Saving a Dropped Stitch

For many of us, a dropped stitch invokes a certain … panic. Not after today. This easy guide shows you exactly how to save a dropped stitch without any extra tools, crochet hooks, or anxiety. All you need is the knitting needles you are already working with and a locking stitch marker (optional).

There is one thing to remember: 6 rows is the limit. If the stitch has dropped below 6 rows, it is better to go ahead and rip back. The reason why is that the space between the stitches becomes too stretched out and even blocking can’t conceal the sloppy look.

Stop the Slip

This is completely optional, but start by inserting a locking stitch marker into the stitch to help prevent it from slipping further. Work in pattern to where the dropped stitch hangs. While there, notice how many strands cross behind the stitch. Each strand represents one row. In this example, the stitch slipped down three rows.



Place the stitch on the left-hand needle, making sure that it sits correctly (the front “leg” reaches further forward than the back “leg”).


Lift the Strand

Starting with the lowest strand, insert the left-hand needle under it and lift it up.


Up and Over

Using the right-hand needle, lift the dropped stitch up and over the strand, right off the needle.


Repeat, As Needed

Repeat Steps 3 and 4 until all the strands are gone. The stitch now sits unworked on the left-hand needle, safe and sound.

If It Is a Purl Stitch

To save a dropped purl stitch, you’ll first turn your work to the wrong side (WS) and repeat the same process. When the stitch is back to its secure position, turn the work back to the right side (RS) and slip the unworked stitch back to the left-hand needle.

Continue Knitting

When all is said and done, you’ll barely be able to tell that you’ve dropped a stitch. After blocking, it’ll be like it never happened.

By Tabetha Hedrick

Tabetha Hedrick, Design Director for SweetGeorgia Yarns, lives by the belief that joy comes when fully participating in the present moment. And that joy is ever so easy to find when immersed in the world of fibre! When not knitting, writing, editing, or researching, she fills the time raising two girls, two dogs, and one husband in Tennessee.

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