How to Fix Simple Mistakes in Your Knitting

Updated: Feb 17, 2021

Are you a new knitter? Does the idea of a dropped stitch terrify you and fill you with dread? Have you ever been mindlessly knitting and then catch a mistake three rows back? Because, SAME. When I first started knitting, I really didn't like it. Fixing my mistakes seemed so much more daunting with knitting than with crocheting. However, once I learned how to pick up dropped stitches and fix simple mistakes, I realized that my stress was disproportionate to the difficulty (basically, it's a lot easier than I thought).

In this post, I will be teaching you how to fix simple mistakes so that knitting will seem less scary. This will cover: how to undo your work by moving backwards and dropping down a stitch to fix a small mistake that was a few rows back. You can also watch the YouTube tutorial:

In the image below, the knit fabric is supposed to be in a 1x1 rib (knit 1, purl 1). I have two mistake areas circled. For the first mistake, the stitches are shifted over by one. So, it has been knit where it should have been purled, etc. The second mistake (in the smaller circle), is that there is a purl where there should have been a knit a few rows back. Let's start with how to fix the first mistake.

photo of 1x1 rib knit fabric. The ribbing is off on the current row and there is a purl where there should be a knit a couple of rows down.

How to Undo Your Knitting by Working Backwards

Let's start with the first mistake. Since it is on the row that I am currently working, I am just going to undo and work backwards. To do this, bring the yarn into the hand that usually holds your yarn as you knit (for me, it is my left hand). Then, insert your left needle into the stitch below the last worked stitch on your right needle. After that, take that stitch off of your right needle and pull the yarn out so that the loop that was just on your right needle has "disappeared". Now, you will have worked backwards one stitch. The photos below will show you the different steps.

How to Fix a Dropped Stitch

Now let's talk about dropping down a couple of rows to fix a mistake. If you accidentally drop a stitch, this is the same way that you would fix that. The first thing that you need to do is get the stitch that you are dropping down to fix, in between your needles. You can do this either by slipping stitches or working them until you get there.

Now just drop down that stitch until you get to the stitch that you need to fix. Drop that stitch and now insert a crochet hook into the stitch from front to back (pictured below).

stitch had been dropped down to where the mistake was made and a crochet hook is holding the dropped stitch.

Once you have done that, you will notice that the dropped stitch has a "ladder" above it. Place your crochet hook behind the closest "rung" just above it, and then pull that rung through the stitch on your hook. Continue to do this until there are no more "rungs", being careful to work the "rungs" in order. Place the stitch on your hook back onto your needles.

crochet hook, entering the dropped stitch from front to back, now is under the "rung" right above the stitch it is currently in.

That is how you work up with a dropped stitch if you are fixing a knit stitch, but what if it is a purl stitch that you dropped or need to fix?

a stitch was knit when it should have been purled a couple of rows down.

Just like before, drop down to the stitch you need to fix.

crochet hook has been inserted into the dropped stitch from back to front since it is supposed to be a purl stitch.

If you want to do things the hard way, you can insert your crochet hook from back to front and try pulling the "rungs" through that way.

crochet hook has been inserted into the dropped stitch from back to front since it is supposed to be a purl stitch.

Or, since the reverse of a purl is a knit, you can just turn your work around and fix it on the wrong side, just like you would fix a dropped knit stitch.

work has been turned to the wrong side and the crochet hook is in the dropped stitch from front to back.

Hopefully you found this tutorial helpful. I want to make sure you have the tools to be able to enjoy knitting for years to come!

Happy Knitting,


pinterest image: how to fix simple mistakes in your knitting. Free tutorial on

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