PurlsAndPixels

Fix Knitting Mistakes

Learn to spot knitting mistakes then fix dropped and twisted stitches in this tutorial from Liz @PurlsAndPixels

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.

Using a crochet hook helps when fixing mistakes in knitting that a few rows back. Learn to fix mistakes with Liz @PurlsAndPixels

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.

This knit has no twisted or dropped stitches. Learn more about knitting mistakes with Liz @PurlsAndPixels.

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.”

An untwisted knit stitch is open, not crossed, at the tip of the "V" - a knitting lesson from Liz @PurlsAndPixels

Identify Twisted Stitches

Unlike a regular knit stitch, a twisted knit stitch will have its legs crossed.

Learn to identify twisted knit stitches and fix knitting mistakes with Liz @PurlsAndPixels.

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

Learn to fix dropped stitches with this knitting lesson from Liz Chandler @PurlsAndPixels.

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

Learn to fix slipped stitches with this knitting lesson from Liz Chandler @PurlsAndPixels.

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

Learn to knit backward ("tink") to fix mistakes in this knitting lesson with Liz Chandler @PurlsAndPixels.

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

Basic Washcloth and Face Scrubby knitting pattern by Liz @PurlsAndPixels

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.

Up Next

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.)

Go Back to the Learn to Knit Index

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