What Is Frogging Knitting?

Among all the questions asked about knitting techniques and quick fixes, one of the most common is: what is frogging knitting? Frogging knitting is the simple process of removing your needles and pulling out lines or sections of stitches after you have made a mistake, whether you are an experienced knitter or a relative newbie, it’s easy to go wrong and frustrating to start again. But never fear, it happens to the best of us! Here is our handy guide to keeping calm (and carrying on) while you’re frogging your latest knitting project. 

To Frog Or Not To Frog?

You’ve been happily working on a knitting project, and all of a sudden you notice a dropped stitch, a hole in your fabric, or a change in tension – you have a dilemma. Should you unravel all the stitches before your mistake, or continue knowing there’s an imperfection in your project?

There is a maddening range of factors to consider before you pick either of these options. You might pull out more stitches than you first intend, drop a loop when you’re threading stitches back onto your needles post-frog, or find a stitch is travelling in the wrong direction. Frogging can be a minefield.

Sometimes the hazards can outweigh the original error, things like a yarn being missed or an errant decrease can be written off (no one but you will know it was ever there).

However, in the event you’re facing the genuine prospect of frogging large swathes of your knitting, it’s important not to rush in.

Keep Calm and Carry On

Frustration and strong emotional reactions can take a toll when you’ve spent hours working on a project only to have to undo great chunks of your knitting.

It’s essential not to make decisions in haste, a calm mind and a steady hand is the best way to ensure frogging your knitting will succeed so that your project can be your best work every time.

Refocusing your attention elsewhere for some time promotes mindfulness, a state of flow which is scientifically proven to reduce markers of anxiety, depression, improve self-confidence, raise levels of cognition and remove irritating distractions.

So feel free to walk away, take a breather and return to your work when the time feels right.

How To Frog

When you’re ready to get frogging, make sure you have a steady table to place your work upon with plenty of natural light. Slip the needle from the stitches, carefully (enough to identify each loop) pull the yarn until you have undone your mistake. It is advisable to remove an extra row for good measure. Afterwards thread the stitches back onto the needle in the right direction (begin at the opposing end), with your leading yarn closest to the tip of your needle, making it easy for you to start again. 

If this proves too nerve-wracking, it may be time to safeguard your projects by using lifelines.


If you find that you often pull out too many stitches when you’re frogging your knitting, lifelines may be for you. Lifelines prevent you from losing too many stitches and damaging your work beyond repair – think of them as a safety net! To practice, follow our simple steps:

1) Choose a spot where you want to create a lifeline – the final stitch of a pattern repeat is an excellent option.

2) Remove your needle from the loops.

3) Thread a simple to use yarn (in a contrasting colour) through your existing stitches to create a (temporary) line through your knitting, preventing you from frogging too far beyond your mistake.

4) Slide the stitches back onto your needle and knit fearlessly to your heart’s content!

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