09 April 2008

Lace surgery, part deux

Wow! You all! Thanks for all the kind words! But it really looks way more impressive than it is. All lace surgery really takes is some patience and a towel to wipe your sweaty palms. Once you get past the shock of ripping the lace out, this method is very straightforward!

When I first tried fixing lace mistakes, I didn't pin them and I usually got messed up with the yarn overs. Yarn overs twist two rows of yarn together in such a way that it is difficult to differentiate between rows. Which brings us to my biggest problem: joining the already knitted section of lace with the newly knitted section without twisting the yarn together and mixing up the rows. Am I making sense? I hope?

So here's the process I followed to make sure that I didn't twist those rows into the wrong order! First, I looked at the piece of lace and figured out exactly what needed to be ripped in order to fix the mistake. I made sure no other stitches would be dropped in the process (I put point protectors on my needles) and I ripped those rows back one by one, making sure I could tell the order of the yarn strands by pinning them out. I put the stitches on the dpn and grabbed my chart to compare to the mess patient. I wanted to be sure not to put in extra yarn overs, so I compared the edge stitches particularly carefully. I recognized that the odd tangle on either side of the ripped area:

resulted from knitting yarn overs together with other stitches on subsequent rows, so I knew that the edge stitch in the ripped area was not a yarn over. That meant it was a k2tog or an ssk. I counted the stitches across and determined the exact spot that I had ripped. I marked it on my chart. This is the area I re-knit:

As I re-knit the piece, I checked to make sure that I was, indeed, not missing a yarn over. As you can see here:

the yarn over looks totally normal when the row is knit across. After that, it was only a matter of following the chart for every row. Kind of a pain, but not terrible. The chart is pretty straightforward. And with the pins holding the rows, I even left part of it over night when the light got bad, and picked it up again in the morning. This is really, totally, something you all can do. The pins make a giant difference! And even without caffeine, no children, spouses or pets were harmed during the process. :)

I hope I made sense. But if not, please feel free to ask questions! You can all do this!

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Blogger Anne said...


While you don't make it look easy (lol!) you do make it look a bit more reasonable to tackle!

Thanks for showing this in such detail.

4:49 AM  
Blogger Leisa said...

Thank you again! This made the process more clear. I have always been a great frogger, but now have hope of not pulling out all that previous work.

7:59 AM  
Blogger Yarnhog said...

Wow. Like most knitters, I've laddered down to correct mistakes--even complex ones--but never like that! It never occurred to me to pin it all out like that, either. I think I'll try that next time.

10:18 AM  
Blogger Trish - My Merino Mantra said...

My brain is reeling! Brilliant! I guess you shouldn't look at my lace surgery I just did (uh, it involves scissors!!)

12:47 PM  
Blogger vanessa said...

wow, success is suweet!

7:01 PM  
Blogger Christine R said...

Thank you! Your photos made me brave enough to try it and I just fixed a panel that I'd botched 10 rows back.

10:42 PM  
Blogger Lorette said...

Thanks you for posting about fixing lace! I have a completed shawl with a snag and a hole in the middle, and have been staring at it for months. Now I at least have a clue as to how to go about it!

12:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thanks for taking time to explain this sooo well.

Study, study, study...
sweat, sweat, sweat...
rip, rip, rip...

6:54 AM  
Blogger Miki said...

I'm awed by your surgery and thankful for it. I've used this method on a lace scarf I was working and managed to fix it without too much crying. However, I now find myself in a different dilemma and I'm not sure how to fix the patient. What do you do when your mistake is in the first 10 stitches of the row, and the beginning of all rows is a Sl1,P1? Working in the middle of a section was no problem but this one has me stumped. It's a 110 stitch shawl, worked flat, with a 12 row, 16 st repeat and all odd rows are purled. I could use some advice.

I can be found on Ravelry as MikiSunshine.

9:59 PM  

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