Cooler Than Sliced Bread: A Knitting Trick

How did I not post about this when it happened??? All I can think is that I planned to include it on the piece in question’s FO Spotlight post. However, I hit a major stumbling block during the, ahem, blocking, and I never did a spotlight post. There’s no telling when that might happen, so I might as well go ahead and toot my own horn now.

As an aside, I’m what you might call “anxious” at the moment. I was supposed to hear something about the job on the table today, but didn’t. I was also hoping to work on repairing my dropped stitches but had stuff to do all day and couldn’t. So here I am, facing another evening without a knitting project to dig into. Last night I knit a few rows on my Feathery Lace Stole to tide me over, but I really need decent light for that, too.

I digress. A couple of months ago I made a Little Phryne dress for my daughter…out of sock yarn. It’s awesome, but it kind of took me forever. It took a bit to get started and on track. It’s a test knit and there were some numbers and whatnot that needed reworked. I started and frogged a couple of times for various reasons. Well, the third or fourth time I got going on it, I noticed a mistake several rows back. There was no way I was frogging it again, but the mistake was too complicated to fix by just dropping one stitch column down and working it back up. The dress is top down with eyelet raglan increases, and one of the increase sections just didn’t line up.

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Here’s what it’s supposed to look like

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And here’s the wonky one

See how the center spine in the second pic takes a little jog to the right? After the second round of eyelets? And how the eyelets don’t make a nice V shape? Yeah. I don’t know how I made it approximately 14 rows without seeing that, either.

But, hold on a moment here. This is sock yarn. Self-striping sock yarn. I could have added a few random cables and you’d never be able to find them. It’s a little like stripy magic eye. Who would ever notice? Well, what is once seen (by a knitter) can never be unseen and I set about finding a way to fix it. In my last post, I linked to a similar-ish repair job the Yarn Harlot blogged about. If you search back in her archives (sounds a little racy, doesn’t it?) she has another post somewhere about the same kinda deal. I had read both recently and decided to give it a try. So, first I did this:


Please forgive both the poor lighting and the toddler potty in the background

And then (brace yourself) I did this:

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I did a couple of things differently than the venerable Harlot. First, I did not label the loops of yarn as I unravelled them. That allowed me to peer painstakingly at each one to figure out which to work next. Second, I didn’t finish it in fifteen minutes of lighthearted knitting. It took me about a half hour of anus-pinchingly detailed work (sorry, Mom) to knit each row back up.

In case you don’t feel like trekking over to the Harlot’s blog (you really should, but I’m not judging. Much.) the idea here is to reknit each row using the unravelled loop. Since it’s attached to live knitting at both ends, that gets a little tricky. I used smaller needles to do this but it still ran pretty tight at the end of each row. If you attempt this, I’d recommend having a couple of small crochet hooks handy and maybe a tasty intoxicating beverage for when you’re done (really…wait until you’re done).

I didn’t take any pics as I was working on it because, honestly, if I’d stopped I might never have started back up again. Also, I wasn’t really thinking about pictures so much as about getting all those blasted stitches where I wanted them, for crying out loud. However, when I was done, I ended up with this:

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The tension is weird and there’s a visible ladder on the left edge of the reknitted panel, but the center spine is straight! The tension issues were easily remedied by a few tugs and pulls to get it all evened out. Now, I couldn’t even tell you which increase line was repaired. Success!

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Can’t see the line, can you Russ?

So there it is. Not the easiest thing I ever did, but it beat the alternative. I added a nifty little tool to my knitting arsenal and saved a WIP from its final frogging. I finished knitting the rest of the dress, then proceeded to block it. Unfortunately, disaster struck again! As soon as it hit the water it went from being about a size 4 to somewhere around a size 10. I’ve gotten pretty good about doing decent gauge swatches, but I never bother to wash them. Whoops! And so I never got around to figuring out how to shrink it back down. I plan to dampen it a bit and then throw it in the dryer (it’s made of Cascade Heritage Prints, a sock yarn, so should fare fine) but haven’t gotten around to it.

It’s really stinkin’ cute. I should just do it.

Happy knitting!



  1. Becca · April 26, 2016

    Wow that’s really brave! I’ve tinked back like that when I mess up a simple rib but never that far and never with yarn overs and things like that! You really can’t even tell all all.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. FogKnits · April 27, 2016

    Nicely done! I remember that blog post…I loved the idea of labeling strands for more complicated fixes! I’m tempted to knit an intricate lace swatch with some intentional mistakes. I love a challenge and it’s pretty empowering to tackle something like that and succeed!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • alexand knits · April 27, 2016

      Only you are crazy enough to do this on purpose!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • FogKnits · April 27, 2016

        On a swatch! It could be fun! I want to try a double knit lace swatch too…if I was really feeling crazy I could make a double knit lace mistake to attempt fixing?!?!

        Liked by 1 person

      • alexand knits · April 27, 2016

        Certifiable. If you do it, I wants pics!!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Stefanie · April 27, 2016

    HO DANG! That is some major knitting surgery there, worse than my sock one. You go girl on that. Crap; my heart dropped at the sight of all that dropped section.

    Liked by 1 person

    • alexand knits · April 27, 2016

      Yeah, that’s why I put in a little warning. It was a little nerve wracking. Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Stefanie · April 27, 2016

        One dropped stitch is fine, even maybe up to three. But damn, worrying about raglan increases in a section as big as that? Damn! I would have looked at it and say WTF do I do now?!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Paula @ Spin a Yarn · April 27, 2016

    Wow! You are amaze-balls! I can’t wait to see it in its final glory!

    Liked by 1 person

    • alexand knits · April 27, 2016

      Thank you 🙂 I should probably get around to drying it. Then maybe my daughter could actually wear it!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. jem arrowsmith knits · April 27, 2016

    Well rescued! You really can’t tell that it’s been re-worked. My heart sinks when I notice a mistake a few rows on and I usually end up frogging back to repair it…but maybe next time I’ll be brave and give this a go! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. afthead · April 28, 2016

    What?!?! You turned that spaghetti noodle mess back into knitting? Bravo! Bravo indeed. I’ve got a blanket that is wonky in a similar way, and I’m leaving it, because I am a wuss! (And because it is three colors down. Gak!) Hope you hear good news on the job front.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: The Jury’s Out | alexand knits
  8. Pingback: FO Spotlight: Little Phryne Test Knit | alexand knits

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