Fixing Mistakes in Stranded-Color Knitting

Pattern Chart

As some of you may know, I have been working on the Dot Dash Cowl, designed by Hilary Grant.  It has proven to be a simple, fun project.  Simple, however, does not necessarily mean knitting without mistakes.  In fact, within 20 rows or so, I made my first one. 

The Dot Dash Cowl, which is knitted in the round, requires a color stranding.  Included in the pattern are three charts with a 12-row design.  The pattern consists of four stitches and is repeated 20 times in a round.  As you can see, I use stitch markers to mark each of these repeats.  This helps me know sooner than later if my pattern is off.

Mistake Caught

In this pattern, the colorwork begins on the first row with two colors.  Most of the time, you use two colors at a time.  Every 24 rows (Chart Main A), there is a series of 12 transition rows (Charts Transition A or Transition B) where three colors are used.  As you can see (right), I placed my red color in the wrong place. The white circle shows the problem (two red stitches together).

I usually pull back and really look at my work every few rows to check that I’m on the right track.  It is easier to fix mistakes a couple of rows down than five or six.  I actually caught this error after the third round.  Since the pattern is simple and I was using two colors, it was easy to spot.  All I had to do was drop the offending stitch, unravel that stitch down, and rework it in the correct color (in this case, gray) to fix my mistake (see below).

Fixing a mistake

Fixing a color mistake can be a bit tricky because you carry two colors across the rows.  Knowing which ladder (the yarn that stretches from one stitch to the next) can be a challenge. Below is a great tutorial by Knitting I Love that demonstrates how to fix this type of mistake.  It is a good one to add to your library, just in case you make a similar mistake in the future.


If you do not want to use the right-hand needle to pick up the stitch and work it up the ladders, you might try using the Fix-A-Stitch Tool. I use the small one for sock and fingering yarn, the medium for DK, sport, and worsted, and the large for bulky weight yarns.

Fix a Stitch

After reading this, you might gather that I make a lot of mistakes.  Well, I seem to make plenty.  It has given me lots of practice fixing mistakes.  It’s not a bad way to spend my time.  I learn something new about a stitch, yarn, or pattern each time.  The good news is that making a mistake in stranded knitting should not require ripping our several rows of knitting, just a little patience.