Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Dropped Stitches: Part 1 - Short Runs

The first installment of what I plan on making a 5 part series on dropped stitches:

  • Part 1 - Short Runs (this post)
  • Part 2 - Long Runs
  • Part 3 - Dropped rib stitches
  • Part 4 - Dropped stitches while knitting heels/toes
  • Part 5 - Multiple Dropped stitches

This post is Part 1, and covers short runs from a single dropped stitch (ideally, what you get when you catch them quickly). I apologize in advance for my choice of yarn - I was looking for something easy to see that wasn't too bright for the camera, and what I found in my stash was this blue cotton slub (it's labeled as 3.5/1 weight, which is "about" fingering weight.. maybe a little lighter since it's cotton). Not the ideal CSM yarn by any means, so if it doesn't look like anything you're using, that's why.

Short Runs

A sample of what kind of drop I'm referring to - in plain knitting, a single stitch is dropped, and the run created is at most 4 or 5 rows long (sample shown is 4 rows).

Stopping the Run

First, before doing anything else, REMOVE the weights on your machine - this helps keep the run from extending further. Then, using a spare needle, run the needle under the yarn from the top of the cylinder, and hook into the stitch a row or two below the run (in this photo, I've hooked the stitch 2 rows below). This stops the run, and unlike trying to catch the stitch peeking out at at the end of the run, usually won't cause the run to unravel further. Using your fingers or a pick, gently pull out the stitch or two above where you've caught your needle so you can begin latching the stitches back up.

Re-Knitting the Dropped Stitches

You may want to hang your weights back on for this portion, as it helps to have a little tension on your work (you could pull down with your hand, but I find I often need that hand to help manipulate the latch on the needle). To form a stitch, you push the needle through the loop until the loop clears the latch, then make sure the needle latch closes over the strand of yarn from the row above. Pull that strand through to create a new stitch. Continue until you've latched up all the dropped rows. In the sample image I've latched up one row, and I am about to pull the yarn through from the next row.

Hooking Work Back on Needle

Once you've latched up all the dropped rows, simply pull the last loop over the needle it was dropped from. Before doing this though, you may want to inspect the needle for any problems (such as burrs or a bend latch) that may have caused the dropped stitch, and replace the needle if necessary.


  1. Thank you for posting this. I'm learning to use my machine, and it helps to have a visual reference.

  2. Hi Sarah...LOVE your instructions/videos! A newbie to csm, I do not know how to fix dropped stitches while on the heel/toe....Do you have any instruction on this?