How to Pick Up a Dropped Stitch in Knitting

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If you drop a stitch while knitting, you don't need to live with a gap in your garment, or even laboriously pull out all the rows back to the dropped stitch. You can retrieve the dropped stitch or stitches with a crochet hook, and no one will be the wiser. When you notice a slipped stitch, fix it immediately: Left alone, the dropped stitch can continue to unravel down the work and create many more dropped stitches to fix.

Things You'll Need

  • Crochet Hook
  • Continue knitting until you are directly above the spot where the dropped stitch occurs. The spot where the stitch or stitches are dropped will resemble a ladder, with horizontal bits of yarn instead of the usual vertical loops.

  • Insert a crochet hook from front to back through the loop of the bottommost dropped stitch.

  • With the hook, catch the bottommost horizontal piece of yarn and pull it through the loop of the dropped stitch (see illustration). Continue pulling it in front of and over the next horizontal piece of yarn. This will create a new loop stitch.

  • Unhook the crochet hook from that piece of yarn.

  • If you have dropped more than one stitch, repeat steps 2 through 4 until you have picked up all the dropped stitches.

  • When you've picked up the last dropped stitch, slip that stitch onto your left knitting needle and continue knitting as usual.

Tips & Warnings

  • These instructions are for fixing a dropped stitch on the knit side. If you're working from the purl side, simply reverse the crochet hook at step 2, inserting it from back to front.
  • The picked-up stitches will typically be a bit tighter than the surrounding stitches, but will generally relax with time or when you block the garment.

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