Undoing Rows of Knitting in the Round: A Step-by-Step Guide

Undoing Rows of Knitting in the Round: A Step-by-Step Guide

Knitting in the round can be an incredibly rewarding way to create seamless garments and accessories, but what happens when you make a mistake? Whether it’s a dropped stitch, a twisted cable, or a miscounted set of increases, it can be incredibly frustrating to realize you need to undo your hard work.

Fortunately, unraveling knitting in the round is not as complicated as it may seem. With a few simple steps, you can easily undo any mistakes and get back on track. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll walk you through the process of undoing knitting in the round, from identifying the problem area to safely unraveling the stitches.

First, it’s important to assess the mistake and determine the best course of action. If you’ve made a simple mistake, such as a dropped stitch or a twisted cable, you may be able to fix it without unraveling the entire project. However, if you’ve made a more significant error, such as a miscounted set of increases or a wrong stitch placement, unraveling may be necessary.

Once you’ve identified the problem area, it’s time to carefully undo the stitches. With circular knitting, this can be a bit more complex than with flat knitting, as you’ll need to unravel the stitches in the opposite direction. The key is to work slowly and patiently, being mindful not to pull too tightly or unravel any neighboring stitches. As you unravel, be sure to place the loops on a spare needle or stitch holder to keep them secure.

By following these steps and taking your time, you can successfully undo knitting in the round and fix any mistakes that may arise. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced knitter, knowing how to unravel your work is an essential skill that will save you time and frustration in the long run.

Understanding the Process

Undoing knitting in the round can be a challenging task, but it becomes much easier when you understand the process. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Identify the problem area: Before you start unraveling, identify the specific area that needs to be undone. This could be a mistake in the stitch pattern, a dropped stitch, or any other issue that needs to be fixed.
  • Prepare your tools: Gather the necessary tools for unraveling, such as a crochet hook or a small knitting needle. These will help you pick up dropped stitches and manipulate the yarn.
  • Keep track of your stitches: As you unravel, it’s important to keep track of your stitches to make it easier to re-knit them correctly. Use stitch markers or safety pins to mark the beginning of the round and any other important stitch markers.
  • Work slowly and carefully: Take your time when undoing the knitting, especially if you have intricate stitch patterns. Pay attention to each stitch as you carefully drop or pick up stitches to avoid creating more mistakes.
  • Fix any mistakes: As you unravel, pay attention to any mistakes that need to be fixed. Use the crochet hook or knitting needle to correct any dropped stitches or twists in the yarn to ensure your knitting looks neat and even.
  • Re-knit the unraveled section: Once you have undone the necessary rows or rounds, it’s time to re-knit the section correctly. Follow the pattern instructions or your own design to recreate the stitches and continue with your project.

By understanding the process of unraveling knitting in the round, you can confidently fix any mistakes or make changes to your project. Remember to take your time, pay attention to detail, and enjoy the process of creating beautiful, mistake-free knitted items.

Gathering the Necessary Tools

Before you begin unraveling knitting in the round, it’s important to gather the necessary tools to make the process easier and more efficient. Here are some tools you may need:

  • Scissors: A pair of sharp scissors will come in handy for cutting yarn, especially if you encounter any tangles or knots.
  • Tapestry needle: A tapestry needle with a large eye is essential for weaving in loose ends once you’ve unraveled the knitting.
  • Stitch markers: Depending on the complexity of your knitting project, stitch markers can be helpful for keeping track of specific stitches or sections.
  • Knitting needle or crochet hook: A spare knitting needle or crochet hook can be used to pick up dropped stitches or to help maintain the shape of the knitting as you unravel.
  • Measuring tape: A measuring tape can be useful for checking the size and length of the knitting as you unravel, especially if you need to make any adjustments or modifications.
  • Notebook and pen: Keeping a notebook and pen nearby allows you to jot down any notes or modifications you make during the unraveling process, which can be helpful for future reference.

Having these tools readily available will ensure that you can effectively unravel your knitting in the round and make any necessary adjustments or repairs. It’s also a good idea to have a clean, well-lit workspace where you can spread out your materials.

Identifying the Mistake

Before you can start unraveling your knitting in the round, it’s important to properly identify the mistake. This will help you determine the best approach to fixing it and will prevent any further mistakes from occurring.

1. Check your pattern:

  • Review the pattern instructions to ensure you understand the intended stitch pattern and placement of any decreases or increases.
  • Compare your knitting to the pattern and identify any discrepancies.

2. Count your stitches:

  • Counting the number of stitches in each round can help you identify where the mistake occurred.
  • If you have more or fewer stitches than required by the pattern, there may be an error in your knitting.

3. Look for uneven stitches:

  • Inspect your knitting closely and look for any obvious mistakes such as skipped or added stitches, or uneven tension.
  • If your knitting appears uneven in a specific section, there may be a mistake in that area.

4. Read your knitting:

  • Take a step back and visually analyze your knitting to identify any inconsistencies or errors.
  • Look for any changes in the stitch pattern, missed yarn-overs, or incorrect stitch placement.

5. Mark the mistake:

  • Once you have identified the mistake, it can be helpful to mark it using a stitch marker or a safety pin.
  • This will make it easier to find the mistake again when you start unraveling your knitting.

By properly identifying the mistake, you will have a clear understanding of what needs to be undone and how to fix it. This will save you time and frustration in the unraveling process.

Picking Out Stitches

Picking Out Stitches

When it comes to undoing knitting in the round, one of the first steps is to pick out the stitches. This process involves carefully removing the live stitches from the needle and separating them so they can be unraveled one by one.

To pick out stitches, follow these steps:

  1. Prepare your work area: Find a flat surface with good lighting where you can comfortably work. Gather any tools you may need, such as a crochet hook or small needle, to assist with the process.
  2. Identify the first stitch: Examine your knitting to identify the first stitch that needs to be picked out. This is typically the stitch closest to the end of the round or where you want to start unraveling.
  3. Insert the crochet hook or needle: Insert the crochet hook or needle into the first stitch from left to right, going under the front leg of the stitch. Make sure to catch the stitch securely so it doesn’t slip off the hook.
  4. Pick out the stitch: Gently pull the crochet hook or needle to pick out the stitch, unraveling it from the rest of the work. Be careful not to pull too hard, as you don’t want to unravel more stitches than necessary.
  5. Repeat for the next stitch: Move on to the next stitch and repeat the process of inserting the crochet hook or needle and picking out the stitch. Continue in this manner until you have picked out all the necessary stitches.
  6. Keep track of your unraveling: As you pick out the stitches, it’s helpful to keep track of your progress. You can do this by either counting the number of stitches you have unraveled or using stitch markers to mark the sections you have completed.

Picking out stitches can be a time-consuming process, especially if you have a lot of knitting to unravel. Take your time and be patient, focusing on one stitch at a time. With practice, you’ll become more efficient at unraveling knitting in the round.

Correcting the Error

Once you’ve identified the mistake in your knitting, it’s time to correct it. Here are the steps you can follow to fix the error:

  1. First, carefully remove the working needle from the stitches, making sure not to drop any stitches in the process.
  2. Next, locate the row where the error occurred. You may need to count the rows from your stitch marker or use a row counter to determine the correct placement.
  3. Once you’ve found the correct row, use a crochet hook or a spare knitting needle to carefully unravel the stitches below the error.
  4. Identify the stitches that were knit incorrectly and unravel them one by one until you reach the mistake.
  5. Once you’ve reached the mistake, carefully re-knit the correct stitches by following the pattern instructions or your own knitting style.
  6. Continue re-knitting the remaining stitches until you’ve reached the end of the row.
  7. Double-check your work to make sure you’ve corrected the error and there are no new mistakes.
  8. If you’re satisfied with the correction, place the stitches back onto the working needle and continue knitting as usual.

Remember, it’s important to take your time and be patient while correcting errors in your knitting. Rushing the process can lead to further mistakes or dropped stitches. If you’re unsure about how to fix a specific error, don’t hesitate to seek help from a more experienced knitter or consult online resources and tutorials.

Rejoining Yarn

When undoing knitting in the round, it’s important to know how to rejoin yarn to continue working on your project. Here are the steps to rejoin yarn:

  1. Prepare the new yarn: Before rejoining yarn, make sure to have the new yarn ready. If necessary, wind the yarn into a ball or attach a new skein. You’ll want to have a long enough tail to weave in later.
  2. Locate the end of the old yarn: When unraveling knitting, there will be an end of the old yarn. Find this end and gently pull it out until you reach the last stitch made with this yarn.
  3. Attach the new yarn: Take the end of the new yarn and place it alongside the old yarn. Leave a tail of the new yarn about 6 inches long. Hold the tails together and continue knitting with the new yarn, working as if you were using a double strand of yarn.
  4. Weave in the ends: Once you’ve knitted a few stitches with the new yarn, you can secure the ends. Use a tapestry needle to weave in the tails of both the old and new yarn. This will ensure that they are securely fastened and won’t come undone.

Rejoining yarn is a simple process that allows you to seamlessly continue your knitting project. With these steps, you’ll be able to confidently undo knitting in the round and rejoin yarn without any issues.

Finishing the Round

Once you have carefully unraveled your knitting stitches in the round, it’s time to finish the round and prepare to continue knitting. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Identify the last stitch in the round. This is the stitch that was completed right before you started unraveling.
  2. Insert your left needle into the last stitch from left to right, as if to knit.
  3. Take the working yarn that is coming from the last stitch and position it behind your work.
  4. Scoop up the working yarn with your right needle and pull it through the stitch, creating a new stitch.
  5. Remove the old stitch from your left needle, gently pulling the yarn tail to tighten the stitch if needed.

Now you have successfully finished the round and are ready to continue knitting in the round. You can join a new color of yarn if desired or simply continue with the same yarn. Remember to follow the stitch pattern and any shaping instructions for your project as you continue knitting.

Preventing Mistakes in the Future

Undoing knitting in the round can be a frustrating and time-consuming process. To avoid having to unravel your work in the future, here are some tips to prevent mistakes:

  • Count your stitches: Before you start a new round, make sure you have the correct number of stitches. Counting your stitches can help to catch any mistakes early on.
  • Use stitch markers: Place markers at key points in your work, such as the beginning of the round or pattern repeats. This can help you keep track of your progress and spot errors more easily.
  • Double-check your pattern: Before you begin knitting in the round, take a moment to review the pattern instructions. Make sure you understand any special stitch patterns or increases/decreases that are required.
  • Use a lifeline: If you’re working on a complex pattern or are unsure about a certain section, consider using a lifeline. A lifeline is a piece of waste yarn threaded through a row of stitches. If you make a mistake, you can easily rip back to the lifeline without losing all of your progress.
  • Take breaks and check your work: Step away from your knitting and come back with fresh eyes. Taking breaks can help you spot mistakes or inconsistencies in your work that you may have missed while focusing on the repetitive knitting process.
  • Practice good tension: Uneven tension can create ladders or loose stitches in your work. Practice maintaining consistent tension throughout your project to avoid these issues.
  • Keep a knitting journal: Document your progress, including any changes or modifications you make to a pattern. This can come in handy if you need to refer back to your work or troubleshoot any mistakes.

By following these tips, you can reduce the need for unraveling and make your knitting experience more enjoyable.


Why would I need to undo knitting in the round?

There are several reasons why you might need to undo knitting in the round. It could be because you made a mistake in your pattern or in your stitch count, or it could be because you need to adjust the size or fit of the garment. Sometimes, the only way to fix these issues is to undo the knitting and start again.

What tools do I need to undo knitting in the round?

To undo knitting in the round, you will need a few basic tools. You will need a crochet hook or a knitting needle in a smaller size than the one you used for the project. You will also need some scissors to cut the yarn, and a yarn needle to weave in the loose ends once you have undone the knitting.

Should I unravel the knitting row by row or all at once?

The method you choose for unraveling the knitting will depend on your personal preference and the situation. If you made a mistake in just a few rows, it might be easier to unravel the knitting row by row. However, if you need to undo a larger section or the entire project, it might be faster to unravel it all at once. Just be careful not to pull too hard and accidentally unravel more than you intended.

How can I avoid dropping stitches while unraveling knitting in the round?

Dropping stitches can be a common issue when unraveling knitting, especially in the round. To avoid dropping stitches, you can use a stitch marker to mark the first stitch of each round. This will help you keep track of where you are and prevent any accidental drops. Additionally, you can also use a lifeline, which is a piece of scrap yarn threaded through all the stitches on a particular row, to mark a safe point to unravel to.

What should I do if I can’t find the right spot to start unraveling?

If you are having trouble finding the right spot to start unraveling, there are a few things you can try. First, you can try counting the number of rounds or rows you need to undo from the current point and then mark that spot with a stitch marker or a safety pin. Alternatively, you can insert a knitting needle or a smaller-sized crochet hook a few stitches below where you want to start unraveling and use it to carefully pick up the stitches and undo them one by one.


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