How to recover a stitch from a slipped needle

Im learning the basics of knitting thanks to youtube. I’ve only been knitting for a couple of weeks. I have stumbled upon a problem Im sure every new knitter has encountered. There are times when my needle slips from the loops and I do not know how to recover the stitch because the loops were pulled too, so, I start over. My first project is a dishcloth and I was about half way finished when the needle slipped from the loop and I lost the stitch. I did the best I could to recover the stitch but it is obvious I didn’t recover the stitch properly. My question is, when a needle slip happens how do I recover the stitch properly so I can continue my project without starting over?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!


At the top of the page under TIPS there are several videos you might find helpful. Scroll down to Fixing Mistakes and you’ll find one about fixing a dropped stitch. Yes, we all have to learn how to pickup dropped stitches.

not just every “new” knitter, EVERY knitter has this happen – it’s just more common when you’re first starting out and getting used to trying to hold all that stuff together that’s sticking out in random directions. Plus as you gain experience, a needle falling out or a stitch dropping becomes less likely to trigger a DEFCON 1 alert.

The videos on the main KH site cover a wealth of topics, and one of them is how to fix a dropped stitch. If you’re in even deeper trouble than that, she covers reinserting a needle that’s fallen out completely too. There is actually a whole collection of videos on fixing mistakes if you scroll a little way down on the “Tips and Techniques” page. I usually fix mine with a crochet hook because… well, that’s how I learned to do it and it’s easier for me to work with a tool that’s not already encumbered by stitches. But that’s just me. YMMV.

The trickiest part is getting the stitches back on the needle without getting them twisted. when you’re done, the side of the stitch facing you should look sort of like a backslash (). But it might be hard to see unless you pull the loops on either side out a little. In time you’ll be able to feel the difference when you try to knit it if it’s twisted.

To help avoid the problem in the first place, you might try bamboo needles. They’re somewhat less prone to falling out than metal or plastic ones. They cost a little more, but they’re not unreasonable. Using circular needles (which can be used to knit flat too) helps a lot of people keep from losing stitches this way too.

Hope that helps… and welcome to the dark side!

I wouldn’t worry so much about getting the sts on the needle untwisted, just get them back on the needle first. Then when you reknit the sts, always go into the leg closest to the tip of the needle to keep them untwisted.

You might be able to pick up the stitches one at a time from a lower row, I think one of the videos shows how to do it. You also might want to try to knit looser, it sounds like your stitches might be too tight to start with. Knitting too tight is common with new knitters, loosening up is easier on your hands and pays off in the long run.

Definitely the key element is getting them back on the needle. I usually just untwist them as I get to them if I figure out they need it. Yes, I get that it doesn’t make any difference… it’s just easier for me to do it that way. Slower probably, but I’m not gonna break any speed records anyway, so who’d notice?


we all drop stitches from time to time, the trick is a) realising it and b) knowing how do correct it from a row (or more) above.

Realising it may sound obvious but if we knew the minute we dropped them then they’d be fixed instantly I guess.

I learned how to change a purl to a knit from a couple of rows above from an old friend of mine, Maree, she’s an amazing knitter (and spinner).

Welcome!! Yes, we all do that. I’m knitting socks right now in fingering weight yarn and dropped a stitch. Or two. :doh: I had to invest in a tiny crochet hook to pick it up easily. I keep various sizes in my knitting bag.

Jan’s spot on … crochet hooks are indispensable aides to unstuffing-up-stuff-ups.

I learned how to fix a dropped stitch from a couple of rows on from my girlfriend (and Kninja Master). Once I knew how to do that, changing a purl to a knit was an exercise in “drop the stitch – on purpose – then go fix it”. But I’m not in the same solar system as Wendy when it comes to yarn-related … anything. I always knew this, but recently – just when I thought she couldn’t amaze me further – I watched her twist a cable I’d forgotten from a couple of rows on. And made it look better than I could do in the [I]current[/I] row!

I’m a very lucky guy. :happydance:

:vigorous agreement: Is there anything above “indispensable” on the Useful Scale? If so, that’s what crochet hooks are.

How’s your project coming along? Well, I hope. It’s so good Knitting Help is here, it can explain everything knitting.

My mother used to crochet with those tiny hooks. Not me. I got one that’s really small many years ago for pulling snags back through to the other side on sweaters and such.