Sometimes, you will notice a stitch in your knitting that looks just a bit strange. As you begin to recognize the shapes of knits and purls, you will learn to “read” your knitting as you work. Once you know what your stitches should look like, you will start to spot mistakes. Twisted, dropped, and slipped stitches are common errors that almost every knitter makes. If you learn to identify them, you can fix knitting mistakes before you bind off your project.
The video lesson below will show you how to spot and fix twisted and dropped stitches. Then, continue reading to see more about spotting and fixing common knitting mistakes.
Video Guide: Common Knitting Mistakes, Fixing Dropped & Twisted Stitches
Written Guide: Common Knitting Mistakes, Dropped & Twisted Stitches
Fixing Knitting Mistakes with a Crochet Hook
Many common knitting mistakes are fixed by intentionally dropping a stitch off your knitting needles. This allows you to correct your mistake, then return the stitch to its place. When correcting a mistake, you will want to be sure to always put the stitch back onto the needles with the right leg in front, if you do not want a twisted stitch.
When you have knit several rows before you notice your mistake, dropping the column of stitches directly above your mistake will allow you reach the problem stitch and fix it. Then, you will re-loop the dropped stitches by climbing up the “ladder” of stitches, anchoring them back in place one at a time. When you reach the top, you can put the last stitch back on the needle and resume your project.
While this can be completed with just your hands, using a crochet hook makes straightening the column of stitches an easier task. Choose a crochet hook that is the same size or just a bit smaller than your knitting needles. Crochet hooks and knitting needles are both labeled with millimeter measurements, so you can easily compare sizes. Here, I am working US No. 7 (4.5 mm) knitting needles and a G (4.0 mm) crochet hook.
Examining Correct Knit Stitches
Before you can spot mistakes, you need to know what a proper knit stitch and purl stitch should look like. So, let’s first look more closely at what knit stitches typically look like, without mistakes.
The “knit-side” of a stockinette stitch pattern should be flat and should be completely made up of the V-shaped stitches.
If you examine a correct (untwisted) knit “V” closely, you will notice the point at the bottom of the “V” should stretch apart, like so: “\ /”. Each half of the “V” is referred to as a “leg.”
Identify Twisted Stitches
Unlike a regular knit stitch, a twisted knit stitch will have its legs crossed.
Fixing Twisted Stitches
Fix a Twisted Stitch, Step 1:
You can find the complete step-by-step tutorial to fix twisted stitches on its own page. Go to full tutorial.
Identify Dropped Stitches
A dropped stitch is simply one that has fallen off the needles at some point in your work.
Fixing Dropped Stitches
Fix a Dropped Stitch, Step 1:
You can find the complete step-by-step tutorial to fix dropped stitches on its own page. Go to full tutorial.
Identify Slipped Stitches
A slipped stitch is an unworked stitch. This will cause one stitch to look much bigger than the others.
There will also be a loose loop on the purlside where you have slipped a stitch.
Fixing Slipped Stitches
Fix a Slipped Stitch, Step 1:
You can find the complete step-by-step tutorial to fix slipped stitches on its own page. Go to full tutorial.
“Tink” – Knit Backward to Fix Mistakes
Tink, Step 1:
You can find the complete step-by-step tutorial to knit backward to fix mistakes on its own page. Go to full tutorial.
Practice With My Knitting Patterns
In this guide I was making a Simple Face Scrubby. Knit along with me. This pattern is part of my Simple Washcloth Knitting Pattern Collection.
After you have learned to fix knitting mistakes, you may want to know how to unravel a few rows to correct a problem. Or undo an entire knitting project to reuse the yarn. Either way, knitters call this “frogging,” and I will show you how in the next tutorial. (Available April 3, 2021.)