How to rescue a wrongly twisted cable – or one you forgot to twist – without frogging

I confess that while knitting the Secret Sweater  I’ve been in such a hurry on a couple of occasions I’ve managed to twist cables the wrong way. Although it does take a short time to sort out a wrongly twisted – or untwisted – cable, there’s absolutely no need to frog – unless you like frogging. It took me about 20 minutes to sort this one out, which was eight rows down from where I was working.  Here’s how I did it:

Step one

Slip the stitches that belong to the cable off the needle and unravel them until you’ve pulled them apart the to the point where they’re wrongly twisted – or where they should have been twisted.

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Step two

Place half of the stitches on one cable needle and half on another.


Step three

  • Take the stiches that need to run at the front of the work in the twist to the front of the work and ones that sit at the back to the back of the work.
  • Working only with the stitches that lie at the front of the work, twist the cable in the direction it is supposed to go and slip all but the one stitch that belongs on the outside edge off the cable, onto the needle that is now closest to them and furthest from the stitch that remains on the cable needle.

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Step 4

Work the stitch remaining on the cable needle up through the yarn that hangs between the needles as if it is a single dropped stitch. This stitch should be the first stitch next to the knitting you HAVEN’T unravelled.

As you work ensure:

  1. You work through the hanging loops of yarn in the right order.
  2. That the stitches you create face the right direction.

When you reach the top, you will have created a loose column of stitches…

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Slip the stitch just worked back on to the knitting needle beside the stitches that it belongs next to.

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Tease the column of stitches gently with your fingers to make them the right size.

Take the stitch that lies next to the one you have just worked on onto the cable needle. Repeat step four with this stitch and each of the remaining stitches belonging to the front of the twist, one at a time.

Step 5

  • When all of the stitches belonging to the front twist are back on the knitting needle, turn the work over.
  • Slip all but stitch that is now at the centre of the twist onto the knitting needle nearest to them (i.e. the needle opposite the one which you have just added been adding stitches to).
  • Rethread the stitch that remains on the cable needle through the lose yarn loops, just as you did previously with the stitches at the front.
  •  When you reach the top, slip the stitch onto the knitting needle you were previously adding the rethreaded stitches.

Repeat the rethreading process, one stitch at a time, with the stitches that remain waiting to be rethreaded, working your way out from the centre of the twist.

When you have finished, the stitches are still likely to be a little uneven, so tease the cable stitches and the stitches around them to make them as even as possible.


Don’t worry if the tension in these reworked stitches isn’t 100% perfect, blocking your work at the end should help iron out any tension imperfections.

I hope that was clear and comprehensible. You may need to be actually doing this for it to fully make sense. However if you try to use this method and get stuck let me know and I’ll see what I can do to clarify.

Bekki Hill


16 thoughts on “How to rescue a wrongly twisted cable – or one you forgot to twist – without frogging

  1. I’m sure it is easier than it looks when you’re not actually following along with a knitted piece – however, I’d still probably frog it especially if I’m making one of my large cable blankets because I use 6 strands together for those and that might be a bit more complex.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have done this so often but have normally noticed by the next row and have frogged back to put it right. Whilst this method looks complicated, I think it’s a case of making sense if you’re doing it rather than reading about it. I’ll definitely have a go next time though, as it would be much quicker!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It definitely is simpler than it looks, especially if you’re only doing it to the row below, because you don’t end up with tension issues like you do through lots of rows. I’m just so bad at undoing even a few stitches once I’ve knitted them – although I admit there’s been more than one time when I’ve regretted not frogging.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Dropping any stitches still freaks me out a bit, but this sounds like a beautifully simple way to fix something gone awry several stitches down. I think I’d need to practice on a swatch first before needing to save a real project under pressure 🙂


    1. I think deliberately dropping stitches is always a little scary, but if you bite the bullet and go for it, it gets easier. Having a go on a swatch is an excellent idea. Once you’ve proved to yourself you can do something it becomes much less scary the second time 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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