Fixing Mistakes with Frogging Knitting

When you are a knitter, you can create one-of-a-kind gifts for your family and friends. Making these items can be time-consuming, but the final outcomes are well worth it.  However, all of us know that mistakes can happen.

And when they do, you either throw the project away or rip out the stitches. But before you start ripping out your stitches, learn how to do frogging knitting the right way.

Fixing Mistakes with Frogging Knitting

What is Frogging Knitting?

So, you are probably asking yourself what is frogging in knitting. It is a very strange term. Frogging is a technique to fix mistakes. It is a simple process that incorporates removing the needle and sections of stitches.

The name frogging knitting is a fun play on words. When you are pulling out the yarn, this is called ripping. So, you are ripping, ripping, ripping. Which kind of sounds like ribbit, ribbit, ribbit.

easy frogging knitting tutorial
Craft | Frog or Finish – When to Rip Those Handknit Projects into Something New by Nadia of Cottage Notebook

Frogging Knitting VS Tinking Knitting

There are two methods you can use undue knitting to correct a mistake. These techniques are frogging and tinking.

3 Methods for Frogging Knitting

tinking frogging knitting

There are a few different methods you can use for frogging knitting. All the methods are easy to use. Just choose the one that is easiest for you.

How to Frog Knitting

Method 1

In method 1, you will remove all your stitches until you get to the row under your mistake. Then you will use your knitting needle to pick up the row of stitches.

how to frogging knitting
Better Than Frogging: Sleeves by Interweave Editorial Staff

1.    Locate the mistake and mark it.

2.    Remove your needles from the project.

3.    Lay the project down flat on a table.

4.    Carefully pull the working yarn to undo your knitting. Do this slowly and gently, row by row.

5.    When you get to the row where the mistake is, continue to pull the thread. But do this one loop at a time. Insert your needle into the first loop under the “mistake row.” Pull the thread out of the next loop. Pick up the next loose loop.

Pull the thread out of the next loop. Pick up the next loose loop. Do this all the way across your project. Always make sure to keep your loops facing the correct direction.

6.    You are now ready to begin knitting again.

Method 2

In method 2, you will make a lifeline. The lifeline is a piece of yarn that is a totally different colour than your project. You thread the yarn through the stitches under the row where the mistake was made.

When you use this method, you will not have to watch for the mistake. And once the yarn has been ripped out; it is easier to insert your knitting needle without twisting stitches.

1.    Locate the mistake.

2.    Thread a tapestry needle with a different colour yarn.

3.    Use the needle and yarn to pick up the stitches (under the right leg) below the “mistake row.”  The yarn should stick out on both sides of your project. This is your safety line.

4.    Remove your needles from the project.

5.    Lay the project down flat on a table.

6.    Carefully pull the working yarn to undo your knitting. Do this slowly and gently, row by row until you get to the safety line.

7.    Insert the needle into the stitches where the safety line is located.

8.    Pull out the safety line.

9.    You are now ready to begin knitting again.

Method 3

In method 3, you will use your knitting needle in place of the lifeline. This method is a little harder than method 2 due to the fact it can be more difficult to fit the needle through the stitches.

1.    Locate the mistake.

2.    Use your knitting needle to pick up the stitches (under the right leg) below the “mistake row.” 

3.    Remove the top needle from the project.

4.    Lay the project down flat on a table.

5.    Carefully pull the working yarn to undo your knitting. Do this slowly and gently, row by row until you get to the needle you inserted into the row below the “mistake row”.

6.    You are now ready to begin knitting again.

Tinking Knitting

frogging knitting mistakes
Knit, frog, re-do by Spinnery

The tinking knitting method is the best method to use when you notice you made a mistake right away. In the tinking method, you are removing your knitting backward. And if you have not noticed yet, knit backward spells tink. 

1.    Locate the mistake and mark it.

2.    Carefully work backward, removing each stitch one at a time. To do this, take the tip of the left needle and put it in the stitch below the last stitch.

3.    Pull the stitch off.

4.    Tug gently on the working yarn to undo the stitch.

5.    Repeat steps 2-4 until you have removed the mistake.

6.    You are now ready to begin knitting again.

Tips to Avoid Knitting Mistakes

Making a mistake can be frustrating, and we all do it. But there are some things you can do to avoid knitting mistakes.

  • If you are tired or frustrated, take a break. When you are not in your right mind, it is easier to make a mistake.
  • Never stop knitting in the middle of a row. Always finish a row before you put it down.
  • Look at your work regularly so you can catch mistakes right away.
  • Pay attention to the type of yarn you are using. Different yarns have different conversions.
  • Weigh your yarn before you start your project. This way you will not run out.
  • Push each stitch up the needle to make sure they are not too tight.

How Does a Lifeline Save Your Stitches?

how to make a lifeline frogging knitting

Without a doubt, ripping or unknitting your work brings a lot of hassle. That’s why lifelines will save the day!

Lifelines are literally a yarn line that will help you to avoid too much ripping whenever there’s a mistake. It is more of a lock line in every knit row.

Through this, you can quickly determine where the mistake belongs, so you do not need to make any mark every time you are trying to trace it and fix it. So how do you put a lifeline on your knit projects? 

  1. First, you need a yarn needle and smooth yarn in it. Better if the yarn’s color is different from the color of your knit project so you can distinguish your lifeline right away.
  2. Run your yarn needle all throughout in a specific row and leave it there as you continue your work. 

And that’s how you put a lifeline. As long as you have this, there is no reason to rip your entire knitwork.

Some knit makers think ahead of time that they put a lifeline in every two rows so they can retrieve their stitches without any frustrations of repeating their work again and again.

How To Straighten Curled Yarn from Frogging Knitting

how to fix frogging knitting
What Is Frogging? by BHookedCrochet

After you have ripped out your stitches using the frogging method, the yarn will be kinked. If you did not have to remove too many stitches, this should not be a problem.

However, if you remove a lot of stitches, and you cannot work with the kinked yarn, you can straighten it.

One of the best ways to straighten your yarn is by steaming it. You can use an iron for steaming, or simply place the yarn in a strainer over boiling water.

Frequently Asked Questions About Frogging Knitting

What is frogging in knitting?

Frogging in knitting is the process of unravelling stitches. The technique is usually used to correct a mistake or make a change to a project.

When is frogging needed in knitting?

Frogging is needed in knitting when you have made a mistake that is not easy to fix. Some of these mistakes may include dropping a stitch, creating an unintentional hole, or knitting the wrong stitch. Frogging can also be used when you need to adjust the size or shape of your project.

How do I frog my knitting?

To frog your knitting, remove the needles and gently pull on the yarn to remove stitches. Stop once you get to the mistake or the point where you need to start over. It is a good idea to mark the spot with a stitch marker before you begin frogging.

After you have frogged the stitches, you can pick up the last stitch on your needles again and continue knitting.

Does frogging my knitting damage the yarn?

Frogging your knitting project can cause some wear and tear to the yarn. However, if you are gentle and do not tug too hard, the yarn should not experience significant damage.

It is important to note that certain types of yarn made from delicate fibres are more prone to damage from frogging. Loosely wound yarn can also be easily damaged.

Why is it called frogging knitting?

The term “frogging” comes from the “ribbit, ribbit” sound a frog makes. When unravelling stitches, the frogging knitting process causes a similar sound. Some knitters also refer to frogging as “ripping it, ripping it.”

Is frogging and tinking the same thing in knitting?

No, frogging and tinking are not the same thing in knitting. Frogging completely unravels stitches to a certain point in your project. Tinking involves undoing stitches one by one.

Tink spelled backward is knit. It is a slower and more precise process than frogging. Frogging is often used when you need to undo a large section. Tinking is done when you need to undo a small section.

Can frogged yarn be reused for knitting?

Yes, you can reuse frogged yarn as long as it is not damaged during the frogging process. After the yarn is unraveled, wind it back into a ball and carefully inspect the yarn for any damage or stretching. In general, reusing frogged yarn can save you money and reduce waste.


If you made a mistake, it is okay. We all do it. Do not get upset. Instead, have faith in yourself and fix it. Once you try frogging knitting you will see just how easy it is.

If you are new to knitting, don’t miss to check out these articles: Best Knitting Stitch Holders, Needle Size Conversion, Yarn Weights Categories, Best Knitting Sets for beginners.

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