When Knitting Takes a Wrong Turn

When I was a beginner knitter, I made lots of mistakes! I usually learned from them, but there was one that I made over and over: accidentally turning the work before I was at the end of the row.

This happened because I put down my knitting mid-row. There’s a reason seasoned knitters say “let me finish this row”—a lot!

I started calling this mistake a wrong turn. When this happens, you’ll notice a little hole in your knitting, along with some loose stitches and a stitch that’s tilting sideways a little bit. If you look closely at your knitting, you’ll also see that one side of the work is slightly longer than the other side.

Here’s what it looks like:

A wrong turn in knitting. Images from Knit Fix, by Lisa Kartus

There are lots of cool tricks to fix problems in knitting; unfortunately, the only way to fix a wrong turn is to do a U-turn, unknit or ravel to the hole, turn your work, and resume knitting in the proper direction.

I think the important thing here is to learn to recognize the wrong turn in your knitting so that you can fix it before you knit too many rows beyond it.

“Reading” your knitting is an important concept in our craft. If you think you’ve made a mistake, gently spread out your knitting on a flat, well-lit surface and really look at it. If you’re knitting with a dark yarn, you should also lightly rub your hands over the work; you might be able to feel a problem that you can’t see. Look at both sides of the knitting because a mistake may be more visible on reverse stockinette than on stockinette, for example. You’ll use this knitting technique all the time!

Locating the working yarn. Images from Knit Fix, by Lisa Kartus

If you do need to set your knitting down in the middle of a row—and you will have to, at times—remember to look for the working yarn when you pick it up. It’s attached to the last stitch you knitted, on the right-hand needle (photo at right). Find your working yarn and continue knitting from right to left.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again—learn to fix your mistakes; it’ll make you a much better knitter!

Designer and teacher Kate Atherley’s new video workshop Fixing Knitting Mistakes, is an invaluable tool. You’ll learn how to fix 50 mistakes that knitters most often make.

Kate even teaches you how to fix mis-crossed cables. When I first fixed a cable, I felt the greatest sense of accomplishment!

And you will too. Download Fixing Knitting Mistakes today. For more knitting instruction, subscribe to Craft Daily, our new streaming video site!


P.S. What’s the biggest knitting mistake you’ve ever made? Leave a comment below and let’s commiserate!

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