Rescue me! Knit edition

Today I finished clue 3 of my Rose City Yarn Crawl Mystery Shawlette. While I was working the last row, I found a split stitch several rows back. Horrors!

dropped stitch

I knew that the tiny bit of yarn holding things together would break when I wet block this shawlette. You can see that most of the yarn loop that belongs to that stitch is hanging out in front of the fabric instead of being part of the fabric. It’s the bottom stitch of the dark blue stripe. Only a tiny filament of this loop is holding the fabric together. (I had already started laddering down before I thought to take a picture.)

dropped stitch w/ hook

I laddered down to the split stitch: Drop the top stitch of the column off the needles, and then pull the yarn out of each loop on the way down, like a run in a nylon stocking. I then inserted my crochet hook (from front of the fabric towards the back), and carefully pulled each ladder through, in order, with each ladder becoming the new stitch on the hook. Pull up a little more than you think you should, to snug the stitch up with its neighbors on either side. (This is for stockinette; garter stitch is a little trickier.)

dropped stitch fixed

All better! See how the bottom stitch of the dark blue stripe looks the way it’s supposed to now? You can use this laddering technique to fix split stitches, wrong stitches, dropped stitches. If you’re picking up a dropped stitch, it may be a little tight when you hook things up, but you can borrow a bit of slack from the neighbors.

I’ve been teaching this and many other ways to fix knitting mistakes in a class called Tink, Drop, Frog for a while now. It’s always fun seeing knitters learn to take charge of their knitting. Interested? The next one is scheduled at Twisted on April 13 from 12:30 to 2:30. You, too, can fix mistakes like a boss!

Here’s the finished clue 3.

rcyc clue 3

I think it looks like ripples on moonlit water.

rcyc clue 3 b

I added an extra band of roses halfway through the second stripe sequence. They’ll stand out better when properly blocked; I only pinned it out a bit.

rcyc clue 3, close

One more clue, coming this Friday!

14 responses to “Rescue me! Knit edition

  1. Michelle Villanti

    Thanks for this, I have that very problem with the split. I’ll have to reread this and decide if I’m going to fix! 🙂

    • It’s not as scary as it looks. Everything is attached to something stable, even when you drop down. The stitches to the sides of the column won’t release the dropped down stitch, unless you pop more stitches off the needles. And we’re not going to do that, right? (Although you can drop entire cables and fix them, if you’re brave.)


  2. Debby Carmichael

    Good job!!! Keen eye!

  3. The fix is good, but you know what is awesome??? You have some of those Signature needles. They are like knitting jewels! Gorgeous!

    • The needles were a gift from my friend Sarah. At first they were too slick for me, being metal and me being used to wood, but I have grown very fond of the pointy tips for all the lace shawls I do. They are very nice!


  4. Oh goodness your colors are wonderful! I’m toying with idea of adding another rose patterned row as well! I definitely have the yarn for it. I think I’m going to do clue 3 pretty much as written and then sneak a peak at clue 4 before I decide. 🙂 I’m almost caught up now after I had to frog back last week! And that class you are teaching sounds awesome, back when I was a beginner I would pretty much just throw out a project when I had made a big mistake. I didn’t know how to frog, tink with it or anything! 🙂

    • If you think you’re going to add another rose patterned row, hold off after completing 4 rows of the CC stripes (plus 1 MC stripe) and decide there. You can do the CC stripes 8/4/4 (I did this) or 8/6/4 (someone else did that). (The 8 is the 8 stripes in Clue 2) Take a ramble through the ravelry MKAL Clue 3 thread to see what’s out there!

      I love teaching this class; it’s really fun.


  5. Tinking should be the third thing every knitter learns. Knit, purl, tink. Although I was down with frogging and even dropping to fix a stitch, it took me a while before I figured out tinking, and before that, I was constantly terrified of one relatively minor mistake wrecking a whole project because I just didn’t know how to fix it. The confidence that comes from knowing how to backtrack is invaluable. I would definitely have taken your class early in my knitting if one had been available near me.

    • I agree, tinking is essential! And it’s not hard, if you watch what you’re doing when you make the stitch, to put the whole thing in reverse. Just not necessarily intuitive when you’re just learning.

      The dropping is what always thrills new knitters, though, because it looks so dangerous! It’s actually very safe, because the stitches are attached to their neighbors.

      Michele Lee Bernstein Sent from my iPad


  6. This is an essential trick for every knitter to know!

  7. I really REALLY need to take your class!

    The shawl is stunning.

  8. Wow, the shawl is gorgeous!:)