The truths no one sees

I’ve been having the sort of week (well, 10 days, really), where I’ve got several different projects on the go and have been trying to make steady progress on them all at the same time. What that usually means, of course, is that you do make progress but in small and gradually incremental amounts, and it’s hard to see it when it’s scattered across so many projects.

But progress is being made, and on Monday I moved on to the first sleeve of the Uji cardigan, having finished the back the week before. By this point I honestly meant to be well into the second sleeve already. It was the knitting I was baiting myself with to make progress on some of the other knitting and, well, it just didn’t quite make it in there for most of the week.

Mar8-Uji

I did do something else with it though, which was to go back to fix a niggling mistake so that it wouldn’t be waiting for me at the very final end of the sweater finishing. See that little orange thingie just above the ribbing, at the side?

Mar8-Uji2

That, my friends, is a dropped stitch.

Back when I cast on for the ribbing, I had the right number of stitches, then after I did the increase row before beginning the cabled pattern, I also had the right number of stitches. Then at some point when I got almost to the very end of a row while doing the pattern, I was missing a stitch. All of the cabled pattern section looked fine (minimal though it was at that point), nothing seemed amiss, so I just increased another stitch and went on my way. A few inches later I did notice it – a cheerful little dropped stitch, sitting there with its loop greeting me right there on the right side of the work.

I could have done a couple of things at that point – including some things much more proper than what I did do. I could have ripped back the 3-4 inches of work that I’d accumulated at that point, and re-knitted with the rescued dropped stitch. I could have used a crochet hook to scoop down through 3-4 inches worth of rows (many including cables) to bring the dropped stitch back up to the row I was working on, then worked a decrease to bring me back to the right number for my row.

I did none of these things. I stuck a closeable stitch marker in it and kept knitting.

Mar8-Stitch1

So then it got to this week and I decided to deal with it in the manner I knew I was going to deal with it. First I massaged it around so that the stitch was now sticking out towards the wrong side of the work.

Mar8-Stitch2

Then I got out a bit of yarn and my tapestry needle…

Mar8-Stitch3

…ran the yarn through the dropped stitch, and through some loops on the wrong side of the work…

Mar8-Stitch4

…and tied that sucker down. (My knots were pretty firm, too.)

Mar8-Stitch5

Now, if I wanted to save a bit of propriety here, I would have woven in those long ends from the safety yarn back through the wrong side of the work, and then trimmed them afterwards. Did I do that?

No, I did not.

Mar8-Stitch6

I snipped the long ends so that two little short ones of about an inch long are now happily sitting there sticking out from the makeshift knot, and I couldn’t care in the slightest that it’s a bit messy. This little knot will be sitting almost directly next to a side seam in the cardigan, where no one will ever notice it anyway. At least, if they haven’t read my blog. But just between you and me, knitter friends, that’s what I did, and I’ll sleep well tonight.

And that is the true story of how I didn’t let a dropped stitch ruin my life. The end.

Have a fabulous weekend, and knit something awesome – it’ll still be awesome even if you drop a stitch. Until next time!

Pattern: Uji, by Ann-Marie Jackson
Yarn: Knit Picks Cadena, in cranberry

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39 Comments

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39 responses to “The truths no one sees

  1. thanks for being totally honest!! it is appreciated!
    ^)^ linda

  2. That’s exactly how I handle dropped stitches…I hold it on a locking stitch marker and tack it down. Still loving that sweater design and color..are you sure we’re not twins separated at birth?

  3. Zeeknits

    Not a Virgo huh?

  4. I like your style! That’s the way to do it, for sure.

  5. Sarah JS

    Working on a super bulky afghan and am using “magic knot” for joining new yarn. True, full on knot. And I’m sleeping well these nights, too.

  6. Karen

    :) I’d have done the same.

  7. Lissa

    You left out one thing you could’ve done, which was say, “Oh crap.”

    And then tack it down.

    (At least that’s how it’s done at my house. ;-)

  8. Snicker snicker snicker! Clever knitter. ;)

  9. Denise Clendening

    I believe we have all solved a dropped stitch issue in somewhat the same way. Bless you :)

  10. Linda

    Thank you so much. I have a dropped stitch on an Aran sweater that is partially completed and I wasn’t sure what to do with it.

  11. Hate that when it happens… I use the same little orange marker.

  12. LaTonya

    You rock!

  13. Brilliant!!!!!!!! I know what I’m doing with those pesky dropped stitches from now on. Well at least the ones near a seam anyway. Oh and I absolutely love that cardigan your working on!

  14. I love it and have done that too! Love the look of your sweater, it’s going to be gorgeous :)

  15. Marjorie

    Yet again another example as to why you are my hero!! Really looking forward to seeing the finished sweater :)

  16. I’ve totally done that. Such an easy alternative!

  17. Why complicate things? There are no clean cut rules, I say go with whatever works for you! :-)
    The colour of that yarn is amazing!!!

  18. Carrie

    Good for you!

  19. I love you! You inspire me to keep going!!!!

  20. JK Ducharme

    Had my first knitting class today and Loved it! Your blog soothed my Type A personality. I’ll enjoy my knitting and embrace the mistakes as I learn!

  21. I love your confidence! You did things your own way and you don’t care who knows!

  22. Be careful! The Knitting Police are out there looking for ticket-able infractions.

  23. Sounds like what I might do. way to go!

  24. Hahahahaha that is exactly what I do when I drop a stitch. And I don’t feel a bit bad :P

  25. I’ve done that! Except I wove in my ends. Glenna, I must say that I am surprised, yet somehow comforted, to hear that an expert such as yourself still experiences the same problems as us common folk.

  26. It makes me feel much better that ‘proper’ knitters do this too! Thank you :D

  27. Yvette – sometimes I am totally The Good Knitter and weave in all ends just right, but then some times like this one I just say oh heck with it, this will not matter that much, and go ahead and make the easy fix. After all, it’s my sweater, damnit! I get to decide! ;)

    G

  28. Exactly what I would do. A knitter after my own heart.

  29. I affirm your decision. That was the smartest thing to do.

  30. love this post. made me chucke quite when thinking of all the wIp’s i have going on at the same time and the fact that you just tied a little knot in it and didnt even care. I LOVE IT! makes me feel better that I am not alone out there. great.

  31. Great post. Reminds me to keep some perspective about my knitting errors. It reminds me to focus on the objective and that I enjoy knitting, instead of wasting energy and fretting.

  32. I love the texturing on your cardigan. That’s probably exactly what I would have done if I were you.

  33. This is such a great lesson for new knitters! You don’t have to freak out about a dropped stitch. There are many ways to save the project without undoing all of your hard work.

    I love the design in the cardigan. It looks fantastic!

  34. Great attitude and a great lesson on how to not let a mishap get you down. Love the color you chose for the cardigan.

  35. gina

    i do the same thing! but i must admit i don’t tie a know and i do weave in the ends but…..

  36. Ripping out that much of a sweater is enough to suck the life out of you. I’d do the same thing as you did.

  37. Absolutely right decision. I’ve never dared to try my hand at a cardigan yet, but even ripping a couple of rows from a smaller project is enough to drive me insane (so I usually don’t and try to cover the mistake somehow).
    Have a lovely Easter! :)

  38. And that’s how it’s done!

  39. Thank you! I just frogged a sock for the 3rd time…ugh.