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How to: fix a dropped knit stitch

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Let's Knit Together

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  • Practical Guides

As soon as you spot a dropped stitch, put a stitch marker in it and anchor it to another stitch to stop it unravelling further. Grab a crochet hook and here we'll show you how to fix this.

Don’t panic! Just avoid stretching your work, which could make it run even more, remedy it as soon as you can, and then chalk it up to experience.

It only takes a lapse of concentration for you to miss a stitch altogether or for it to slip off the tip of your needle. If you realise immediately, you can just pick up the stitch again with the correct needle – the left needle if you had not knitted it, or the right one if you had. Make sure that the stitch is not twisted by checking it looks the same as the others on the same needle. If it looks different, you may need to turn it around by transferring it to the other needle, picking it up from the opposite side of the loop, then moving it back to the correct needle. If you end up with an unsightly ladder of stitches from a dropped knit stitch, you’ll be pleased to know it’s a relatively easy fix. Once you’ve noticed and halted its progress, you need to work back to the point at which you dropped the stitch in the first place. If you’ve carried on knitting along the row, work back by unpicking (tinking) your stitches one by one. The best way to do this is to insert the left-hand needle into the loop under the stitch on the right-hand needle from front to back and transfer it back to the left-hand needle. This avoids twisting any stitches. The stitch that was on the right-hand needle will be undone, and you’ll need to tighten the slack working yarn every couple of stitches. Fix the dropped knit stitch by inserting the crochet hook through the dropped stitch and hooking the horizontal bar behind it. Pull the bar through the stitch to repair it on this row, and this is now the stitch for the next one. Work up all the rows to the current one, then put the recovered stitch on the left-hand needle, ready to knit – now you can continue as if nothing had happened. Dropped purl stitches can be repaired in a similar way, with the crochet hook being inserted from back to front, before hooking the horizontal bar.


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