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How to Tink (Unknit)

For mistakes in your knitting that are in your current row, tinking is your best friend!

Updated June 13, 2018
How to Tink Unknit
How to Tink Unknit
This image courtesy of AllFreeKnitting.com

Made a mistake? Tinking is your answer! "Tink" is simply the word "knit" spelled backward, and that's basically what it is, too. This technique is a great way for retracing your steps and fixing tiny mistakes that are in the same row you're currently working. From time to time, you might find other mistakes in rows a bit lower, but those are better saved for a technique called "frogging." Learn more about these two techniques with our guide to frogging vs. tinking.

With tinking, instead of tearing out your entire row of knitting, you work each stitch in reverse so you don't need to worry about losing stitches on rows you've already worked below the one you're trying to tear out. The next time you're knitting and you suddenly realize you've made a mistake, there's no reason to panic. Simply follow the instructions outlined in this video and use the "tinking" method to save yourself a lot of time and a lot of frustration.

Easy

Materials List

  • Yarn
  • Knitting needles

Instructions

To tink a completed row

  1. Put your working needle through the loop below your first stitch from back to front. This needle will be picking up the righthand loop of yarn from this stitch below.

  2. Sweep off the old stitch.

  3. Tug on your working yarn to release the stitch.

  4. Repeat that until you've tinked to the spot that you need to fix.

To tink in the middle of a row

  1. Insert your non-dominant needle into the loop below your first stitch from front to back.

  2. Sweep the old stitch off of your working needle.

  3. Tug on your working yarn to release the stitch.

  4. Repeat that until you've tinked to the spot that you need to fix.

A Note on Purl Stitches

Un-purling works exactly the same way as un-knitting. Simply insert your needle the same way you would to tink -- back to front for un-purling an entire row and front to back for un-purling within the same row. Then sweep the old stitch off and pull.

If anyone has any ideas for fun names for "un-purling" besides "lrup," let us know in the comments below!

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This is such a helpful video for knitters of all skill levels, because we're all human and we all make mistakes!

I'm still learning, so I've had to tink quite a bit in my first few projects. This video has been a lifesaver! Any plans for a video about how to unpurl? (Lrup?)

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