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Knitting Fundamentals: How to Fix Dropped Stitches

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Dropped stitches happen to us all. Whether they fell off your needles while you were walking to your knitting group or a stitch escaped unnoticed while you were knitting, dropped stitches are a common problem for knitters. But thankfully, they’re easy to fix! In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to correct your dropped stitches and how to deliberately drop stitches to fix other mistakes.



  • Your current knitting project on the needles
  • A paper clip or removable stitch marker
  • A crochet hook that’s slightly smaller or the same size as your knitting needles

1. Find Your Dropped Stitch

Step 1

Follow the ladder created by the dropped stitch down until you find the loop that is the top of the stitch.


Step 2

Trap the stitch by hooking a paper clip or removable stitch marker through the loop. This will prevent the stitch from falling even further before you get a chance to repair it.


Step 3

If you’ve already knitted past the dropped stitch, simply continue to knit until you come back to the point where that column of stitches should be on your needle.


2. Hook the Stitch Up

Step 1

Remove the paper clip or stitch marker, and place your crochet hook through the loop of the stitch.


Step 2

Insert your crochet hook underneath the lowest “rung” of the ladder.


Step 3

Pull the rung through the stitch, and allow the stitch to drop off the hook. The rung now forms a new stitch on your crochet hook.


Step 4

Repeat steps 2 to 3 until you reach the top of your knitting.


Step 5

Move the last loop on your crochet hook onto your left needle, and continue knitting your project!


3. Drop Stitches to Fix Mistakes

Now that you know how to correct a dropped stitch, you can use this technique to fix other mistakes. If you knitted a stitch when you should have purled or purled a stitch when you should have knitted, you don’t have to unravel a bunch of rows to fix the mistake! You can simply drop a stitch down to the mistake and correct it when you hook your way back up the ladder.

Step 1

Mark the mistake you’d like to fix. Here I accidentally purled where I should have knitted.


Step 2

Trace your way up the column of stitches to find the stitch you need to drop.


Step 3

Knit your way over to the stitch to be dropped.


Step 4

Slip the stitch off your needle, and allow it to unravel its way down. You may need to tug on it to encourage the stitch to drop down.


Step 5

Remove your marker and allow the stitch to drop one row below the mistake. Insert your crochet hook in the stitch.


Step 6

Hook your way up to the stop of the column, making sure that the knits and purls are all facing the right way. When you hook your way up using this technique, you will create knit stitches on the side that faces you. If you want purl stitches on that side, simply turn your work around so you're working on the opposite side. This works because the opposite side of a knit stitch is a purl stitch.


Step 7

Place the stitch back on your left needle, and continue your project. There may be some distortion around the stitch column you dropped and hooked up, but blocking will even out the stitches.


Keep Stitching

In this tutorial, you learned how to pick up a dropped stitch and work it back up to your needles using a crochet hook. You also learned how to deliberately drop a stitch to fix other knitting mistakes.

Now that you understand how to use a crochet hook to correct your knitting, you’ll be able to knit error-free projects with less of the frustration of ripping back rows.

Do you have any other knitting problems that drive you crazy? Let us know in the comments below and we'll do our best to help!

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