Tuesday Tip - How to Fix a Hole In Your Knitting - Patty Lyons | Knitting Teacher

Tuesday Tip – How to Fix a Hole In Your Knitting

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I love mistakes. I love fixing mistakes. In Knitting ER I go over all the fundamentals. But sometimes there are things that go beyond the standard (that’s where Advanced Knitting Fixes comes in).

I’ve written in past Tuesday Tips about Swiss Darning for a repair, and duplicate stitch for reinforcement.

Today I turn my attention to a larger repair, a multi row repair, in other words . . .

How to Fix a HOLE in Your Knitting

Recently I was on a text thread with three friends. We were chatting when all of a sudden this text came through:

  • No
  • No, no, no

That was followed by some other more colorful language, and an explanation that when she was cutting a box open (that contained a sweater), she made a cut in the sweater.

I pulled out a swatch, made a cut and started to take photos so I could send her some “how to” photos, but my pal had a better idea. She would ship it to me to fix.

So . . . as long as I was fixing the hole, I took a few photos for all of you. Since I had also taken some close ups of my swatch, I’m adding those too.

How to Fix a Hole in Knitting

First step is to grab what stitches you can see and get them on a locking stitch marker

Since duplicate stitch is easier from the stockinette side, I turned the piece around to work from the wrong side

How to Fix a Hole in Knitting

Enlarge hole to make sure you have a hole that’s even all the way around.

Notice that you will have one more loop on the bottom of the hole then the top. I have a three stitch by three row hole. I have 3 full loops on the bottom, 2 loops with 1/2 loop on either side of the two.

Here’s a shot of the swatch that shows a nice clean hole ready to repair. I’ve pinned the cut yarn out of the way so I’m ready to build my ladder.

How to Fix a Hole in Knitting

Make the hole larger to fix it.

Now a bit of thin crochet cotton to the rescue. Since you can’t duplicate stitch over air, you can build a ladder to climb. Weave the crochet cotton horizontally to lock it in, and then create 3 row “stitches”. Start by making the duplicate stitch ladder a few stitches before the hole, when you get to the hole:

  • Insert the crochet cotton back to front through the bottom loop
  • Insert it UP through the first whole stitch on the right side of the bottom, DOWN through the 1/2 stitch on top, UP through the next stitch on the upper level. Make sure that you don’t pull the thread too tight. Use a ruler to check the space.
  • Continue to create duplicate stitch ladders through the hole and into the next few real stitches on the left side of the hole.

How to Fix a Hole in Knitting

How to Fix a Hole in Knitting

How to Fix a Hole in Knitting

Completed ladder from the stockinette side.

How to Fix a Hole in Knitting

Ladder from the RS (Reverse stockinette).










Here are a few more shots from my teaching swatch.

How to Fix a Hole in Knitting

How to Fix a Hole in Knitting

How to Fix a Hole in Knitting

Okay, back to the real sweater . . . thread your real yarn on a tapestry needle and start creating duplicate stitch a few stitches before the hole. Once you get the hole, you will be able to enter back to front through bottom loop, then loop around ladder and the back where you came from on the bottom loop and into the next stitch

How to Fix a Hole in Knitting

How to Fix a Hole in Knitting

Adjust the tension.

After you create row #1 of stitches, adjust the tension before making your anchor duplicate sittches in the fabric to the left of the hole. Repeat for each row.

How to Fix a Hole in Knitting

Time for Row #2

When you get to the final row, you will now be entering the stitches above the hole.

How to Fix a Hole in Knitting

Row # 3

How to Fix a Hole in Knitting

Here’s a shot of my swatch from the WS. With my 3 rows complete!

Once you’ve finished the fabric, you can carefully pick out the crochet cotton.

How to Fix a Hole in Knitting

Finally, it’s time to weave in the ends of your cut yarn as well as new yarn you added. In order to avoid a lump, you can weave in the ends on a diagonal in all different directions.  Skim the ends right through the stitches by splitting the plys.


Turn around to see the lovely result . . .

How to Fix a Hole in Knitting

TA DA!!!!

For more information on basic fixing mistakes (like laddering up a dropped stitch) check out my Annie’s class “Knitting ER: How to Fix Your Mistakes”

Knitting ER


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There are oh so many fixes that can be made to your knitting.

To watch a myriad of other more advanced fixes (duplicate stitch fixes, fixes in fabric tears, fixes in cables, lace, color work, circular knitting, shaping and more – both on and off the needles!), check out my  Interweave DVD, Advanced Knitting Fixes.


CLICK HERE for Digital Download

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  • Fran Madden July 10, 2018   Reply →

    Thank you, Patty! I just had a similar problem. As I was binding off a shawl, I vaguely remember noticing a hole in the fabric–maybe I got snip-happy with scissors? I was so dismayed, I put the shawl away for a month or more, so I could deal with it later. Having forgotten about the hole, I just pulled the shawl out today and pinned it for blocking, rediscovered the hole and was dismayed all over again. I will follow your instructions and I hope I can fix the damage in an inconspicuous way.

  • Fran Madden July 10, 2018   Reply →

    My garment with the hole is in garter stitch. 🙁 Is this protocol applicable?

  • Angela Digmann July 15, 2018   Reply →

    Thank you so much for this tutorial. Thanks to it I was able to fix a huge hole in an old family sweater. Yayy!

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