Fix a loose knitting stitch

Loose knitting stitches and what to do about them

Sometimes one or two knitting stitches get a little (or sometimes much!) too loose and it may feel a bit challenging when it happens… but do not despair! Enlarged knitting stitches happen and are easy to fix!

A loose knitting stitch is caused by too much yarn in that single stitch. Fix it by pulling the closest stitches on the same row, this will distribute the yarn more evenly across the row. 

This post is all about correcting one or two enlarged stitches, if you have problems with loose stitches in big parts of, or your whole project, you should read this post instead!

How to fix Loose Knitting Stitches

A picture of a kitten playing with a piece of knitted fabric, this is one way loose stitches can occur on knitted items

How does a single knitting stitch get too loose?

There’s a couple of ways this can happen. At our house we currently have a 14 weeks kitten, she’s cute, soft, cuddly and absolutely adorable. But, there is always a but, isn’t it? Sometimes she turns into a yarn killing monster ? ? This is not fun at all, but luckily I have a trick up my sleeve for restoring some of her damages!

If you are knitting and one or a couple of stitches turn out too loose it’s because of uneven tension.

This can happen if you get distracted and lose your tension for a couple of stitches, or maybe you have put your knitting down in the middle of a row.

a drawing showing how every row of knitted fabric equals a wave.

First, a quick look at the fabric

The yarn in a row of knitting stitches is like a wave going from one end to the other. So, an enlarged stitch is just one portion av the wave that holds more yarn than the others. 

So what does that tell us? 

Well, we know that a row of knitting stitches is like a wave of yarn. That means we need to even out that row by redistributing the yarn from the section that has a big wave over to the other sections.  

How to fix loose knitting stitches

How is this done?

You can use a knitting needle or a wool needle, it’s better to use a blunt needle as a sharp one splits the yarn easier.

We are going to work with the stitches closest to the big stitch. 

Begin by inserting your needle under the leg closest to the loose stitch, and pull it gently. Pull until the loose stitch looks like the other stitches, then pull the next leg of the stitch. Continue to do this with the following stitches until you row looks even. 

The final touch:

When you have used your needle to pull the stitches as even as you can, it’s time to make the final touch. Take up your knitted item and pull it in both directions, from edge to edge and from top to bottom. 

By pulling the fabric this way, you will even out the last of the enlarged stitches and make everything fall in place and look beautiful, just like when you’re blocking a finished item.

If you want to know more about blocking Cocoknits have a post on the subject!

Your next read!
––> Adding Lifelines – tips that can save your sanity
––> Color Theory for Knitters and other Yarnies – make your color work pop!
––> Prevent stockinette from curling at the edges