Sunday Stitch – How to Tink

Tinking is not much fun. But sometimes you need to undo that knitting and then you only have two choices: pull out the needles and start ripping, or undo one stitch at a time. Tinking is the one stitch-at-a-time way.

Did you know that Tink is knit spelled backwards? I didn’t. A student of mine had to point that out to me. And I should have known that not only because its pretty obvious (duh), but tinking is undoing knitting by working your needles in reverse.

Let Do Some Tinking

In the video below I start with a plain piece of stockinette and then move on to lace. One of the reasons tinking is hard to get the hang of is because each stitch is tinked differently. A k2tog is made differently from a ssk. It has to be tinked differently. In the video I show how to tink:

  • knits
  • purls
  • yarn overs (those are dead simple)
  • knit 2 togthers
  • slip, slip, knits

Knit on with confidence (as Elizabeth Zimmermann said) and when you have to tink, do that with confidence too. If you have a lot of stitches to tink out you may need to find some quiet, bad-cat-free time. Go find a cup of coffee too. Don’t try to rush it. Tinking seems to require more concentration than knitting for some reason.

Like this video? I have more knitting tutorials and you might like those too. There are also tutorials for crochet and handspinning. And if you have a topic you want to see covered that I haven’t done, let me know. I take requests.


10 thoughts on “Sunday Stitch – How to Tink

  1. Really well explained. Thanks so much.
    I’ve had to tink quite a bit at times, and worked out most of it by luck and error, but you explain it really well.
    Now … how do you do a “sl1 k1 psso” ?
    (not that I need to right now, I’m almost finished that project) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad it was helpful. And those decreases made with slipped stitches are a PAIN. If you ever need to tink those

      step 1) say a dirty word
      step 2) pass the stitch to the left needle
      step 3) pull the slipped-and-passed-over stitch up and over to the right needle using the right tip
      step 4) slip the “k1” part over to the right needle
      step 5) tink the “k1”, & pass the “slipped stitch” over to the left needle



  2. Well, now I know why my ssk and purl tinks are always twisted! Not that it has been a huge deal, I usually just go through the back loop the second go-around or reverse it when I get back to them. Thanks Jenn!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Notice that here is no tutorial on this site for putting a whole row of stitches back on a needle. That’s because when I do it, those stitches are always twisted. 🙂 And I don’t much care! Like you you, I just fix it as I knit the next row.

      Tinking and ripping… the important part is to get the stitch on the needle before it drops and runs. Right? right.

      Liked by 1 person

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