Oops! Now what?
Being able to fix your mistakes is crucial to advancing beyond beginning knitting. In fact, after a beginning knitting class, I think an "Oops" class is the next step. This is where you'll learn to fix the most common mistakes that beginner knitters (all knitters, in fact!) make a lot.
In case you don't have access to an Oops class, though—I know many of you don't—I'll show you my two best fix-it techniques. A mini-class, if you will!
The first thing to know is how to unknit, or "tink" (which is "knit" spelled backward). Knowing how to unknit allows you to go backwards to fix a mistake so that you don't have to take your knitting off the needles. I use this technique ALL THE TIME. I mean it; I probably do a little unknitting every time I knit, which is every day, so . . .
Here's a video I made a few years ago that shows my way of unknitting, which is a little different from other people's method because I unknit from right to left instead of from left to right. Check it out:
Going from right to left is what allows me to get the tight tension on the unknitted yarn. I can get going pretty fast with this technique!
Unpurling: I use the exact same method to unpurl. With the purl side facing and the working yarn on the left, I put the needle into the purl in the row below, pull the yarn to the right to undo the stitch, and voilà!
Laddering Down to Fix a Mistake
This is a crucial skill to know, too, one that you can use to pick up a dropped stitched far below the row you're working on. Here's how do ladder down to fix a stitch, according to the fabulous book Knit Fix, by Lisa Kartus. (It's part of our amazing Beginner Knitting Kit!)
Pretty great technique, right? I use this one a bunch, too. You really do need a crochet hook in your notions bag so that you have it on hand to fix dropped stitches. I keep a size D and a size G in my knitting bag. The D works on smaller-gauge projects and the G works on everything from worsted-weight yarn on up to bulky. You can also add a J to your bag if you work on bulky and super-bulky yarn a lot; the G is a little small for super-bulky yarn.
Mastering these techniques will help you for years to come! There are lots more fix-it techniques to learn, so get our Beginner Knitting Kit for beginning knitters, which includes Knit-Fix, two more books, and four videos!