Picking up dropped stitches

You know the feeling when your knitting is zipping along nicely, all is right with the world… then you realize you dropped a stitch about five inches back? Yeah, it sucks. Fortunately, it doesn’t mean you’re doomed to rip those five inches back and start anew. Here’s a visual (and written) guide to picking up dropped stitches. (Hard mode: it also covers how to redo those decreases that you did on the way up, too.)

Essentially what you do is 1) grab your loose stitch with a locking stitch marker 2) rip back only the affected stitches 3) re-knit just those stitches using dpns.

Here we go!

To start, here’s my sweater, which you’ll notice has a loose stitch hanging out around 5 inches down. (In my defense, I was knitting in a dark movie theater…)

The first step is to rescue the dropped stitch! Notice that I used a locking stitch marker to stop that stitch from escaping any further.


In this case, I dropped the stitch several inches back and kept knitting without noticing–including doing a few decreases. This means I have to not only undo the column of stitches my dropped stitch is in, but the ones beside it since I’ll need to redo my decreases.

(Had I merely dropped the stitch in my current row and then it had escaped further down, which is a more common scenario, I would just need to redo the single column. Some people prefer to use a crochet hook for that.)

My second step, after rescuing my dropped stitch, is to mark where the decreases occur so that I could redo them.

Marking the decreases

Marking the decreases

Notice that I put the markers on the side of the knitting that I won’t be redoing.

The third step is fun. Figure out which stitch columns will need to be redone, and rip them all out. OMG SCARY RIGHT?

Rip out the infected stitches


I’m not too worried about those bottom guys going too far, since wool and other animal fibers tend to be well-behaved.

Grab the newly freed stitches — including your dropped stitch — onto a needle. I like to use DPNs for this but it’s not a necessity.

Sorry for the blurry picture :P

Sorry for the blurry picture 😛

You’ll notice that all of the rows above your current row are now little ladders of yarn. This is what you’ll be knitting with, but you want to make sure that you’re knitting with the correct row. Just pull them straight and knit with the strand on the bottom.

I'll be using the orange strand first, since it's on the bottom.

I’ll be using the orangey strand first, since it’s on the bottom.

Now knit your first row.


Just knit like normal.

Just like regular knitting!


Keep going. When you get to the decrease rows (i.e. same row as your markers), decrease as you normally would.

Once you get back to the top, you’re all done! Don’t worry if it looks a little wonky compared to the rest of the piece; blocking will take care of that.

All done!

All done!


A is for Anemone

Alphabetical knitting? Maybe…

With fronds like these...

With fronds like these…


This began life as a market bag and became a sea anemone. Because I suck at math.

Dwarf Helmet

Still debating whether to add horns…

Dwarf Helmet

This is one half of my Dwarf Helmet + Beard to wear to The Hobbit in two days. It was mostly made by watching Rare Exports, which is probably the most horrific you can get and still technically be kid-friendly, at HorrificKnits‘ urgent urging. The pattern is from the Viking Hat (for a baby) instructions, but I used KnitNannyRuth’s notes as a guideline instead of the actual pattern, with a few modifications. (You might need a ravelry account to view her notes).

Dwarf Helmet

Yarn: worsted weight

Needles: size 7 or 8 (I used 8)

CO 96

Two rows 1×1 ribbing (K1, P1)

Three rows seed stitch (seed stitch: alternate between K1, P1 around or P1, K1 around — do the opposite of what you did the previous row)

4 rows stockinette

1 bobble row — K7, MB around. (MB: loosely knit into the front and back of a single stitch twice before sliding it off the left needle — four stitches instead of 1. Turn the work, and purl into the four stitches you just made. Back down to 1 stitch. Turn work and resume)

4 rows stockinette

4 rows seed stitch

Helmet Band: K42, place marker. Bobble band (11 stitches total): Seed stitch 3, K5, Seed stitch 3. K43

Repeat Helmet Band for 7 rows (8 total rows).

1 row Bobble round: K42, seed stitch 3, K2, MB, K2, seed stitch, K43

Repeat Helmet Band for 8 rows

1 row Bobble round


K42, work 11 stitches of helmet band. PM–this is your new beginning of round to reduce decreases within the helmet band

K1, (K2tog, K7) 9 times, K2tog, K1, work Helmet Band — 85 stitches

K 1 row

K1, (K2tog, K6) 9 times, K2tog, work Helmet Band — 76 stitches

K 1 row

K1, (K2tog, K5) 9 times, K1, work Helmet Band — 68 stitches

K 1 row

K1, (K2tog, K4) 9 times, K1. Helmet Band Decrease: Seed stitch 3, SSK, K1, K2tog, seed stitch 3) — 56 stitches (Helmet Band has 9)

1 row Bobble Round

K1, (K2tog, K3) 9 times, K1, work Helmet Band — 47 stitches

K 1 row

K1, (K2tog, K2) 9 times, K1, work Helmet Band — 38 stitches

K 1 row

K1, (K2tog, K1) 9 times, K1, work Helmet Band — 29

K 1 row

K1, (K2tog) 9 times, K1, Helmet Band Decrease: SSK, seed stitch 1, K3, seed stitch 1, K2tog — 17 stitches (Helmet band has 7)

2 rows K2tog around.

Draw string through and weave in the ends, unless you’re lazy.

Now to make the beard!