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Correcting Knitting Errors

Updated on March 22, 2014

Why This Hub?

Hello, I teach knitting and these questions compound folks of all ages. Thought if I consolidated the information with added video instructionals it might help!

By the way if you want help and live near a Michaels Craft Store you can most likely get help. That's where I teach at the Pavillions in Scottsdale!

Correct dropped stitch

How to pickup a dropped knit stitch

How to pickup a dropped knit stitch: Insert right needle or right hand through the next loop under the dropped strand. With left needle or left hand, insert needle or hand from the back to front of your work and through the top loop on your right needle or hand pulling dropped strand gently up and towards the place where it should have been [add stitch to the right needle or hand]. At this point the dropped stitch is facing the wrong way. To correct, insert left needle or hand from front to back. Slip the stitch onto the left needle or hand then continue knitting

How to pickup a dropped purl stitch

Insert right needle or right hand through the next loop and under the dropped strand. With left needle or left hand, insert loop dropped front to back into the top of the only. Gently pull dropped loop up and forward pulling the through next stitch on the right hand or needle. The new loop/stitch is on the right needle or hand. Transfer the new stitch/loop using the left needle. Pick up new stitch front to back and slip it onto right needle then continue knitting

How to catch a run in stocking knit

Using a crochet hook work picking up stitches front to back of work. Hook is over the horizontal bar and draw through a loop until you get to the top. Then proceed with retrieval of the knit stitch or purl stitch.

How to add stitches several rows back

Correct multiple dropped stitches

Mark error row use a stitch saver then pull out stitches within one row of the error with right side facing you then,

  • Correct knit stitch hold yarn behind using left needle or hand moving front to back pull out dropped stitch and place where it belongs.
  • Correct purl stitch hold yarn in front using needle or hand moving front to back pull out dropped stitch and place where it belongs.

Using Wrong Yarn

Most patterns call for a specific gauge of yarn. They do this because using a different gauge will create an end product of a different size. The information is on the skein of yarn. If you use too large of a gauge, your project will turn out larger than expected. If you use too small of a gauge, it will turn out smaller. So if you use bulky then keep using bulky, use sport then use sport, etc. The number is on the skein of yarn.

Uneven tension

Maintaining an even tension is important if you want your finished product to look like it should. Beginners often have trouble with this, but it becomes easier once you’ve gained some experience. So when you start out pick a looser weave that will allow for uneven tension and allow you to correct the difference with edging.

Miscounting stitches

This is why stitch counters were dreamed up. Whether you use penies, jump rings or counters, making the correct number of stitches is important for every project. Even the most experienced crocheter can make a counting mistake, so don’t be afraid to double check if you’re not sure. You
can also use stitch markers to help.

I always advise my students to count and make sure. It is easier to correct when there is only one row.

Knitting in the wrong loop

In most cases, you should insert your needle through the front and back loops for each stitch for knitting and back to front for purling. Some knitters make the mistake of only going through the front loop or splitting the yarn, and that throws the whole project off.

Unless the instructions tell you otherwise, it’s important to go through both loops. Going through only the front loop makes the work thinner, and going through only the back loop makes a ridge pattern.

Misunderstanding knitting terms

Knit terminology for the United States and the United Kingdom is quite different and each progressive stitch is different as well. If you’re not sure about where your pattern originated, be sure to double check. It could save you a lot of headaches once the project is complete! The word "color" is a good tell that the pattern has come from overseas and not the USA. Their measurement system is 10 decimals not 12 inches, so you will need to convert the pattern or it will be too small.

Making a Turning Mistake

Turning mistakes are quite common for beginners, to prevent turning mistakes, many prefer to use a circular knitting needle to avoid the issue.

As above, if you check each row as you go and follow the pattern you can put markers on where you are and rip out the row to correct easier as you go. if you do end up finding out later in the piece, don’t get discouraged, just go back and fix it and learn so you will know what to do next time.


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