Fixing Mistakes

Dropped Stitches

When you are knitting you may find that you drop a stitch off between the needles.

Normally this will only just pop down one row and can be quite easily picked up in place and worked with the loop of yarn that has dropped. Make sure to pick the stitch up the right way round with the front edge leading and then work it either purl or knit depending on the stitch.

Sometimes you will find that a stitch has laddered undone and dropped down several rows. In this case the easiest way to pick the stitches up is to use a crochet hook from the front of the work for knit stitches and the back of the work for purl stitches. Make sure you have caught the bottom stitch of the ladder safely onto your crochet hook and then work it up the ladder, one rung at a time, remaking the stitches. When you have picked up the final ladder, place the stitch back onto the left-hand needle ready to work.

Tip: Use a crochet hook to pick up dropped stitches and work back up into place.

Pattern Mistakes

What if you notice you’ve made a mistake with the pattern – perhaps you’ve knitted where you should have purled, or you’ve twisted a cable the wrong way?

Then you will have to carefully un-work the piece back to the mistake and then repair it forwards.

Don’t just pull the knitting off the needles and rip it back. You will find it very difficult to pick the stitches up correctly and some are bound to drop down another row or two.

You really have two choices here:

1. You can unknit the rows back to the mistake one stitch at a time by placing the point of the left hand needle into the loop below the stitch on the right hand needle from front to back. Allow the stitch to drop off the right hand needle and pull out the yarn. You should have undone the stitch and transferred it to the left hand needle.

When you reach the end of the row and you need to undo a further row you can turn the work around and undo it in the same way.

See my tinking video here:


2. You can deliberately drop the stitches above the mistake and carefully undo just that section. I do this when I discover I’ve twisted a cable the wrong way. I undo a column of the 4 or 6 stitches that are the cable leaving loops at the back of the work. Once I’ve undone the row that was wrong I can then carefully knit back up the cable column using the loops. Do make sure you use the right loop each time as you work back up.

And if you get confused when you’re in the middle of the row and aren’t sure which way you should be knitting, remember that the working yarn always sits on the right-hand side of the needles.

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