How to fix brioche mistakes

A step-by-step tutorial on fixing mistakes in brioche knitting; rescue dropped stitches the easy way

To a beginner, the brioche stitch can seem a daunting thing. It will take quite a while to understand that it’s a form of double knitting and that mistakes have to be handled in a special way. Whenever you dropped a stitch and things unravel, it can quickly look like a hot mess. But there is a super simple way to fix things with a crochet hook!

fixing dropped stitch in brioche knitting with a crochet hook

Before you start fixing your mistake, I urge to take a very close look at your dropped stitch (or the part you need to unravel to get to the mistake a couple of rows below). Above your stitch, there are multiple strands connecting the adjacent stitches.

Some strands will be directly connected to the next ridge of purl stitches, while some skip that ridge and are connected to the next column of knit stitches. To fix mistakes in brioche knitting, it’s vital that you are be able to spot the difference.

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Instructions: How to fix a brioche mistake

someone showing how to fix mistakes in brioche knitting using a crochet hook

You can easily fix a dropped stitch or a mistake several rows down with a crochet hook. Before you do that I recommend taking a close-up look at the anatomy of the brioche stitch.

Active Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

Instructions

  1. In brioche knitting, you always fix mistakes on the knit side. So first of all, turn your project to the side where the mistake shows up in a column of knit stitches.

    turning the work where the dropped stitch appears in a knit column
  2. If you dropped a stitch, secure it with a stitch marker first. If you need to unravel, then secure the stitch one row below your mistake and then drop the stitch above from the knitting needle and let things unravel to that point.

    securing the dropped stitch with a stitch marker
  3. Sort out the strands so they are nice and parallel (and not twisted).

    sorting out the strands so they are more or less parallel
  4. Next, pick up the stitch with a crochet hook and remove the stitch marker.

    picking up the dropped stitch with a crochet hook after having removed the stitch marker that secured it
  5. Go below the next two strands connected to the adjacent purl ridge on either side.

    going below the two next purl strands
  6. Grab the next strand connected to a knit ridge.

    grabbing the next knit strand with the crochet hook

    If you pull on it, the next knit stitch on the side should close.
    pulling on the knit strand to check if it closes the adjacent knit stitch
  7. Pull the yarn below the two "purl" strands and through the dropped stitch.

    pulling the strand all the way through the stitch and below the two purl strands
  8. Then, go below the next two "purl" strands and grab the next knit strand. Pay attention. One of these previous purl strands is now firmly attached to your brioche stitch and should not be touched anymore.

    going below the next two purl strands ignoring the one closest to the stitch
  9. Pull the yarn through your stitch. Make sure it doesn't end up twisted.

    pulling the yarn through the stitch and below the two purl strands
  10. Repeat steps 8-9 until you used up all "knit" strands and slip the stitch on your crochet hook back to your knitting needle.

    slipping the fixed stitch back to the left knitting needle
  11. Pick up the top "purl" strand and slip it back to your knitting needle as well to re-create a brioche double stitch (brk).

    slipping the last purl strand back to the knitting needle

Notes

Please note that this method doesn't really work when fixing decreases or increases. That's because decreases typically create an area with less yarn in the fabric, while increases add more yarn. It's not possible to add or subtract the needed yarn multiple rows below. In this case, the best way to fix your mistake is knitting backwards carefully until you reach that spot.

I feel that this method works very well for simpler patterns and easier yarns. However, when you have a mistake in a more complicated pattern (and/or using a fuzzier yarn), it can sometimes be a lot easier to knit a couple of rows backwards.

Also keep in mind that it can be very helpful to use lifelines – especially if the pattern features a lot of brioche increases or brioche decreases. Simply make it a habbit to insert a lifeline every 5, 10, 15 rows (whatever you feel comfortable with). Then you will always have a safe spot to unravel your project to!

Anyway, that’s how to fix a dropped stitch in brioche knitting. Comment below if you have any questions.

how to fix a mistake in brioche knitting - a step by step tutorial for beginners

2 thoughts on “How to fix brioche mistakes”

  1. Hi Norman,

    I’m a beginning knitter and I have learned so much already from all the amazing content on your website. Thank you, it is very helpful!

    I have been practising the brioche stitch with the 3 stitch selvage stitch on the sides. In my latest swatch, I accidentally pulled out the entire needle and now I don’t know how to put all the stitches back on. What can I do?

    Also, I managed to fix a couple mistakes in the brioche part like you explained in the article above, but how do you fix mistakes in the selvage part?

    Reply

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