Sometimes I Have to Rip

For those of you who don’t knit, we call this “frogging,” because you have to rip it, rip it. We knitters are hilarious, wouldn’t you agree? When the situation is less extreme, and doesn’t require actually ripping back, then all we have to do is tink, which is “knit” spelled backwards. To tink back a little bit hurts the heart less than frogging, I can assure you. But there are times when the ripping is unavoidable.

After knitting merrily along on my handspun colorwork mittens, and getting roughly halfway done with the first one, I had to come to grips with a reality I had been trying my best to deny: my colorwork was puckering, an indicator that my tension was off, despite my best efforts.

I let the mitten sit for a couple of days, then I took a deep breath, and then I ripped:

handspun mitten cuff

handspun mitten cuff

It’s emotionally difficult to rip. Knitters, am I overstating things? Those stitches represent time and energy, so it feels like a loss to undo it all. That’s why it’s so hard to do sometimes, even when you can tell you have made a mistake in your knitting. This ability to rip back, though, is a benefit of knitting that we don’t always have in life: the clean slate, the chance to get things just right. I’ll take it! So now I’m ready to try again. As I pay renewed attention to my colorwork tension, I am happy to hear any tips you might have!

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3 thoughts on “Sometimes I Have to Rip

  1. I agree it hurts to rip back work, but my inner perfectionist won’t let me keep going knowing I have made serious flaws *sigh*. Saying this the feeling of nailing it and making the farmer you have envisioned is so much better!

  2. My only suggestion is to knit it inverted, with the floats on the outside. You hold it so you are looking at the right sidethat is now just on the inside of the needles. Does that make sense? I have been meaning to try this technique for ages (since I accidentally knit my first sock that way- whoops) with color work, but I’ve heard it helps. Good luck!

  3. Pingback: January is for Mittens | earthchicknits

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