My goal is to prevent knitting mistakes which I would imagine is true for most knitters. It amazes me how I can carefully follow the pattern directions and later realize I have done it all wrong. These cause my knitting nightmares and I will not rest until they are fixed.
Currently I am working on what I thought was a mindless project. A simple felted bag knitted in the round all garter stitch. I knit the bottom, then started the top. 13 rows into the project it did not looked right to me. At first I thought the felting would cover it up, then came to the conclusion I was only fooling myself. Without consulting anyone I began ripping out 11 rows of what I later learned was perfectly decent knitting. At most I should have only ripped out 2 rows. My mistake was turning the bag and knitting backwards for two rows but for some reason I thought it was all wrong.
My ego also got in the way and I wanted to prove I could solve the problem myself. In the end only made a bigger mess. I came across this very timely and thoughtful article about fixing knitting mistakes, The Error of Our Ways: A Knitter’s Guide to Fixing Mistakes by Robin Melanson. I am going to save* this article and thought you might like it too. Obviously she is a good knitter as she gives instructions on how to fix many easily fixable knitting mistakes without doing a whole lot of ripping. Most of all I liked her attitude, she says
If there is one thing a knitter can be certain of, it’s that mistakes will happen. No one is immune to the occasional dropped stitch, wrong-slanting cable, or other error and you will never stop making mistakes like these as long as you knit.
That is the philosophy I thought I had ripping out those 11 rows, “this is a part of the knitting process”.
Then if you read further down she is quite wise in stating
The first thing to do when you think you have made a mistake is to spend a moment examining what you have done. Look at your knitting. Read the pattern. Read the pattern again. Look at your knitting again. If it is two o’clock in the morning, go to bed. Do nothing now. Never make decisions in the middle of the night. There is a good reason for this: if you decide that what you have done cannot be fixed and you rip out twelve inches of knitting, and then you wake up the next day and realize the work was indeed correct, trust me, you will be upset and the piece may languish unfinished until it is eaten by moths.
Looking back I should have at least reviewed my knitting reference books. Which I have many. If you are in a ripping debate with yourself I would suggest getting a second opinion. If you do decide to rip look at her article she has instructions on how to fix many mistakes without doing a whole lot of ripping. Remember “mistakes will happen”.
The image on this post was before I ripped ( or frogged ) and before I knit the 13 rows. I was a happy knitter at this time. Now I am returning to knitting nirvana and well on my way again. Soon adding a stripe to the bag.
* I save my articles in Evernote. Evernote does a lot of different organizational tasks. I use the free version and love it.