Mistakes happen! Be prepared

Getting comfortable with ripping rows is essential for machine knitters. Have you ever been knitting and missed an increase or decrease instruction? Maybe a knot or a yarn slub slipped thru and is showing a few rows back. Time to rip! Speed ripping comes in handy to quickly fix those boo-boos.

Getting comfortable with ripping out rows of knitting is essential for every machine knitter. Has this ever happened to you? You’ve found that you’ve knit too many rows, or maybe you forgot an increase or a decrease, or even worse, you look down and there’s a big ‘ol knot or slub a yarn right in the middle of your knitting.

Well, you’ll need to rip back a few rows. In this tutorial, we’ll talk about a quick way of ripping. Now, this technique works best with a bit of weight on the knitting. Even if you don’t normally knit with weights, add some before beginning. First, remove your yarn from the yarn feeder and keep the needles in working position and the stitches in the hooks of each needle.

Carefully pull your working yarn taut. You’ll see the current row of stitches straighten. Then you’ll lift the working yarn up and back. This forces the row of stitches below to pop up and over the fronts of the hooks. You’ve removed one row. Now be sure your stitches don’t slide behind the latches.

Make sure they stay in the hooks of the needles. Now repeat this in the opposite direction. When that’s finished, you’ve got two rows removed. The trick is to pull and wiggle, pull and wiggle. Remove each stitch carefully. For the machines with gate pegs, take care that the stitches don’t pop up over the gate peg and get caught.

Plus having weigh on your work will help. Work slowly so each stitch forms correctly. Now, here’s a tip. Be careful and count the number of rows you’ve removed. Don’t get carried away and lose track. Instead of adjusting your row counter each time, pull out a needle at the end of your needle bed for each row you rip. When you’ve removed all the rows needed, change your row counter, return those needles back to out of work position and return to your knitting.

Fair Isle patterns can be ripped in this fashion. It just takes a little longer because you’ll be pulling two yarns instead of one. Garter stitch or any stitches that have been turned can’t be ripped as easily this way. Lace doesn’t rip out very nicely either because of the transferred stitches.

Usually slip and tuck patterns work pretty well with this fast method. Speed ripping on the chunky or the bulky machines can be a little more difficult because of the shape of the sinker posts, but it can be done. I recommend practicing speed ripping on a swatch before you get into trouble on a garment. With a little practice, you’ll be a pro.