This post is all about my recent confrontation with fixing a mistake in lace knitting. As you may have seen if you’re following me on Instagram or Facebook, I’ve been happily knitting along on my latest design using Nurturing Fibres Super Twist Sock in “Odette” and “humbug”. I got mine from Wol zo Eerlijk, a lovely store with lots of environmentally friendly and fair trade yarns. Anyway, there I was, in the home stretch, with only 10 more rows of edging to go before the bind off. It was then that I saw it: a mistake in my lace, 9 rows down!
When I found the mistake in the pink border of my Pink Monarda shawl pictured, I had about 320 stitches per row. So no, I was not going to rip out all that work! Instead, I dropped down only 8 stitches to the place where I made the mistake. After that was correcting the error, followed by knitting everything back up to the row I was on.
In this post, I’ll show you exactly what I did!
To start, it is pretty handy to have some tools available to make fixing the mistake easier. I used the following:
- A set of DPN’s (double pointed needles) in the same size as the needles used in your project, or smaller.
- A crochet hook.
- Some pins.
- A pillow.
The pillow and pins were used to make sure that your work stays exactly where you need it to be. Also, it helps to see the mistake better when pinned out, instead of all scrunched up like lace tends to be before blocking.
On to the fixing!
1. To start, I pinned out my knitting on the pillow. I did this in such a way that I could clearly see a repeat of the lace pattern that was knitted correctly, as well as the one with the mistake in it. I slipped some of the stitches on one of the DPN’s to help fixate the whole better on the pillow. Can you see in the picture below where the mistake is?
2. The mistake is in the left half of the repeat, near the 4th yarn over, counted from the needle. Can you see it? In the picture below, I have indicated it with the circle.
3. In this particular case, it wasn’t necessary to drop down the whole repeat. Instead, I only dropped the 8 stitches on the left half of the repeat. I dropped down until I reached the purl row exactly below the row with the mistake in it.
When approaching the row below the mistake, I stopped ripping back and started to carefully tink (tink = knit backward!) further back, catching the released stitches with another DPN. It is especially important to do it like this when working with very slippery yarn. If you don’t take care, the knitting may run deeper down than desired, thus increasing the amount of fixing to do.
The yarn from every row dropped, I pinned to the pillow, going from left to right. This made sure nothing got tangled, and I could easily count the number of dropped down rows. This, in turn, made it easier to see where to pick up the chart when knitting it back up.
4. Then it was a matter of knitting back in pattern. As you can see, you use the free loop of yarn, just as you would use the thread running to the ball of yarn. If you find it challenging to catch the thread correctly to pull it through a stitch, you can always use the crochet hook to assist with this.
5. Because of the way I manipulated the yarn through the stitches, some of the stitches got mounted twisted. In the picture below, you can see that the left leg of the stitch is in front of the needle, instead of at the back. This really is no problem, but it is something to pay attention to. To correct this, I knitted these twisted stitches through the back loop.
6. And here you see the result: all fixed! The loose stitches you can see next to the re-knitted stitches are because of the tension on those threads when manipulating the dropped down stitches. This should, however, correct itself during blocking. If it’s still a tad visible, you can redistribute the excess yarn a bit over the various stitches.
7. And this is how to go about fixing a mistake in lace knitting. Now on to knitting those final rows of this shawl…