"Take chances! Make mistakes! Get messy!" ---Ms. Frizzle
I can usually work on a straight knitted piece without looking at it constantly, and I try to look back at a finished row to make sure I didn't flub up, but it doesn't always work. This morning I noticed what looked like a dropped stitch----I hadn't dropped it but I had picked up only one, tiny thread of the yarn. After any kind of real use, or maybe during blocking, it would have broken and left a hole in what I hope will be a beautiful shawl.
I didn't think to chronicle it before I started the repair---sorry about that. If you look closely, you can see the tiny loop of thread that was the problem. (At the bottom of the "ladder")
I slipped all my stitches over to the other needle so the messed up column was in the middle, and I could really drop the stitch! You just knock that one off and pull gently so the loops keep coming out of that column, producing the ladder. Stop when you've passed the problem!
From there, it's a pretty simple matter of putting a crochet hook into the loop and, basically, crocheting each rung of the ladder until you get to the top. Slip it back onto the needle and you're done!
See? You can't even tell where the problem stitch was! I know some of you are saying that this is too hard and you could never do it. But what's the worst that could happen? If you mess it up you might have to rip back the entire project to the beginning, or to that point and then have 150+ stitches, in danger of being dropped, that need to be put back on the needles! My way is the easy fix----it seemed crazy the first time I did it, but now it is a breeze and highly preferable to starting over!
A slightly different method is needed for garter stitch, and I haven't yet tried it on cables, but I have instructions pinned on my Pinterest page if I ever need them! My point is just to show you that everyone messes up their knitting---it's an opportunity for learning a new skill. And that's exactly how I learned as much as I know about knitting, by trying new things and making mistakes. Fortunately, we now have the internet and millions of YouTube videos by experts to help us out.