Knitting Hole Fixes: Duplicate Stitch, Embroidering, Darning, Threading

How to Fix Holes in Knitting

Sometimes even the most careful knitters can get holes in their sweaters. They can happen suddenly when your stitch count is off or they can be caused by a snag on your socks as you wear them.

You can fix these holes with a variety of techniques. Depending on the method you choose, you may end up with a patch that’s invisible or one that shows through the fabric.

Duplicate Stitch

Duplicate stitch is a way to add a design or correct mistakes in colorwork without having to rip back and redo the stitches. It can also be used to embellish a knitted piece with a contrasting color.

To do duplicate stitch, thread your yarn needle with the strand of a different color and go through the bottom of the stitch you want to fix. Come up through the stitch from behind and push your needle under both legs of the stitch above it (ie through both ‘arms’).

You can work duplicate stitch horizontally or vertically. If you are working on a chart, it might be easier for you to work from right to left. Or if you are going to be doing a whole row, start at the lowest point and work your way up. When you are done, weave in the ends as usual. This will make your finished work look neat and tidy.


When the yarn you’re embroidering frays and leaves holes in your work, it’s a real shame. The only way to fix this is to unknit through procedures knitters lovingly call tinking or frogging.

Another common embroidery error is the inadvertent yarn over, which affects the stitch count but only on one side of the fabric. As with the dropped stitch, this error can be difficult to diagnose unless you count your stitches every few rows.

If you spot a hole in your work before it gets too big, duplicate stitch generously over the thinner section of your knit. This keeps it from traveling down the fabric and will keep it anchored in stable, healthy stitches. Then, once you’ve made a frame with your duplicate stitch, weave in any ends and you’re ready to use the repaired section. You might even choose to leave it as a feature in your knit. Just be sure you’re able to make it strong enough.


When the damage is too much to repair using duplicate stitch, you can use a simple darning technique. For this you need a hand needle and yarn that matches the sweater (or embroidery floss thread). Start at the top of the hole, working from the wrong side. You will be creating a woven patch. Pick up all the purl bumps on that column of stitches, picking them up alternately as you go.

This creates a flat ladder of thread that covers the hole. The only problem is that you have to be careful not to sew too close to the broken part of the fabric, or your patch will eventually break. You can also work this technique in a different color from the rest of the yarn, if you want to add a touch of flair. That way you can hide the repair or show it off, depending on your style!


When a hole appears, it’s important to catch it immediately so it doesn’t get any bigger. Luckily, if you catch it in time, there are some quick fixes.

One of the quickest fixes is to duplicate stitch over it. This is not a perfect solution but will close the hole and stop it from spreading. This method works best if you catch it in the first few rows (or rounds) of the error.

Another way to fix a hole in knitting is to use a lifeline. A lifeline is a piece of scrap yarn that you place under your work and weave into the stitches to hold them in place.

This is especially helpful when working in lace patterns as it will prevent your work from unraveling and make it easier to work with. It also stops the stitches from becoming too loose. Just be careful not to accidentally pull the lifeline out as you are weaving it in.

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