How to Rip Out Your Knitting & Pick Up the Stitches

without Accidentally Unraveling Your Whole Piece

Does the thought of pulling your needles out of your stitches to rip out your knitting terrify you? You are not alone!

Many knitters dread the thought of ripping out their work. It’s understandable – you’ve put a lot of effort into making your project and you don’t want to unravel it.

But sometimes it’s necessary unravel your work to fix a mistake.

Perhaps the biggest benefit of learning this skill – aside from fixing your mistakes efficiently – is that you will improve your knitting abilities.

Fixing mistakes has taught me more about knitting than any other skill. To become an excellent knitter, you have to be able to read your knitting, and fixing mistakes is one of the ways I learned how to read my knitting.

Recognizing that you made a mistake is the first sign that you are learning how to read your knitting. Fixing those mistakes will significantly improve your ability to read your knitting.

Reading your knitting is the ability to recognize the various stitches in a pattern. Mastering this skill will improve the quality and speed of your knitting.

I’m analytical by nature so when I started fixing my own mistakes, I watched the yarn carefully as I slowly pulled out each stitch. This helped me see and understand how each stitch was formed, which is the basis for reading your knitting.

Confidently Rip Out Your Knitting & Pick Up the Stitches

In this video, I’m going to show you how to bravely rip out your work AND pick up your stitches so that you don’t accidentally unravel your whole piece.

One way to ease the pain of having to rip out your knitting is to use a lifeline. A lifeline is a piece of scrap yarn that you strategically place in your work to hold the stitches in case you make a mistake and need to rip out your work. You can learn how to use lifelines in my Lifelines are Lifesavers! tutorial.

After you pick up your stitches, you’ll want to make sure they are properly mounted on your knitting needle. If you knit a stitch that is improperly mounted on your needle, it will create a twisted stitch. Learn more about this in my How to Read the Stitches on Your Knitting Needle tutorial.

Every Master Started as a Disaster

If you’re still nervous to try this yourself, remember… it’s just yarn! What’s the worst that can happen?

Even if you bugger it all up and have to reknit the whole piece, it’ll be better than the one you have with a mistake in it – and I bet you will have learned from it, so your next project will be even better.

We all make mistakes. Master knitters are just ordinary knitters who made mistakes, learned from them, and made more mistakes, and learned more, ad infinitum.

Many master knitters also had a mentor – someone they could rely on for quality instruction. Some of us were lucky enough to have a grandmother to teach us.

If you are the kind of knitter who desires to knit heirloom-quality garments that you’ll be proud of and your knit-worthy friends and family will treasure, then join me in the Knit Along Club and take your knitting to the next level!

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