Knitting Blog

Laura Nelkin Shows How to Fix Lace Knitting Mistakes

Mistakes happen. That’s just a sad reality of knitting. In fact, what makes for good knitting is not a lack of mistakes, but how effectively you’re able to fix them. Here, one of our most popular knitting instructors, Laura Nelkin (who is back at Craftsy, teaching a wonderful new online knitting class), shares some pointers for how to fix lace knitting mistakes. So watch this free video tip and remember: all is not lost just because you goofed. Laura’s here to save your day. Watch it now, then be sure to check out Lace from the Inside Out with Laura Nelkin!

Hi I’m Laura Nelkin, knitting instructor with I’d love to show you how to fix some common lace knitting mistakes. It’s pretty easy to pick up a yarn-over if you’ve dropped one or go ahead and work a decrease on the next row if you’ve forgotten it. So let’s jump right in and I’ll show you how to do that.

So I’m knitting along on a feather and fan stitch, which is a basic beginner lace knitting stitch, and I’m purling back across on the next row and I see that I have forgotten to work a yarn-over right here. I should have a yarn-over on my needle right here and I don’t have one. So this bar right here in between the stitch that I just made and the next stitch on my left-hand needle can be picked up to become that yarn-over I need to work. So what I’ll do, with my right-hand needle, is come underneath that bar from the back to the front and put it onto my left-hand needle. And you can see that suddenly, I’ve made that yarn-over that was missing. And now I’m just going to go ahead and purl that.

And as I was reading along oh no, right here these two stitches should have been a knit two together and I just worked them as two knit stitches. I must have been talking to my friend on the phone or something- whoops! So the first thing I’m going to do to fix that is pull down a little bit on the stitches on my left-hand needle to open that up. And then with my right-hand needle I’m going to come into this second stitch, the stitch underneath the stitch on my left hand needle, from the back to the front, and then I’m going to do that on the stitch next to it. So I’ve picked those up, and then I can drop these two stitches off of my left-hand needle and pull that yarn to the front of my work and then put these two stitches back onto my left-hand needle. And now I’ve got that bar hanging down right here and then I can just go ahead and purl those 2 stitches together and I’ve created that knit two together that I forgot, and then I’ll just go ahead and purl that.

Some of you might notice that it seems a little bit bulkier there- there’s a little more yarn running there because I had two knit stitches and I made it one knit stitch. When you go to block your lace all of those little imperfections will get worked out and it’s really easy to do, to fix these little mistakes, and get to continue to move on with your project instead of ripping back and starting all over again. For other tips and tricks like these, check out my knitting classes on

In case you missed it earlier this week, learn about the provisional cast-on with Laura, or explore beautiful knit mitten patterns. Check back on the Craftsy blog tomorrow for this week’s Free Pattern Friday: knitting edition!


Judy Walker

I enjoyed your tip, but I was even more amazed to see that you knit the same way I knit, holding the working yarn between the first finger and your thumb of your left hand. In over forty years of knitting I have never seen anyone else knit that way. I settled on this way of knitting a long time ago because I had so much more control in my manipulation of the yarn.

Thank you for your lace knitting tips.


I knit this way too! Glad to know there are others!


Thank you so much! I never thought of knitting the stitches below the row I’m working on to fix n error from the last row. Great tip!


And I thought I was the only one who held my yarn that way while purling! I’ve been knitting for over 50 years and no one taught me to purl that way, I just came across it myself. I actually like to purl better than knit and do my garter stitch with only purl stitches! Everyone thinks I’m weird! Thanks for the tips on fixing lace mistakes, I’m working on a shawl border (lots of stitches) and realized I had made a few mistakes. I was just about ready to rip back about 5 rows, but now I think I’m going to try to fix them on the fly!


Thanks for the tips – they’re great! I love knitting classes that teach how to fix mistakes. Would you consider doing a whole class on fixing mistakes (especially for lace)?


Thank you sooooo much, I was able to fix my yo problem. I am new to knitting and picked a pattern that is not beginner, but I loved it and knew I would finish it because I loved it. Your video just helped make that happen.

Thanks again


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