This post will teach you how to prevent and fix holes in knitting in 3 different scenarios. Oftentimes, a hole in your knitting goes hand in hand with having too many stitches on your needles as well.
Many knit lace patterns work holes into knitting purposefully. However, if you aren’t working a lace pattern but still end up with a hole, what should you do? Let’s talk about how to fix holes in knitting.
Knit Errors And How to Prevent And Fix Them
This is one of 5 posts that address certain knit errors; how to diagnose, prevent, and fix them. See the other posts here:
Errant yarn overs are the most common cause of unwanted holes in your knitwork. The most common way that unwanted yarnovers happen is if you have the yarn in the back (as opposed to the front) of your work when purling or in the front (as opposed to the back) when you are knitting.
It’s pretty obvious to see a hole in your knitting after the fact, and we will surely talk about how to ‘cure’ this knit error. But more importantly, let’s talk about how to diagnose a yarn over when you can fix it right away.
Preventing Holes in Knitting
- Make sure your yarn is in the back of your work while knitting and in the front of your work when purling.
- Make sure you grab the actual stitch and the not bar of yarn between stitches.
Fixing Holes in Knitting
Catch the Yarn Over Before Your Work it on the Next Row
- The easiest and most pain-free way to deal with an errant yarn over is to catch it before you knit or purl into it. If you are knitting along and you see something that looks like this, it is a yarn over.
If you wanted the hole there for the pattern you are working on, then go ahead and work it. BUT, if your pattern doesn’t have yarnovers or if it is in the wrong place, then you will simply drop the yarn over. You’ll have a wee bit more yarn in that area, but most likely once you finish knitting and wash/block your work, you won’t even notice it. Here’s what to do:
Gently pull your left needle to drop that yarn over off of the need
And then knit the next stitch, following the pattern. You would do the same thing on the purl side, purling the next stitch per the pattern.
You can’t even tell where the hole was and you should have the correct number of stitches on your needles.
You Worked the Yarn Over, but You Haven’t Bound Off your Work.
We are going to force a dropped stitch here; also known as Laddering Down, Laddering Back or Dropping Down, to fix this hole in the knitting swatch. Head over here to refresh yourself on dropped stitches.
Follow the column up from where the dropped stitch is and…
take that stitch off of the needles. Put a stitch marker right below the hole.
Put crochet hook into bottom-most ladder rung and twist it once to tighten the yarn over stitch.
Then grab the next yarn rung up
and pull that stitch through the stitch on the crochet hook.
Continue to pull up the yarn ladder rungs from the back, through the loop on the crochet hook until you reach the needle.
Make sure you put the stitch back on the needle so that it is sitting the right way. The last thing you want now is a twisted stitch!
Keep in mind, that even after fixing the hole from the yarn over, you will still have an extra stitch. If you need to, work a decrease at one of the edges.
If You Discover the Hole After You Have Bound Off your Work
At this point, the only thing you can do is darn the darned hole!
If you have finished your project and it isn’t impacted by the one more stitch in each row after the errant yarn over, all you really want to do is close up that silly hole! Watch this video below to see how to do that.
Like all skills, the more you practice your knitting the more you will become proficient in reading your work. And you will also become an expert at not only preventing but diagnosing and curing your knit errors. One way to become a more experienced knitter is to force some of these mistakes; not only will you become aware of what causes the knit errors, but also how to fix them.
Knit a swatch and intentionally work an errant yarn over and then fix it. Not only will you be familiar with what not to do to prevent unintended holes in your knitting, but then you will also be comfortable with how to fix holes in knitting going forward.
If you want to learn how to knit or are looking to brush up on your knitting skills and knowledge, pop over to the How to Knit page, which houses all of the posts that teach knitting skills. Or, you could go ahead and visit each one by clicking the links below.
All About Knitting
- All About Yarn, including different fibers and weights, how to read a yarn label, and a Yarn Weights Chart
- All About Knitting Needles, including material, sizes, styles, and a Needle Conversion Chart.
- How to Cast On Using the Long-Tail Method, including calculating how much yarn is needed to cast on and how to make a slip knot.
- How to Knit the Knit Stitch
- How to Knit the Purl Stitch
- How to Knit the Seed Stitch
- How to Bind Off, including how to weave in your loose ends.
- How to Read a Knit Pattern, including a Common Knitting Abbreviations Chart.
- This simple Garter Knit Dishcloth will let you put all your new skills to good use!
- How to Block Your Knitting.
- Common Knit Errors; How to Prevent or Diagnose and Fix Them
- Join yarn using the Russian Join
- How to seam pieces of knit fabric with the Mattress Stitch (for sweaters, tops, pillows, etc…)
- How to Knit in the Round with Circular Needles
- How to Knit in the Round with Double-Pointed Needles
- How to Knit in the Round using the Magic Loop Technique.
- Organize Your Knitting with these free printables.
- Check out our Gift Ideas for Knitters.
Bookmark this page or pin the following image to refer back to this post on how to fix holes in knitting in the future.
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