I know many of you believe that at some point your days of ripping out rows and rows of knitting will be over. You dream of some distant point in the future when you will be experienced enough to only go forward and never go back. Sorry, but I don’t think that is going to happen.
Some of Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s best blog posts are about ripping out. There is the shawl that she cast on 10 times or this post, just last week. As much as she knits, if she is still ripping things out, there is really no hope for the rest of us.
For example, I’m making a sweater out of Fibre Co.’s fabulous Acadia, a slubby blend of merino, alpaca, and silk. I love this yarn! It has a silky hand and the color is iridescent. I’ve already used several skeins with no problem and then I looked down and saw this:
See where I started my last skein? These skeins all came from the same dye lot. I know, because I scooped up the whole bag before it ever even hit the shelf. I’m guessing this happened because the fibers in this skein didn’t twist the same way that the fibers in the other skeins did. You can see it is a little less slubby than the previous skein, so maybe more of the bronze colored merino ended up on the outside of the strand. Who knows!
To fix it, I slipped my stitches off the needle and I ripped back all the rows I had knit with the new skein and a few rows of the old skein. Then I started knitting again, alternating two rows of one skein and two rows of the other. It blurs the line, so that your eye isn’t drawn to the spot where I changed colors. (We often recommend this technique when working with hand dyed yarns that rarely match from skein to skein.)
If you look closely, you’ll still see a little variation, but it isn’t a long straight line anymore. And honestly, a little variation is what I love about artisan yarn.
Need help (or moral support) ripping something back without losing your stitches? Stop in or take a look at this video.