So you think you are progressing admirably with your latest project…
Then you suddenly notice…hmmmm that is not correct
That little diamond is too small – I missed out 2 rows. Most sane people would have a healthy perspective and think, ‘oh well, it’s just a jumper, no-one will notice’. Not so me. I know what I am like. Finickety perfectionist. If I had finished the back then noticed I’d have lived with it….but it’s still relatively close by.
So what they are strangely reticent to mention in any knitting books is how to correct your f*&k ups. They maybe address stocking stitch but on the subject of a lace pattern I suspect they take a more matronly approach; “correct it? why you shouldn’t have made the mistake in the first place”. The first time you do a lace pattern this is hugely frustrating, in fact correcting mistakes is the hardest thing about lace patterns. I remember wondering what on earth I do. You cannot, and I repeat, CANNOT just pull it off the needles and rip it back unless you have a lifeline in there (see youtube clip below). You have to take it back stitch by stitch. Yep, you heard me correctly. This is not for the faint hearted or lacking in patience.
You have to have got to the point where you can correct stocking stitch easily and understand which way stitches should sit before you attempt lace. When I frog back lace I have the right side facing me, then almost reverse knit using the left needle. Use the left needle to go into the underneath loop of the stitch on the right. It’s a bit difficult to demonstrate when you have the camera in one hand to be honest. In these first pics the right side is facing me.
Here there was a s1 k2tog psso. So you have to CAREFULLY pull that out and pop the 3 stitches back on the left needle. Keep a crochet hook at hand just in case you drop one.
The stitches should always go right side over to left over the needle so the below one is correct…
The below is incorrect as the left side is at the front then going to the right behind. You’d need to correct that.
Yarn overs are what make the frogging particularly hard. In these I am frogging across the back (purl), I’m about to pick up the yarn over with the left needle. I’d go in the front of the loop.
In all honesty I think you just have to learn the hard way. I’d even suggest doing a test swatch of your lace pattern then making an error to try correcting it. It’ll give you an idea if you are ready to tackle a lace project.
You can utilise lifelines:
Never done this myself but then I might with a really difficult pattern. I have done a lifeline in retrospect; you can use a needle and sew through a row (if you have ‘rest’ rows i.e.; all purl) so you can rip it back.
Of course the best way to avid rows of frogging back is to check check CHECK once you’ve done a row it’s right. My issue is that I knit whilst watching TV so my concentration is not quite what it might be (especially when it’s Alistair Sooke aka arty sensitive posh tottie on BBC 4). Some patterns you do really do need to focus and not stare at the pretty men.
Of course I’m not the expert so if anyone has and handy hints for lace frogging, do share!