Every knitter has experienced the frustration of dropping a stitch. Either it falls off the needle and begins to unravel all of the way down before you can grab it, or you notice it a few rows later and donít know how to pull it back into your project. You could rip out all the way back to where you dropped your stitch, but often you can fix these dropped stitches. This article will give you a few techniques to solve this common knitters problem. In the photo, each technique is shown left to right.
Take a good close look Ė has anything unraveled? Have you knitted rows past that dropped stitch? If not, just put your needle back through the dropped stitches. If you find that some of the knitting has unraveled downwards or that you have knitted rows above the dropped stitch, the first thing to do is to put a cable needle or toothpick into the dropped stitch to prevent it from unraveling downward any further. In the first dropped stitch from the left in the picture, a cable needle has been inserted.
A crochet hook is the best tool I know of for fixing dropped stitches. The techniques that follow can be done with the tips of knitting needles, but crochet hooks are much better and easier for fixing dropped stitches.
If you have dropped a stitch that has unraveled, you will be able to see what looks like ladder rungs left behind. This is the second dropped stitch from the left in the picture. If you look closely, you can see the ladder rungs above the stitch where the light green crochet hook is inserted. Using your crochet hook, insert the tip through the knit stitch and use the hook to pull the ladder rung above through the knit stitch. The green crochet hook in the picture is ready to pull the ladder rung through the knit stitch.
If you have knitted rows or round past the dropped stitch and you just skipped over it without noticing, there will be less of a ladder rung since there was no unraveling. You will need to insert the crochet hook into the stitch and pull it up, creating a stitch in between the others on the rows above it until you can place it back on the needle. In this case, you will have to pull the knitted stitches above apart to see the ladder rung that connects between the two stitches. This is the third dropped stitch from the left. The fingers are spreading the knitting part to find the ladder rungs. Simply pull the ladder rung up through the stitch, and then repeat going above it until you have caught up to the row you are currently on. This technique will cause the knitting to be a little tighter where it was corrected.
If you dropped a purl stitch, you will need to insert your crochet hook from the opposite side. This will simulate the purl stitch being pulled through the loop from the opposite direction.
Fixing dropped stitches may seem a little challenging the first few times you do it. It is still often far less work then ripping back to the stitch and reknitting.