Published on January 17th, 2016 | by Angie


Knitting fails to make you cringe

In honor of #FrogOrFinish month, we’re sharing some of our most painful knitting fails that lead to frogging a project. 

Dropped stitches, tension problems, and epic fails, oh my! As a knitter, you’re bound to experience some kind of crafting disaster sooner or later. While these problems are painful in the moment, it can make for a funny story once the pain fades – right?

Hero’s tale of woe

Curse of the blue yarn… Short by 26 stitches. Got to rip it entirely. #knitting #knittingfail

A photo posted by Hero (@sidandjane) on


“I had to rip my whole cardigan up to the sleeves because I cast on the wrong number of stitches!”

Ouch. That looks like it hurt.

Marie’s dropped stitches

“Not sure what happened for the blue stripey (After The Rain) I must have dropped a stitch and never noticed as I only found that after I had washed and blocked and tried it on!  😀  I haven’t had the heart to fix it either its still holey in my wardrobe – can’t bear to look at it. “

Knitting fails: hidden dropped stitch causes an epic fail that Marie can't bear to fix.


“The second one is a scarf I’ve been working on and is the result of staying up too late desperate to finish ‘one more row!’  trying to pick up dropped stitches when half asleep is NOT a good idea!!   That scarf is still a WIP.”

Marie's dropped stitch fix attempt - knitting fails at LoveKnitting

What have we learned? Should we knit while tired?

Knitting fails: don't knit while tired. Don't do it. Really.

Pauline’s sock fail

“How about making a pair of socks for each member of my family for Christmas, 4 in total and out of that 4 only 1 person can wear their socks?

So my very first pair of socks was in worsted yarn for my brother in law. My tension was so tight he cannot get them on his foot…. Considering this was my first ever pair of socks however, I’m not surprised.

The second pair of socks for my sister who is married to the man who got the first pair of socks, they are too long in the foot and the heel has way too much back material, it’s like the heel is trying to escape.


The fourth and final pair of socks I made for my mum and I believe she wears them proudly and gloats as it looks as the the first 3 pairs of socks were just practice for her perfect pair.”

Pauline's knitting fail: socks that don't fit. Was this dog wearing Pauline's socks?
Pauline, did you make this dog’s socks too?

My own tension fail, mixed with a pattern fail

Once upon a time, in a land far away, I decided to try knitting my first pattern that wasn’t solely made up of rectangles. I decided to make a vest!

Unfortunately, not only did I make a huge mistake in the cable panel, I also didn’t check my tension, and ended up with a vest that was about 9 inches too short. Oops.

Angie's knitting fail - dropped stitch in a cable panel and too tight tension

See that strange looking blob in the cable on the right? Not only did I mess up the cable panel, I also dropped some stitches and didn’t realize it until I was binding off for the arm holes – another victim of sleepy knitting.

Another one bites the dust - knitting fails and frogs

As you can probably guess, it got frogged all the way out and rewound into balls. They are still sitting at the bottom of my stash in solitary confinement, serving out their punishment. My knitting fails may not be numerous, but they are impressively painful.

Jenni’s total save

No knitter is a stranger to tension and gauge problems – poor Jenni fell into the tension trap when she tried to make a hat. It turned out just a little bit too big.

knitting fails: Jenni's too-big hat

Hmm, that hat looks a little big, I wonder what Jenni did with it? Did she frog it out, or did she decide to pioneer a new fashion of huge hats that obscure your vision?

Knitting fail turned knitting win - a too big hat turned into a basket

What was once a hat, is now a versatile yarn basket. I think we can call that a knitting win.

Own up – what are your knitting fails? Share pictures of yours on Instagram and Twitter with #KnittingFail!

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Knitting Fails

About the Author

Jack of all trades, Master of Netflix and video games. A musician by passion, a gamer by choice, and a crafter by chance: I write about knitting and crochet, design fun patterns, and blog at GamerCrafting!

Last updated: January 14th, 2016.

20 Responses to Knitting fails to make you cringe

  1. Breenah says:

    I’m working on double knitting, for the second time ever, and thought I had misplaced some stitches, so I frogged two rows only to realize that I hadn’t made a mistake. That’s more annoying to me.

    • Angie says:

      Hi Breenah,

      I did that 2 weeks ago with a project that I was convinced that I had messed up decreases on..and it was right all along! Very infuriating, indeed. Happy (happier) knitting!

  2. amanda says:

    on a cold and miserable Sunday, Jenni’s hat made me laugh loud enough to make my husband come in to find out what was wrong. Thank you.

  3. Annie Jones says:

    Earlier last year I casted on 122 stitches to make a vest for my husband. I knitted about 3″ of the ribbing when I realized it was long enough to go entirely around my husband’s waist. I had casted on 222 stitches! Had to frog it back to the beginning!

    • Gillian Williams says:

      Easy done.. My eyes c oss when counting stitch s.. 100…200 easy mistake.. Could someone explain what frogging is?? Failing…Flinging…??? Happy knitting! Ever tried continental knitting? X

  4. Karen Kelly says:

    Discovered LoveKnitting about a month ago, had to read this Blog as I was curious to what “frogging” was! I live in USA and have never heard that term before. So funny, we just call it “Ripping out Stitches”. I had an idea what frogging was and now I know! I enjoy knitting too and started in the 1960’s. I actually have knitting withdrawal if I finish one project and do not have yarn for the next! HAPPY KNITTING EVERYONE no matter where you live!

  5. MA Salmon says:

    I knit an aran cable cardigan jacket, lots of cables and stitch patterns. On seaming the back to the sleeves I discovered that most of the back was knit with a slightly different shade of red even though all the skeins were marked as the same dye lot. Had to reknit the entire back with new yarn kindly provided by the yarn shop. Used a good part of the old back as a special car seat baby blanket. A save!

  6. Dianne Mulligan says:

    One more row late at night when we’re sleepy must be a weakness in a lot of us. One night as I was getting in “one more row,” I accidentally dropped a stitch. I quickly realized that dropping a stitch in a lace pattern can expand exponentially. Well, six lost rows later, I was still trying to catch up. I was just happy that I managed to frog it back far enough to pick up the stitches in pattern. It’s so good to hear that I’m not the only one!

  7. Hannah says:

    I spent ages knitting my nephew a cuddly toy on tiny 2mm needles – I was sewing all the pieces together but wasn’t happy with the way the base joined the body so decided to redo it – went to snip the seam thread and snipped the body (the bit that had taken the longest to knit) by accident instead, which proceeded to unravel in my hands. The project still languishes unfinished in my bag and my nephew got a book instead.

  8. Kathy says:

    I am just knitting real things for the first time, I made my daughter an afghan for Christmas. I cannot read instructions or do I know how to make anything that isn’t rectangle. So I look for patterns that are easy.

  9. Barbara says:

    A sweater for my sister-in-law from a beautiful (and expensive) ruby merino was discovered, upon blocking the back and sides, to be big enough for Dumbo’s mother. I frogged it and started again. The gauge was prefect. I ran out of yarn with 2 inches to go on the second sleeve. I threw it in the closet uttering words which would make a sailor blush. I forgave it after a few years and unkinked it, but if it gets used at all it will be for an unshaped shawl.

  10. Roberta says:

    Jenni’s hat definitely gave me a great laugh! I love her yarn basket – great save! I’m still working on my latest knitting fail(?). I started out to make a shawl (easy enough), then decided that I didn’t have enough yarn to finish so I ripped it and decided to make a scarf (ok). Well, by the time the scarf was nearing (no joke) 7 feet long, I decided that I definitely had enough yarn for a shawl and proceeded to rip the scarf out. I have now gone through several different stitches, three different needle sizes, and I THINK I have finally found a pattern that will work with me to make a reader’s wrap (shawl with pockets). We’ll see…

  11. Sharon says:

    Jenni isn’t the only one with a too big hat. Mine can’t be used as a yarn basket, it’s that BIG of a failure. Only one thing to do. Rrrrrrriiiiiippppp it!! Rrrrrriiiipppp it good!

  12. Jenny says:

    Just started knitting again as expecting my first grandchild. Knitted a lot in my 20’s, tried crocheting once, not very successful as the top ended up as a cushion cover!

  13. Marianne says:

    So I was knitting a very complicated lace pattern scarf 24 rows of pattern. Put it away for a while could not remember what row I was on my knitting shop figured it out but alas I saw a big mistake way at the start so I now have a nice ball of yarn at the bottom of the basket for later frustration.

  14. Cherry says:

    Laughed so much at Jenni’s hat I broke two ribs coughing (I currently have bronchitis). About 34 years ago I made my mother an Aran cardigan, unfortunately just before I finished it my father passed away and my mother lost a huge amount of weight, so I unpicked it and knitting a smaller size aran cardigan. By the time I’d finished it she had put on all the weight back on. I unpicked it again and knitting my year old daughter 4 aran jumpers. My mother is still waiting for an Aran cardigan.

  15. Carrie anne says:

    Thank you ladies. Big laugh, and I admire honesty. Why do you undo Arans with a wrong twist? It’s the personalisation and shows the love and hardwork that’s been put in. Without that you could give a machine made one.

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