Knitting Mistake – How Do I Fix a Messed Up Cable Without Ripping Back?

Cables can be great fun–until you make a knitting mistake you don’t notice until you knitted many rounds beyond the mistake. Do you rip out all your work? Ignore the mistake and hope no one notices? Here’s a better way you might try.

Isolate the error.

Yes, you have umpteen stitches on the needle, but we won’t mess with most of them. It’s just a few stitches that need their attitudes adjusted. Knit till you come to the stitches directly above the problem stitches. Let’s say there are six.

Breathe deep–and pull those topmost six stitches off your needle.

Don’t panic. Slide your good stitches far away from the tips of your needles so they stay put. We’ll work with the six stitches now hanging loose. With another needle or a crochet hook, reach between two of those loose stitches and pull the yarn up and out of those six stitches.

You now have a loop of yarn and six new loose stitches from one row below.

Pull the yarn out of each lower row until you reach the row where you’ll correct the cable crossing. Slide a knitting or cable needle into those six stitches you want to correct. Now they’re secure. Phew!

Is this a mess or what?

Yes, I know. Your knitting now looks horrible with crinkled yarn loops in a tangle at the back. No worries. Now cross that doggone cable.

Dip your original needle tips down so you can work the cross on those six stitches like you wish you’d done before.

Got your cable crossed right? Good!

As you slide each of those six newly-worked stitches from your right needle to the left, give it a tug like you’re stretching elastic between the needles. This adjusts the yarn evenly along the six stitches.

Now locate the yarn loop directly above the stitches you just worked.

Making sure you use the bottom loop of yarn, knit the six stitches. Slide them onto the left needle as before. Rinse and repeat until you’re back on the top row.

Does everything look right now?

Every stitch and cable crossing knitted right? No missed yarn loops on the back? Yes?

Now there’s no longer a knitting mistake–and you didn’t have to rip out entire rows of otherwise good knitting on umpteen stitches. Yippee!