Fixing a Mistake in Cabled Knitting

Oh No! I’ve made a mistake in my Cabled Knitting project! And it’s 4 rows back!

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Now what?? I’ve held my cable needle to the front instead of the back!

It’s not as difficult as you may think to fix this. I don’t have to rip out the last 4 rows and do them again. Wheew!

In order to fix this mistake, I need to have on hand, 2 safety pins designed for knitting and a crochet hook. These are things I keep in my bag at all times, because you never know when you might need to fix something.

To begin, I work my way, following my pattern, to the spot where I made the error (several rows below).

I know that my mistake was 4 rows back because the cable is only worked on row 1 of 4 and I have just completed row 4.  So I must count 4 rows from the needle and place a safety pin on the stitch below the error. This is a 4 stitch cable, meaning 2 on the cable needle and 2 that were knit. This means I will need to place a safety pin on the next stitch as well.


Now for the scary part. Drop the 2 live stitches off of the needles. Don’t worry, the pins will stop the stitches below from unraveling.


You will notice a hole in your knitting, just on the other side of the 2 columns of stitches to the left of the dropped stitches.


Slip the safety pins through this hole. Bring them behind the stitches to the right of the hole and back out to the front.


Next insert the crochet hook into the stitch on the pin (I like to leave the pin in place until I have completed the fix). Reach around in front of the 2 rows of stitches still on the needle. Hook the 1st strand of the “ladder” and pull it through the stitch. This creates a new knit stitch.


You may have worked a simple stockinette repair in the past. It’s the same here. Continue to pull the ladder bars through the newly fixed stitch until all 4 have been worked. Do the same on the next pin.

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Now what happens if I make the mistake on the left slanting cable??

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It’s essentially the same process – in reverse.


Again, place your safety on the stitch where the mistake was made. In this case the pin goes on the 5th stitch again, because I and still fixing a mistake from 4 rows ago.


Drop the stitches above the pins. This time you will notice that the pins will pull themselves over to the left of the 2 columns of stitches that form the balance of the cable. Now the hole is adjacent to the pins.


Push the pins through the hole to the back of the knitting. Bring them around behind the other stitches, just below the 4 “ladders” that were formed when the stitches were dropped in a previous step.

Once again use a crochet hook to make the repairs to the ladder, making 4 stitches above each pin.

Now my cables go the right way! I have placed a green marker there now to remind myself when to cable left or right… Maybe I won’t mess up again…


But at least I know how to fix it if I do!


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