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How to Pick Up a Dropped Knit Stitch

Don't panic! Just break out that crochet hook and pick up those dropped stitches in no time!

Updated June 13, 2018
How to Pick Up a Dropped Knit Stitch
How to Pick Up a Dropped Knit Stitch
This image courtesy of AllFreeKnitting.com

We've all had that moment of panic when we realize a few rows too late that we've dropped a stitch! Dropping a stitch is one of the most common knitting mistakes, especially for beginner knitters, but the good news is that it's very easy to fix. Soon you'll be back to your stitching in no time.

If you're knitting along and suddenly realize you no longer have the correct number of stitches on your needle or you have a rouge loop of knitting threatening to wreck your entire row, this tutorial will teach you how to correct your mistake and ensure your knitting patterns are perfect from start to finish.

Easy

Materials List

  • Yarn
  • Knitting needles
  • Crochet hook (optional)

Instructions

How to pick up a dropped stitch with your needles

This technique is great for when your dropped stitch is only one or two rows below your current row. Any lower than that, and you might want to try doing it with a crochet hook instead.

  1. Once you've located the dropped stitch, continue your current row until you've reached the place where the dropped stitch should be in your current row.

  2. Pick up the dropped stitch with the needle in your non-dominant hand.

    Make sure the leg of yarn that's on the right side of your stitch (sometimes called the heading leg) does on the back side of your needle; the other leg of your stitch should be on the side of your needle closest to you.

    Note: Be careful to not pull too hard on your dropped stitch, otherwise you could mess up the gauge of your project.

  3. Insert your working needle knitwise into the dropped stitch.

  4. Look for the "ladders" of yarn above your dropped stitch.

  5. Using your working needle, pick up the bottom ladder of yarn and use that to knit through your dropped stitch.

  6. Pass this new stitch back to your non-dominant hand needle.

  7. Repeat steps 3-6 until you've fixed your dropped column of stitches up to your current row!

How to pick up a dropped stitch with a crochet hook

This technique works just as well as using your knitting needles, but there are two advantages.

The first is that using a crochet hook will help you even out your gauge in this area of your project; for projects like sweaters and shawls, this is very important.

The other benefit to using a crochet hook is that it's much easier to do when you have a dropped stitch that's further down in your rows. Sometimes your knitting needles just can't reach that far down, and stretching them further than they need to go will also tighten your gauge.

  1. Once you've located the dropped stitch, continue your current row until you've reached the place where the dropped stitch should be in your current row.

  2. Lay your dropped stitch out flat so there's a small opening at the bottom of the stitch. This will prevent your stitch from getting twisted.

  3. Insert your crochet hook into the dropped stitch.

  4. With the crochet hook, pick up the first "ladder" of yarn above your dropped stitch.

  5. Hook the loop and pull it up and through the dropped stitch.

  6. Repeat steps 3-6 until you've brought the stitch all the way up your ladders. Place the stitch on your non-dominant needle and continue knitting through your pattern!

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This so helpful! I enjoy knitting, but whenever I make a mistake, I feel like I need to start over....this will prevent a lot of headaches in the future.

Man, I really could've used this tutorial a few frogged projects ago... At least now I know!

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