How to Pick Up a Dropped Purl Stitch

How to Pick Up a Dropped Purl Stitch

The Spruce Crafts / Mollie Johanson

Project Overview
  • Total Time: 10 mins
  • Skill Level: Intermediate

Although it can be frustrating to see a stitch drop and work its way down, creating a big gap in your knitting, fixing the mistake is easier than you might expect. Picking up a dropped purl stitch is similar to repairing a dropped knit stitch, but it's worked backward.

As soon as you spot the problem, work your way to the place where the stitch dropped. Then, grab a crochet hook and you can start working the purl stitch up that ladder of yarn, back into place, and on your needle once again. This project is for intermediate knitters, though materials needed are minimal.


Watch Now: How to Pick Up a Dropped Purl Stitch

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • 1 Crochet hook
  • 2 Knitting needles


  • 1 Knitting project


  1. Hook the Dropped Stitch

    With the purl side of your knitting facing you, grab the loop of the dropped stitch with your fingers. Sometimes the loop is still close to the top, but other times a stitch runs down several rows. Either way, it helps pull the loop up and away from the cross strands.

    Insert a crochet hook through the loop from back to front. 

    Hook the Last Loop

    The Spruce Crafts / Mollie Johanson

  2. Catch the First Cross-Strand

    Use the crochet hook to also catch the horizontal strand of yarn that's directly above the stitch on your crochet hook.

    Keep the hook facing up as you loop the cross-strand. This makes it easier to continue rescuing that dropped stitch.

    Hook the First Cross-Strand

    The Spruce Crafts / Mollie Johanson

  3. Pull the Strand Through the Loop

    Pull the cross-strand through the loop of the dropped stitch. As you do, the first loop should drop off the end of the crochet hook, leaving the cross-strand as the new loop. 

    When you are pulling the strand through the loop, you may need to hold it in place on the hook with your non-dominant hand. Sometimes the yarn pushes and pulls so you just need to watch and make sure the correct loop is on the hook.

    Pull the Strand Through

    The Spruce Crafts / Mollie Johanson

  4. Work the Stitch up to the Top

    Repeat the process of catching a horizontal strand and pulling it through the current loop until you reach the top of your work. 

    Work the Loops Up to the Top

    The Spruce Crafts / Mollie Johanson

  5. Place the Stitch on the Needle

    Use the crochet hook to place the loop (your dropped stitch) back on the left needle.

    When you slide the stitch onto the needle, be sure it is facing the correct direction so it is ready for your next purl. You don't want a twisted stitch in there.

    Place the Loop on the Left Needle

    The Spruce Crafts / Mollie Johanson

  6. Continue Purling

    With your purl stitch back in place, you can continue purling (or knitting in some cases) across the rest of the row.

    Now that your work is back to normal, you won't even notice where the dropped stitch was.

    You might be alarmed when you find mistakes in your knitting, but it's best to stay calm and fix the errors as soon as you notice them. You'll be so much happier with your finished work when you do.

    Repaired Drop Purl on Stockinette

    The Spruce Crafts / Mollie Johanson