How to Pick Up a Dropped Purl Stitch: Step-by-Step Tutorial

Text area which says "How to Pick Up a Dropped Purl Stitch, learnknittingonline.com" followed by a crochet hook inserted in a dropped stich of a blue knitting project.

Unfortunately, when knitting you do at times drop one or more stitches. So, in this tutorial we are going to take a closer look at how you can pick up a dropped purl stitch or a reverse stockinette.

In fact, discovering a dropped stitch in your project can be frightening. Luckily, it is usually very easy to fix any purl stitches that you may have dropped.

Actually, there are two main techniques for fixing dropped stitches. The method you choose will depend on the severity of the problem.

Blue knitting project with one stitch dropped on the first row
Has the purl stitch just dropped one row?
Blue knitting project with one stitch dropped several rows below
Or has the purl stitch dropped several rows?

Irrespective of which problem you have, you should make sure that the dropped stitch does not unravel any further. As it happens, the easiest method for securing a dropped stitch is to use locking stitch marker .

Just slip the stitch marker through the loop of the dropped stitch. Alternatively, if you do not have a stitch marker to hand, you can simple just thread a piece of scrap yarn through the loop.

You may find that the rescued stitch does not have the same size as the surrounding stitches. Fortunately, you can easily fix this by tugging your project in each direction. This should blend the stitches nicely.

Picking Up Purl Stitches When Knitting Flat

If you are knitting a flat project such as a scarf or a blanket, there is another simple way of picking up dropped purl stitches when knitting stockinette.

As a matter of fact, all you need to do is to turn your project around, so the public side is facing you. By doing this, the purl stitch becomes a knit/stockinette stitch.

You can then simply use the techniques outlined in our tutorial that you can find here: How to Pick Up a Dropped Knit Stitch.

Once you have picked up the dropped stitch(es), just turn your work around again and continue knitting as usual.

Tools Needed to Rescue Dropped Stitches

  • A lock stitch marker or a scrap piece of yarn
  • A crochet hook OR
  • A spare double or single-pointed needle

Learn How to Pick Up a Dropped Purl Stitch

Use this technique if your stitch has just dropped one row.

Start by securing the dropped stitch with a locking stitch marker.

How To Pick Up A Dropped Purl Stitch Step 1: Dropped stitch on a knitting project with a pink stitch marker attached to it.

Purl to where the stitch was dropped.

How To Pick Up A Dropped Purl Stitch Step 2: Highlighted dropped stitch on a knitting project with a pink stitch marker attached to it

Make sure that the loose horizontal strand is in front of the dropped stitch.

How To Pick Up A Dropped Purl Stitch Step 3: Loose strand in front of a dropped stitch highlighted.

Remove the stitch maker and insert the right-hand needle, from back to front, into the dropped stitch. Make sure that the needle also goes under the loose horizontal strand.

How To Pick Up A Dropped Purl Stitch Step 4: Two stitches on a knitting project highlighted

Using the left knitting needle, lift the dropped stitch over the horizontal strand and off the right-hand needle.

How To Pick Up A Dropped Purl Stitch Step 5: Left needle lifting the dropped stitch from the right needle.

Transfer the purl stitch you have just made onto the left-hand needle. You do this by inserting the left needle from front to back into the repaired stitch.

How To Pick Up A Dropped Purl Stitch Step 6: Highlighted dropped stitch of a knitting project being transferred on the right needle.

Slip the stitch off the right-hand needle and onto the left-hand one.

How To Pick Up A Dropped Purl Stitch Step 7: Highlighted dropped stitch of a knitting project placed back to the left hand needle.

Continue knitting as usual.

Learn How to Pick Up a Running Purl Stitch

Use this technique if your stitch has dropped more than one row.

The easiest is to use a crochet hook when picking up the dropped stitch. However, if you do not have one to hand, you can always use a knitting needle instead.

To avoid any unsightly glitches in your project, make sure that you pull the loops through the loose strands in the correct order.

Firstly, secure the dropped stitch using a stitch marker.

How To Pick Up A Running Purl Stitch Step 1: A pink stitch marker attached to a dropped stitch on a knitting project.

Purl as normal to where you dropped the stitch.

How To Pick Up A Running Purl Stitch Step 2: A pink stitch marker attached to a highlighted dropped stitch on a knitting project.

Make sure that all the loose strands of yarn are in front of the dropped stitch.

How To Pick Up A Running Purl Stitch Step 3: A pink stitch marker attached to a dropped stitch on a knitting project with the loose strands in front of it highlighted.

Remove the stitch marker and, from back to front, insert the crochet hook into the dropped stitch.

How To Pick Up A Running Purl Stitch Step 4: A crochet hook being inserted in a dropped stitch on a knitting project.

Using the hook, catch the first, loose strand and pull it through the stitch.

How To Pick Up A Running Purl Stitch Step 5: A crochet hook inserted in a dropped stitch on a knitting project catching the lose strand in front of it.

Continue using the crochet in the same way until you have worked all the strands.

How To Pick Up A Running Purl Stitch Step 6: A crochet hook inserted in a dropped stitch on a knitting project catching the lose strand in front of it.

Lastly, place the rescued stitch on the left-hand knitting needle, making sure it is not backward.

How To Pick Up A Dropped Purl Stitch Step 7: Highlighted dropped stitch of a knitting project placed back to the left hand needle.

Continue knitting as usual.

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