Top tips for fixing problems in your knitting – part one, holes

We thought it might be useful to do some occasional posts about fixing problems with your knitting. So we are starting with holes.

The important tools for dealing with holes are a crochet hook, a darning needle, a safety pin, thread and some pins.

Dropped stitch

Probably the biggest cause of holes are dropped stitches. One stitch slips of the needle, you don’t notice and a couple of rows later you have the wrong number of stitches and a large hole growing in your work.

The first step is to find the stitch. Look down the ladder in your work and find the last complete stitch. Put this on the safety pin to stop it unravelling further. If the stitch has dropped several rows, pin your knitting flat to a foam or cork board or and folded towel.

knitting tips

Use the crochet hook to remake the stitch row by row, being careful to use the bars of yarn in the correct order, and matching knit and purl stitches to the pattern. Once you reach the top of the ladder, slip the stitch back on to the needle.

If your stitch has only dropped a couple of rows, you probably won’t need to pin your work out because you’ll be able to see which direction the stitch goes and which bar of yarn is next. After you have picked up the stitches you may find that column of stitches look slightly different but this should settle down when you block your knitting.

Stray yarn overs

This is when you accidently make a yarn over in a row and then knit or purl it in the next row. This starts a new column of stitches with a hole at the bottom.

Sadly if you spot the problem within a row or so, the best thing to do is rip back. Dropping the extra stitch will create a ladder in your work. And the cheat of decreasing for the extra stitch and trying to sew up the hole afterwards can look ugly.

If your hole is in a complicated pattern, ripping back can be quite worrying in case you mess up the pattern or drop another stitch.

knitting tips

Life lines are useful here. To create a life line, thread your darning needle with cotton thread. Select a row below your mistake and thread the cotton through each stitch in the row as pictured. When you rip out your work you will reach a row where all the stitches have a thread through them and won’t rip any more. At this point you can put a correct row of stitches back on the needle and start working again.

Everyone at some point will have holes in their knitting. With a little patience and our tips your knitting will look perfect again.

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