No matter how experienced you are at your craft, odds are there will come a day where you make mistakes. Big or small, experienced or not, glaringly obvious or maybe nobody will see it, mistakes are a frustrating part of the crafter’s life. I have made a few such blunders in my current project, and am now in my second time undoing the glaringly obvious mistakes and having to do it all again.
Above, you can see that I’ve been decreasing my stitches directly beside the cable. This is forming a sleeve on a sweater. Turns out, I should have been decreasing right into the cables, because the cables themselves do not continue to move upward beyond the sleeve.
Needless to say, that’s a lot of rows to have to take out.
So, I decided to take the opportunity to take detailed shots of how to unknit what has already been knit. It’s tedious, takes just as long as it does to knit, and is super frustrating. This is why I hate to make mistakes at all. But learning how to unknit is still much easier than tearing the entire project out and starting over again.
Unknit the knit!
Make sure that when you do this step, you are inserting your needle into the stitch your loop is coming through (the next row down), not directly into the loop.
Rinse and repeat. Over and over again until you get back to the spot where you first goofed.
Unpurl the purl!
It helps if you hold your yarn up tightly to open up the purl. You’re going to want to attack the purl from the side but resist the urge. Doing so will twist the stitch and you’ll have to untwist all the stitches that get twisted. Go front to back.
Rinse and repeat. Over and over.
Like I said, it’s tedious business. It takes a little while to get the hang of undoing the stitches that have been done, just like it takes a while to get the hang of making the stitches in the first place. But it’s still a heck of a lot easier than starting from the beginning again. Remember to have patience and resist the temptation to tear the needles out entirely. Keep your yarn from getting tangled, and take a deep breath. Your project is going to look just fine once you get it finished.