Musings on Fixing Dumb Mistakes

I believe in the mantra Know Thyself, and I know I would be annoyed every time I wore a sweater with a dumb mistake on it. I decided to follow kayak2016’s advice and try to drop the stitches back to fix it. I figured, if I fail at this, I can frog it, and I will have learned something.

First thing I learned is: don’t do this. Not unless the mistake is only a few rows deep and simple to fix. I know I can fix things like that. This was over 20 stitches dropped and a similar number of rows. I was having trouble with tension and identifying which stitches were from increase rounds. And! It was a beginning of round, so increases weren’t symmetrical to begin with. Thine own self was confused for a good while.

By the time I finally figured out which round I was on and where I should be increasing, and that I should be using smaller needles, I was developing some pretty dreadful ladders.

Aforesaid dreadful ladders

So I called it a learning experience (I now know what I’m not capable of) and frogged back to the neat and tidy round before the dumb mistake happened.

Yes, that’s a lot of knitting to be redone, but I will be much happier with the finished product. I was careful to put the stitch markers in the correct places and I will be eagle eyeing my increases for several rows.

Well, wasn’t that fun! At least I feel a little smarter now, or dumber. I’m not sure.

If you are able to successfully achieve what I attempted and failed, I hope you will share it with me so I can learn from your wisdom. Thank you for encouraging me to get off the fence!

18 thoughts on “Musings on Fixing Dumb Mistakes

  1. I had a similar issue on a large shawl time ago… I just frogged back, as I was sure I’d get into a holy mess if I tried to fix.
    I think you’ve done the best thing, and even if you spent some time trying to fix it the other way, well, you learnt something out of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. oh no, I am so sorry that you had to frog! But you are quick!
    I do not know whether it would have helped, but to avoid ladders what I do is: I get to the “end” of the piece that you have frogged, then you stick the needle through two or three of the stitches that you havent’ frogged but lie on the same row. Now you turn the work, ignore the unfrogged stitches on the needle and work two of the stitches you have to rebuild (these are purls), without dropping the first one until you’ve caght the second one (it is fiddly, as you have less room, and metal needles help), then you pull out the left needle so that you free the 5 stitches.
    The other possibility, which I think is easier but requires judging tension”by eye” is to undo pull the stitches up with a crochet hook. Either way it helps to practice on a swatch.

    Anyhow you are beyond this now – and you do have peace of mind, as it will be so neat!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I tried to move an increase once using this method, it was only 2 rows down and I couldn’t work out what the heck to do and made a right pigs ear of it. Well done for trying, at least with the chunky wool it isn’t too much extra time spent reknitting.

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  4. Tinking columns across that many rows has never worked great tension-wise for me either, though I too would love to get more tips on that. Fixing a mistake only a few rows prior by tinking a few columns is much more manageable so I keep rechecking my knitting fairly often. 😀 Hope you (re)reach your earlier checkpoint quickly.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve gotten comfortable going back over as many as 15 – 20 stitches, and many rows – even on lace, although that’s iffier – but it has taken practice. Lots of practice. The tension tends to be a little weird, but a little pushing around of stitches and then blocking tends to make it look fine. But remember when I said “practice” back there? And it’s definitely easier with wool, which is much more forgiving.

    Liked by 1 person

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