Mini-tut: Find mistake, drop a stitch, fix a purl

Hi there! Today’s post is mini tutorial on fixing a mistake in your knitting. Specifically, fixing a textured knit. My example is a basic one where the row repeat is an offset of 3 knits and 1 purl, a repeat of 4 rows of the Talus hat by Cory Ellen Boberg of Indie Knits. The yarn I’m using is a single ply of Intrepid Otter. I don’t quite remember which one it is, but it’s awesome!

Super easy cakes, so follow a long as I have some handy tips for working a fix.

Tools: a crochet hook smaller than gauge or at least 1/2mm to 1mm size smaller than the needles you are using for the project, and a removable stitch marker. For the crochet hook, see if you can find one that has a tapered end or evenly milled without a bulky handle.

Mine shown here is a Susan Bates aluminum crochet hook size 3.25mm and 4″ short with the opposite end shaped like a needle point. Yay, dual use!

* this tutorial assumes you know how to use a crochet hook *



Step 1: figure out where the problem is

Problem child and Boo charm

Figure out where the error is.

So you can see in the photo the last stitch on my left hand needle is a column of 3 knits and 1 purl. The problem is that I misread the chart and did 1 extra row if p1, k1 which causes this column, and it’s matching column at the other end of the lace motif, to be off by 1 row. After determining that my yarn won’t hide it, I decided to fix these two columns of knitting instead of ripping all the way back to the start.

You’ll see that the wrong column is almost matching up with the next patterned column of stitches to the right. No good! So what do I do?

Drop the stitch!

Step 2: but first, place the removable stitch marker

Placing the marker

Placing the marker

As you can see in the picture above this one, the stitch marker is on the bar yarn of a purl stitch. If I were to drop the stitch then and there, it would unravel all the way down through that marker and into my ribbing. So to combat that, and to make sure I’m in the right place, I am placing the marker through the stitch above it. In normal knitting that is the loop created from doing a purl stitch that is on the right hand needle. (At this stage I’m ignoring my initial screw up regarding the extra row section I knit in ribbing and starting my fix after the first purl of the column).

Close the stitch marker so you don’t accidentally poke yourself and you’re ready for the next step.

Step 3: the crochet hook

After you’ve unraveled that column of stitches carefully. Place the crochet hook into the loop from the bottom and start slip stitching your way back up the column. Make sure you are grabbing the correct bar of yarn as you go up the column. It’s important to note here that you are using a smaller crochet hook than gauge. There’s a tendency to pull on the stitches as you go causing it to be tighter, so a larger crochet hook will result in a set of oddly shaped stitches in and around the column you’re attempting to fix.

Step 4: purling

Slip stitching your way up the column creates the knit stitches, but in the pattern I need a purl stitch every 4th row. So to do that I first grab the bar yarn like I would for the slip stitch:

Step 3a

Step 4a

Notice the position of my crochet hook. Hook part is at the top. Pinch the work at that point gently to hold it’s position and pull the hook out from the top. Flip the hook around and insert it from the top.

Step 4b, hook is now positioned upside down

From here we can see that the bar yarn is in the wrong place. Like a purl, the yarn needs to be in front! So gently pick that yarn and slip it down over the loop so that it is closest to the hook.

Step 4c

Step 4c

Now you’re ready to purl! Pull that bar yarn through the loop, or as I like to do it: gently pick the loop over the bar yarn and the hook like a upside down slip stitch.

Step 4 complete!

Step 4 purl complete!

And there you have it! A purl stitch yay! Gently pinch the stitch again to hold it in place as you pull the crochet hook out from the left side. Reinsert hook into the loop to continue the column. Repeat step 4 as needed for the pattern.

Step 4 reset crochet hook for more slip stitches for knits

Here’s the final product:


Column fixed!

Column fixed!

And there you have it, a quick and easy fix for knits and purls in a column. =)