The Value of Unmaking

I started a dishcloth a couple of weeks ago. A couple of spots on it looked funky and I was half tempted to just pull the entire thing apart (knitters call this frogging--rip it, rip it) and start over. This is my default outlook. I hosed up and the world is going to implode, let's just chuck it and start over. Fortunately, I was able to stall this initial reaction by looking at this as an engineering problem. The results were not what I desired and I had no idea what I did to get to this point. I start to thinking, what can I do to try and avoid this next time. So, I started working backwards.

  • Knitting:
    • Work backwards--mostly. all of the completed kitting will be on right hand needle along with the working yarn. 
    • Place tension on the working yarn, it will open the correct loop to undo next.
    • Push the widened loop onto the left needle.
    • Slide the working loop off of the right needle.
    • Pull the working yarn to widen next loop on the right needle. 
      • This is where there were some difficulties. If the loop on the left needle is very tight, or the working yarn is over the top of the left needle, the loop can pop off when you pull the working yarn. 
      • Once the working yarn is out of the left loop, should widen the next right hand loop to work.
    • Rather than just pulling stitches out, pay close attention to the path that the yarn is taking through the knit-work.
      • Is it running through the yarn? This indicates a split yarn. There will be extra tension on the yarn as you attempt to widen the loop. Will have some of the plies laying on the wrong side of the working loop. These separate out and look 'thready' 
      • Is it running under a stitch that should have been worked? This indicates the needle ran outside of the stitch to be worked. The yarn will look like a diagonal cross on top of the working needle where the working yarn enters.
      • Did you slip a stitch without working it? Yarn will cross behind the stitch without creating a loop.
      • Did you yarn over? Yarn will make a diagonal loop around the working needle without passing through a standing loop. Also will make a lovely gap in the knit-work pattern. 
  • Purling: To Be Completed
1. Learned a lot about following the yarn path.
  • Identify a variety of missed stitches.
  • Consistently use this variety for effect (yarn over are used for intentional holes in work.
2. Cleaning up 
  • Don't have to chuck the whole piece just to clean up a small section.
  • Sooner found, less work to fix.

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