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Fixing a Dropped Stitch On Stockinette

A very common knitting mistake is a dropped stitch.  Sometimes a stitch just slips off your needle and you may not even notice until you have worked a few rows or maybe your knitting needles are really slippery and it just flew off the end. Eek! Oh my gosh, now what?

First of all, I know it’s scary but it’s OK. In fact it happens all the time.

What happens is it creates a run in your knitting very much like a run in stockings actually.  It looks awful doesn’t it and somehow it looks like a very big mistake because of the hole.  It’s not and there is an easy fix too.

Again, stay calm.  I really know how you feel when you see it. And dropped stitches always look really bad but honestly it really looks worse than it is.

Knitting mistakes happen all the time.  Umm well they do with me that is.  And really they are just minor inconveniences. OK they’re a pain in the whatsis but that’s all.

Before we start, go grab a crochet hook around the same size as your knitting needles or one size smaller.  I’ll wait.  Oh and I like one that’s a little smaller than my needles.

What A Dropped Stitch Looks Like On The Knit Side

dropped stitch
This is a dropped knit stitch.  See those ladders or lines of yarn?  And at the bottom of it all is that dropped stitch.

Point to Remember – You know how you hold your yarn at the back when you knit the knit stitch and how you hold the yarn in the front when you purl? Well the same goes for those ladders of yarn from your dropped stitch. If the ladder is coming out of knit stitches then the ladder will go behind the dropped stitch on the crochet hook and if the ladder is coming out of purl stitches the ladder will go in front of the dropped stitch.


Keep this little tidbit of information in your mind as you look at how to fix that wayward stitch.

Fixing a Dropped Stitch Knitwise

Knit over to the spot where the dropped knit stitch is.  You want to knit all the way up to the right of it.

                           dropped stitch               dropped stitch

First photo. With your crochet hook push it through the dropped knit stitch from front to back. Then hook the very first ladder onto the hook with the stitch.  Notice that the ladder is behind the stitch.


Left photo.  With your crochet hook bring the ladder of yarn through the stitch and like in the right photo pull it all the way through.

                          dropped stitch                 dropped stitch

Then all you do is slip the fixed stitch back onto your left needle.  I do it with my crochet hook but you can do it any way that you like.  Make sure that it is facing the right way too so that you don’t have a twisted stitch.

The last photo just shows it all finished.  It sure looks better now doesn’t it?  And it looked so awful before.

What A Dropped Stitch Looks Like On The Purl Side

 dropped stitch

This is what it looks like on the purl side. And basically you’re doing the same thing with the dropped purl stitch.  The only difference is that you need to place the ladder (yarn) in front of the dropped purl stitch.

Another option to fixing purl stitches that dropped off your needle is….

Turning your knitting around to the knit side and fixing the stitch that way. If you are working Stockinette stitch in particular there shouldn’t be a problem in you doing it that way.  You see by turning your knitting around you can fix the stitch like a dropped knit stitch instead.  It’s just easier.

Sometimes though you may not be able to do that depending on what you’re knitting.

Fixing a Dropped Stitch Purlwise

                     dropped stitch                  dropped stitch

You will need to bring the ladder (yarn) to the front of the stitch, first photo,  and the hook goes into the dropped purl stitch from back to front, second photo.

                     dropped stitch                   dropped stitch
 So now using the crochet hook bring that ladder through the dropped purl stitch and pull it through.
                     dropped stitch                   dropped stitch

Now you just want to place the stitch back onto the left needle.  Second photo.  All done.  Yippee.

It’s really pretty easy isn’t it?

Now if the purl stitch dropped a few rows all you do is take the hook out of the stitch, put the ladder in front of the stitch and repeat my instructions for fixing it.

I have a wonderful video that will help you as well.  Please don’t be put off by the length of it.  It runs for approximately nine minutes but this wonderful gal shows you how to fix a dropped stitch knitwise on Stockinette, purlwise and as well a dropped stitch on Garter stitches.

Each segment is roughly three minutes and you’ll be able to stop the video after each section.

Fixing A Dropped Stitch Knitting Video

 I hope that helps.

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