Fix-It Friday: Fix Dropped Stitches in Your Knitting

Posted by on Sep 14, 2012 in Knitting | Comments

Fix-It Friday: Dropped Stitches

In today’s Fix-it Friday post, I want to show you how to fix dropped stitches in your knitting.  Dropped stitches are one of the most common (and most frustrating) things that can happen while knitting.  you’re zooming along on your project and look down and see that there’s one little stich a few rows back that somehow slipped off the needles.  This doesn’t mean that you’re a “bad knitter,” just that you were concentrating on something else, or maybe you put the knitting down and a stitch slipped off without you noticing it.

I’m fixing my stitches on the wrong side of the work because I think it’s a bit easer to see the purl bumps, and to tell which ladder is next in line to be knit (or purled.)  You can also fix your stitches from the right side of the fabric, just be sure that your stitches are oriented properly (as either knits or purls) on the needles.

What you see in the photo below is that a stitch has been dropped, and a “ladder” has been created above it.  The loops that were stitches have come undone, forming strings of yarn that look just like the rungs on a tiny ladder.


Fix-It Friday: Dropped Stitches Step 1

Step 1) Identify the dropped stitch.  Follow the ladder down to the point that you see the stitch that got away.


Fix-It Friday: Dropped Stitches Step 2

Step 2) Insert a crochet hook into the stitch from back to front, with the ladder in front of the stitch.  Turn the hook so that it’s ready to grab that ladder from above.


Fix-It Friday: Dropped Stitches Step 3

Step 3) Using the crochet hook, grab the ladder and pull it through the dropped stitch.


Fix-It Friday: Dropped Stitches Step 4

(You can see here that I’ve pulled the brown ladder through the red dropped stitch to create a new stitch.)


Fix-It Friday: Dropped Stitches Step 5

Step 4) Continue as above, until you have traveled all the way up the ladder.


Fix-It Friday: Dropped Stitches Step 6

Step 5) Place the last stitch up onto the left hand knitting needle, ready to knit.


Fix-It Friday: Dropped Stitches Step 7

Step 6) Continue knitting as if you’d never dropped that stitch in the first place.


Fix-It Friday: Dropped Stitches Step 8

Here’s what it looks like from the right side.  It’s really hard to tell the “fixed” stitches from the rest!

I hope that you find this useful! If you have any other suggestions for fixing dropped stitches, I’d love to hear from you in the comments!




  1. OMG thank you so much for this! I drop stitches all the time and it’s the WORST. I’m so happy I know how to fix them without either ignoring them or undoing all my work :-)

    1. Sharon says:

      I have learned recently that you can make a “lifeline” by sewing across a row with a contrasting color of yarn, and picking up the R side of the V in your knitting and go all the way to the end. In the event you do have to pull your work out then at least you’ll have a “lifeline.”

  2. Sharon says:

    thank you for sharing. Do you have any fix it tricks for crocheting?

    1. Unfortunately, I’m not a great crocheter, though I’ve tried! If anyone else has any tips for Sharon, please let us know!

    2. Janet Athens says:

      I have done a lot of crocheting, and do not think you can pick up stitches as you can in knitting. Where the knit stitches have a row and a line they are part of, and can be unraveled from, crochet stitches do not. They are more like separate entities linked together, without a common pathway for moving and changing. I have found that when crocheting, it is a good idea to check every single row for count and stitch patterns, so that they can be fixed right away.

      If anyone has other information about crochet fixes/repairs/I would be very interested in hearing them.

  3. G says:

    I actually discovered a dropped stitch in a shawl I had made AFTER it was done and it was in the middle of the shawl!!! It being lace knitting I did my best to put it back together and sewed the offending stitch to the others around it. Hopefully nobody will never notice what I did. Now I tug on my row of stitches after each one to make sure there is no little loop waiting to unravel twenty rows later.

    1. I’ve done this kind of “fix” too! In a large project, nobody is likely to notice one lace stitch out of place. Great example of just rolling with it, and enjoying the knitting ride! :)

      1. elaine monteparo says:

        first…in your picture….the slouchy you are wearing…did you make that hat…do you have the pattern…second…how do you correct a dropped purl stirch….thank you….

        1. AEM says:

          The slouchy hat that Stefanie is wearing looks like the third hat that Stefanie teaches as part of the Knit Lab: Circular Knits Class, here at Craftsy. It’s a great class!

  4. Harriet Kozitsky says:

    I would like to be able to get craftsy fix it blog. thanks Mrs. Kozitsky

  5. Melanie Gibson says:

    I learned rather quickly not to try to knit much on the public transportation buses. They don’t have much in the way of shock absorption, and whenever the driver went over a bump in the road I dropped a stitch because I could not hold the needles steady. In steadier environments, if I spot a dropped stitch while I am knitting, I hold it in place with a safety pin until I work my way close to it and then pick it up just like you describe here. You’re right, nobody even notices.

    1. What a great story! I’m glad that the method looks familiar to you! :) Great idea to use the safety pin to hold onto the stitch. That’s a great tip for saving the stitch to be fixed later.

    2. vona says:

      I have knitted on public transportation for years, I get lots of comments and its the best way to strike up a conversation. As knitting is my business I have even given out cards and stuff too. So don’t despair as you get better so will the ride.

  6. Mary says:

    I would love to see a lesson on fixing a dropped stitch when knitting the garter stitch. It happenened to me and drove me nuts fixing!

    1. NJGill says:

      The process is the same, but because garter is knit every row, you have to turn the work after each row you pick up so you are always picking up on the back of the row – the purl side.

    2. Susan says:

      Me too!

  7. Judy Walker says:

    When working on stockinet knitting, I always work on the “knit” side. I am able to see the stitches better. Same basic technique, though.

  8. minnie says:

    Look out on eBay and in charity shops for a pick up tool from an old knitting machine, which has a latch on the hook. Check out You tube or machine knitting tutorials for method. The latch closes and opens to re-form loops, so easier to hold onto stitch as you close ladder upwards.

    Hope this is a useful follow on suggestion.

  9. sharmie says:

    this is great! i usually pick up my dropped stitches from the front, i never thought of doing so from the back. love the clear images and your knitting! :)

  10. Laurie Giddings says:

    I would love to know what yarn you are using in the photo. It is LOVELY!!

  11. elaine monteparo says:

    would love the pattern for the slouchy had you are wearing

  12. olga dubrovsky says:

    That seems to pick up dropped stich in stocking knitting. However, it couls be complicated when knit seed stiches, yarn over etc

  13. Karen Siemens says:

    I have often used this method for fixing mistakes. If I see a mistake a couple of rows back, I just intentionally drop the corresponding stitch(es) on my current row. Then I unloop the stitches back to the mistake, fix the mistake and then fix up loops as if they were dropped stitches.

    You can duplicate any simple pattern with your crochet hook for one or a few stitches. Just look carefully at how each stitch is supposed to look – knit or purl – and make it look the same way by working from the front or back.

  14. Barbara says:

    Do you use this same method to pick up a dropped yarn over?

    1. Support says:


      Yes, you can use this same method to pick up a dropped yarn over!

  15. brista says:

    Hio! So I am making a baby blanket and I dropped a stitch in the middle of the blanket, eventually saw it, picked it back up and kept knitting. 6 rows later, I noticed that I didn’t pick up the very first loop, so there is still a gap in my knitting. And since I thought I had fixed the dropped stitches problem and kept knitting, I can’t just grab the first dropped stitch and bring it back up like your method. Soooooo I have this little hole and an unkitted stitchthat I am afraid will unravel…sorry I’m not better at describing but if you know what I mean…how do I fix it???

  16. Melanie says:

    Wow, this was great BUT, how do I fix a project where the border is stockinet? When I followed these instructions I ended up with V on one side and bump on other , I need bumps on both sides for the border. At some point I started a row twice without following pattern and now can’t fix it… Thanks