How to Fix a Dropped Stitch

comments (1) May 30th, 2008     

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Tina_Hilton Tina Hilton, contributor
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If you are an experienced knitter, you know what this is a picture of: the unraveled mess of yarn when you have to go back and rip out a mistake. It seems that a dropped stitch can happen (at some point) to anyone who picks up a pair of needles.
You can use a crochet hook to simply retrieve a dropped stitch from a few rows back.
See how I picked up a dropped stitch but completely ignored the original stitch pattern? Now, you can learn from my mistake: follow the stitch pattern when you are making any correction.
If you are an experienced knitter, you know what this is a picture of: the unraveled mess of yarn when you have to go back and rip out a mistake. It seems that a dropped stitch can happen (at some point) to anyone who picks up a pair of needles.

If you are an experienced knitter, you know what this is a picture of: the unraveled mess of yarn when you have to go back and rip out a mistake. It seems that a dropped stitch can happen (at some point) to anyone who picks up a pair of needles.

Photo: Tina Hilton

Knitting mistakes are a real sore spot for some knitters, and if you're a knitter, I'm sure you can relate. We hate to admit it, but we are not perfect, and we drop stitches, knit on the wrong number of stitches, use needles of the wrong size, and just plain make a mess of patterns. There is even a subculture of knitters who actually rip out an entire sweater on purpose to recycle the yarn for new projects.

Imagine that you have been rockin’ along on an awesome project: you set it down to admire your handiwork, and something looks funny. Wait, what is that stray loop popping out of a perfect row 4 inches down? Say it isn’t so! The dreaded dropped stitch! First of all, don’t panic; if the dropped stitch is just a few rows down, you can pick up the stitches with a crochet hook. If you haven’t yet attempted this move in your knitting life, check out this great tutorial from Jimmy Beans wool.

Even with the best of intentions, you may still have to rip the sucker out. If you are following a stitch pattern, or if there are any color changes involved, it’s a good idea to rip it out instead of dealing with the frustration of a complicated pick-up. Take a deep breath, carefully slide the stitches off of your knitting needle, and then pull out the stitches gently, row by row all the way down to the row where the dropped stitch resides. Load the stitches back on the needle, and then continue to knit. The most important thing is to let your mistake go; just chalk it up as an occupational hazard.

posted in: dropped stitch

Comments (1)

Rachel_P writes: Omg, dropped stitches are such a pain in the but. I am embarking on my first project and after i go by a couple of rows i go to check out my scarf- in - progress and there you have it a dropped stitch!!! Thanks for this post...it helps all those knitting first timers.
Posted: 2:02 pm on January 2nd
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