Last night I was knitting merrily along on Siren Song, and I was thinking about what I’d write today about it. I was having the hardest time thinking of anything even remotely interesting. Projects like this aren’t exactly scintillating Blog Fodder. What am I supposed to say about it? Big knitting. Still green. Going well. Still at it. There’s nothing to say about the thing, and I’m thinking about that, and watching a movie and all of a sudden, I feel something funny in my hands. The rhythm of the knitting has gotten a little wonky. I look down, and sure enough, there’s a mistake and it’s a pretty big one. The first thing I think is “crap, I’ll have to fix that, it’s super noticeable” and the second thing I think is “Oh! Now I have something to blog.” I went to bed then (because mistakes in lace are a good way to tell it’s bedtime) and this morning I set about fixing it.
As obvious as I think the mistake is, I bet that it’s not really jumping out at you. It’s in the middle of the shot, starting about 15 stitches from the right. Things get weird for about 30 stitches, and then sort themselves out again. I poke around for a few minutes, diagnosing what’s happened, and I work out that three rows ago, I made a tiny but important mistake. The pattern’s a repeat of four stitches at this point, and apparently I failed to count that high correctly. (Crushing, but true.) Somehow I didn’t notice, and there’s three long rows piled on top of the error. The rows, I’m sure I have mentioned, are really long – more than 350 stitches per row, and the mistake is just about three rows back. There’s no way I’m tinking back more than a thousand stitches. It’s just not going to happen. Here’s what I do instead.
I knit over to the place where the incorrect section starts, and then – using a spare circular, I slip all of the stitches involved in the mistake onto the new needle. Correct stitches stay on the original needle. See what I mean?
Then, working end to end on the new needle, I tink just those stitches -the ones involved in the mistake. The good stitches wait on the original needle.
When I’m done, I’ve got a big loop of yarn free…
and because this is fine yarn and I’ll be pulling multiple rows out, I take a second to label that strand of yarn with its row number. This one is/was row #4 on the chart, so I write that on it. The stitches on the needle are still wrong, so I tink another row out.
I label that too. Things are still not right, so back I go, one more row. When I’ve got three rows pulled back, I go get the chart, and figure out where I am. I’ve pulled out what was a row four, and a three, and a two… so I need to knit across these stitches with row two of the chart. I know where I am in the repeat by checking the stitches still on the old needle above, so I just pick up the strand of yarn labeled “two” and knit row two of the chart, using the loop as my yarn source.
It’s a little bit awkward, and it gets a tiny bit tricky as the loop gets shorter and shorter, but it beats the snot out of tinking back a thousand stitches, so I’m cool. When I’m done, I pull the circular through to the right, go back to the beginning of that section of stitches, and knit across row three of the chart with the yarn labelled “three”.
At the end, I repeat it with the yarn for row four, and bingo. Everything is fixed and tidy, and correct, and it only took about 15 minutes, and wasn’t scary at all, and is so much better than going back three rows would have been.
Ta dah! You’d never know it had surgery, and I got a not-too-shabby post out of it while I was at it.