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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tutorial Tuesday - Dropped stitch found in a finished shawl

This year I'm planning to do regular tutorials on the blog. They'll be posted on Tuesdays but it won't be every Tuesday. I'm aiming for once a month but I may do more. Any topics you'd like me to cover, please leave a comment. All my tutorials are listed here.

 Last week I finished a new shawl and when I blocked it I noticed this:

Yes that's a dropped stitch. Actually it's three stitches. I've no idea how that happened. It should have been a k2tog (knit two together which was then cast off with another stitch, right at the edge of the shawl. I think I must have dropped the stitch a couple of rows further on and it unravelled down to the 'k2tog' row. Anyway, whatever caused it, there it was: three loose stitches. 

The first thing I did was grab a 'padlock' stitch marker to secure the stitches (sorry the picture below is a big out of focus - Clover and Knit Pro both do these stitch markers):

I decided not to try to repair while the shawl was blocking because it was wet and it was late in the evening and the light was poor. So on Saturday morning I got my tools out and got to work. I had the leftover yarn from the project, a couple of spare padlock stitch markers (the yellow ones), crochet hook, scissors and a needle.

The first thing I did was place the three different stitches on a stitch marker each and got my tools ready. I had the shawl laid out flat on the table.

I removed the stitch holders and got my crochet hook. I've got a little tiny double ended crochet hook that I use for fixing dropped stitches. These three stitches should have been a k2tog then a Russian Cast Off with the stitch before, which is essentially another k2tog.  So I put the three stitches on the crochet hook.

I pulled the first stitch (the one furthest from the edge) through the middle stitch for the k2tog.

Then I pulled that stitch through the next stitch. It's not quite the same as a Russian cast off but it's close enough.

I now have one stitch. I could see that the stitch had been dropped down 2 rows so I used the crochet hook to 're-knit' those rows. This shawl is in garter stitch, so I pulled the stitch and crochet hook through to the wrong side and pulled the strand for the next row through the stitch (that's the purple strand over my hook in the photo below).

I went back to the right side and pulled the next strand (pink) through the stitch.

So I've ended up with one stitch and no hole.

I removed the crochet hook and grabbed my sewing needle and a strand of yarn. I pulled the yarn through so I had a tail hanging out.

The pink strand I used was slightly darker than the pink yarn used for that section. It's the same yarn but it's a slightly variegated pink. Below if you look very carefully, and it's not easy to see, you can just about make out the darker piece of yarn threaded through the stitch.

I took the two tails through to the wrong side and wove them in as I would normally weave in ends.

After weaving in the ends. I trimmed the ends. Here's the result on the wrong side.

Turn it over to the right side and it's more or less invisible. The repair is next to one of the beads. Can you see it? I can only see it if I turn the fabric over and look for where I wove in the ends. It's not perfect but it blends in well enough and the dropped stitch is secure. My other option would have been to rip out half the shawl and re-knit it and that wasn't going to happen.

I hope this has been helpful. I'm thinking I should have videoed it but I didn't think about that until after I finished the repair. It's awful discovering a dropped stitch when you reach the blocking stage but it happens. Or at least it happens to me! But it is repairable. The main thing is not to panic

  • Secure the stitch (keep lockable stitch markers handy or a safety pin or piece of yarn will do).
  • Think about what you want to do. 
  • Get your tools together. 
  • Take your time.
I'm hoping to publish this shawl next week. It will become part of a new e-book and I'll have more details of that later this week or next week.

Here's a photo from my photo shoot last week. I wore this shawl on Sunday on a trip to Bristol and it was lovely and warm.

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