Interweave Yarn Hacks: Save Those Dropped Stitches!

Not long ago I heard someone say, “A dropped stitch is just like a dropped pencil—you simply pick it up.” For some folks, this makes no sense because picking up a dropped stitch is the most terrifying thing in all of knitting. I totally agree, when it’s lace knitting or something crazy complicated and there is no way I’ll be able to go back and figure out how to correctly carry the stitch up to the current row. Which is why we filmed this lace lifeline Hack a while back. This trick has saved my lace knitting more than once.

This week’s Hack is along the same lines as the above Hack, but even easier. If you’re knitting a solid fabric, such as the common stockinette or garter stitches, and if you are afraid of dropped stitches (or other kinds of mistakes), this is the Hack for you. Say you’re knitting along and you notice a little late in the game that you have a hole, a dropped stitch, or some other mistake a few rows back. Crumbcakes! That’s the worst feeling—but it is fixable. All you do is pinpoint a few rows below where the boo-boo is, and use the point of your free needle to pick up the stitches on that row. You can use a straight or circular needle, depending on what you’re working on and what is comfortable for you. Pick up the right leg of each stitch as you go, until you get from one end of the work to the other.

Once you have all the stitches on your needle, frog away! This always has the potential to be heartbreaking, but trust me when I say it will be over soon. Pull your working needle out of all the stitches, and tug at that yarn until you get to the knitting needle lifeline. If you didn’t pick up all the stitches perfectly you can adjust by slipping stitches until you get to the ones that need to be fixed, and just knit across. You should be recovered and back on track to get going again. If your stitches look twisted or weird, try to fix them as you continue. Learning the anatomy of knit and purl stitches can be very beneficial in situations like these.

Hopefully this little trick is helpful for you the next time you make a mistake in your knitting, and you notice it later than is ideal. We believe in you! It’s not scary once you’ve done it a few times, you’ve got this!


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