Back in 1888, Jack “The Ripper” terrorized London with a grizzly series of particularly ruthless and bloody murders of some East End prostitutes. This spawned endless conspiracy theories (it was the Prince of Wales, it was The Prince of Wales’ personal physician, It was Queen Victoria herself!), novels and any number of made for TV movies. Still no one knows who the Ripper was. But I’m hear to tell you that the Ripper has returned. I know, because I am the Ripper.
I have always considered myself to be a gentle person. A (relatively) calm person. A person who wouldn’t harm a flea (well, maybe a flea but you know). But I have discovered that I can be ruthless and moreover, that people like this about me. People come to me when they need to rip out large sections of knitting. I try to encourage people to do it themselves but so many knitters think of their projects as their babies and the mere thought of ripping them apart is too much for them. So they come to the professional.
It’s amazing the look of awe, tinged somewhat with fear, that comes over people when I simply sit down (sometimes I don’t even do that), slip all the stitches off the needles and start to pull. There’s a reason it’s called “frogging” (rip it. rip it). I almost always get the comment “I could never do that”. Yes people! You can all be Rippers! Here are some tips:
1) Strengthen your resolve: in other words, don’t be a wimp.
2) Learn to shrug it off: If you rip out and you can’t figure out where you are and you end up ripping out more than you wanted to, so what? Is it the end of the world? Will tectonic plates shift, volcanoes erupt and pet animals turn feral? I think not.
3) Learn to rip and then pick: If you have to rip an inch or more of a more complicated pattern, rip down to one, maybe two rows above the mistake, put the work back on the needles and then pick out the final row(s). This will help you identify all those pesky yarn overs and cable crossings.
4) Don’t drink and rip: This might seem counter-intuitive, since you might think you would need a little liquid courage before endeavoring frogging. However, liquid courage can also lead to a “f*#k it” kind of attitude where you end up tearing the whole project out. Trust me on this.
5) Practice makes perfect: If you have to rip something out it means you’ve already identified the tricky areas and “practiced” doing them. So the next time through will be so much easier, right? RIGHT?
6) And finally…: As much as we love it, it’s only knitting (see point #2)
If you follow the above tips, you can join the exclusive club of knitting rippers. We are few, but we are awe-inspiring.
Julie, WY's Do-bee and store wordsmith.