Lace knitting – fixing missed and dropped yarn overs, and dropped decreases


Lace knitting step 5In the fourth part of our series on achieving perfect lace knits, Judy Furlong talks us through fixing missed and dropped yarnovers to save our lace knitting projects.


Fixing missed yarn overs

A very common mistake is to forget to work a yarn over. This can throw the whole row out by one stitch from that point so it is fairly easy to spot.

Unpick stitch by stitch to that point.

Insert the LH needle under the yarn lying between the two stitches and there – you have your yarn over. It will be a little tighter than it ought to be, but that can be evened out at the end, when blocking.

Fixing dropped yarn overs

If a stitch is dropped which was worked on a yarn over on the previous row, it just leaves two pretty loose looking threads without a stitch in sight!

Turn the work so that the knit side of the dropped stitch is facing.

As shown above, insert the tip of the RH needle (or a crochet hook), below the bottom thread (this was the yarn over), front to back.

Lace knitting step 6

Bring the tip up and forward between the two strands and catch the thread above, pushing it backwards and down.

Lace knitting step 7

Bring it under the bottom thread, forwards and upwards (this is the dropped stitch).

Lace knitting step 8

Slip it onto the LH needle.


Picking up dropped decreases

There will be a little cluster of stitches, hopefully already spotted and sitting on a safety pin.

Lace knitting step 9

Transfer them (or pick them up) onto a double-pointed needle. Note the loose yarn above from which these stitches unravelled.

Check what sort of decrease it should have been to make sure the slope is correct – for example, K2tog slopes rightwards, SSK leftwards, cdd (central double decrease) is central and it is this last one in the illustration.

Work the decrease as instructed – for this I usually use a crochet hook. Using cdd for this example, insert the hook into the second then the first, then the third stitch. 

Lace knitting step 10

Pick up the loose thread above and pull it through the last stitch onto the crochet hook. With the tip of the doublepointed needle or crochet hook, slip the first two stitches, over the knitted one.

lace knitting step 11

Replace the mended stitch onto the left-hand needle.

If the final stitch looks a lot looser than you expected, check the pattern to make sure there were no yarn overs either side, in which case just pick up the yarn either side of the stitch.


In future posts, learn how to unravel multiple rows, with and without a lifeline; and laddering within a repeat to fix mistakes


Judy Furling, knitting expertAbout our expert

Judy Furlong is renowned for her lace and Fair Isle patterns, and designs for major knitting magazines and yarn companies.