back before set 4. But that can’t be, right? Because I have 47 stitches and should have had 51.

Here’s what I have: 47/51 front stitches and 147 back stitches. The chart says that for section 4 I should have 51 front stitches and 148 back stitches after I do row one. Oh, wait, and row one adds 8 stitches. The chart says “Following are stitch counts for each front section and the back sections after the completion of each body eyelet row”…so where the hell am I???

SO…Do I just muck about here and make some goofy corrections to get myself back on track? I do really want to finish this. It’s a thing with me, I don’t like leaving stuff undone.

I’ll attach a photo of the chart.

Thanks so much. I’ve sat here with this and a calculator and counting stitches and trying to explain this to my husband until he had to get up and take a walk. I don’t mind mistakes and I don’t mind them being visible but I don’t want the whole sweater to look super weird. Does that make sense? Can you help?

I use a tapestry Needle to fix mistakes as for too many stitches just knit them together or take the piece in at the end.

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Because of the design of this sweater, you have some leeway in the stitch count. The back is close enough not to matter. For the front that has 47 sts, see if leaving it at 47 will be ok as the stitch count is decreasing anyway. At the beginning of section 5 it’ll be down to 46sts. Maybe follow a couple of decreases in section 4 to get you to 44sts and then on track for 41sts at section 6.
The flowing design on the fronts is going to hide the regularity of decreases and, it seems to me, works in your favor. It’s such a pretty design.

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Y’all are the best!!! I’m going to do that and just finish this darn thing and make it again with yarn I love. I think the second go round will be much easier.

Thank you so much!


Depends on what I am knitting, how complicated, etc. And what else I’m doing at the same time - watching a PBS show, listening to music or …

I tend to look back every few rounds (I knit in the round all the time) and keep a crochet hook near all the time.

And you have to work, try this, that, and the other. See what works for y o u.