I needed to rip out an inch but soon saw that there were other issues that required redoing, so I planned to take it down to the pencil. The first rows were the most difficult to rip out. I slowly pulled the yarn and heard each stitch pop and saw the time I spent on this heap up in that tangled pile of undone knitting.
Once I reached the intended pencil-row, though, I saw more flaws. What the heck, I continued to rip out stitches, pulling the yarn with long easy sweeps.
It's easier to pick up dropped stitches when you're relaxed.