In knitting, there are several common mistakes that you encounter. Newer knitters in particular (myself included!) often run into dropped stitches, working the wrong stitch, and split yarn. There are several ways to fix these problems, and all can be mastered with a bit of practice. Today, we’re going to define knitting vocabulary/slang related to fixing mistakes, as well as how to fix them. Tinking (un-knitting or knitting backwards), frogging, and picking up stitches; and where relevant, both continental and throwing knitting styles are demonstrated.
Scroll on for the video explaining & demonstrating each technique because there’s a good chance you didn’t grow up knowing what the heck “frogging your knitting” could possibly mean, let alone how to do it. (I didn’t know what tinking was until I’d been knitting for almost 20 years, so please do not feel bad if you’re new to these concepts!) I’m also including a section above the video with written definitions of the vocabularly/slang covered for quick reference.
Knitting Vocabulary Related to Fixing Mistakes
tinking – a.k.a. un-knitting or knitting backwards, this is when you pick out stitches, one by one, as though you’re knitting each stitch in reverse. The action looks almost like you recorded yourself knitting and then played it back in reverse. A funny name with a very straightforward concept behind it.
laddering down – You can see an example of laddering down in the picture below. Laddering down occurs when you’ve dropped a stitch and intentionally or accidentally pulled it down your work, undoing a vertical column of stitches. A visual comparison for this concept is a run in a pair of stockings.
Note: Ladders that have nothing to do with dropped stitches can also form in your knitting if your stitches are too far apart.
frogging – When you rip out your knitting, many stitches or even rows at a time, to remove a mistake and redo your knitting correctly.
dropped stitches – Loops (a.k.a. individual stitches) that have somehow come off of your knitting needle and not been worked. They are at risk for unraveling and laddering down.
How to Fix Common Knitting Mistakes
Probably my most-requested video, this tutorial was designed to be accessible for beginners as well as more seasoned knitters looking for a refresher.
Concepts Covered (in video order)
tinking/un-knitting: continental style
tinking/un-knitting: throwing style
fixing incorrect stitches in stockinette stitch
correctly picking up stitches*
fixing a dropped stitch in stockinette stitch
fixing incorrect stitches in garter stitch
*For the purposes of this video, when we refer to picking up stitches, we’re talking about returning live stitches to our knitting needles, rather than picking up stitches from a bound off or selvage edge.
I hope you found this post & video helpful – let me know in the comments if there are more fixes or tutorials you’d like to see from Hands Occupied. :)