Knitting: Dropping a Stitch on Purpose
May 26, 2011
Among the more interesting and yet challenging knitting stitches is the dropped stitch. It is no interesting because of the ladder effect it creates. I deem it challenging because dropping a stitch is ingrained into a knitter's head from birth as a central wrong and big mistake, yet here we ask you to do it with alacrity. However, like most knitting techniques we have explored here, it just takes a bit of courage (just a teeny bit), some hope, and practice.
Vertical Dropped Stitches (vertical ladders):
The vertical dropped stitch is the easiest but also the most
cringe worthy. Your first row is your foundation and insurance that your
dropped stitches won't go wrong. I cast on 20 Sts. My first row was a purl row
so my increases were Purl into the front and back (Pf&b). Your vertical
ladders will trade places with the 'b' of the Pf&b.
Foundation Row (wrong side): P 1, Pf&b, *P4, Pf&b; repeat to last 3 sts, P3.
Continue in Stockinette until your piece is as long as you like but before you bind off, on the wrong side: P2, drop 1, *P5, drop 1; repeat to last 3 sts, P3. Bind off. Pull out your dropped stitches all the way down to the cast on row. Don't worry because you are pulling out an increase the cast on row will be secured by the original stitches.
Horizontal Dropped Stitches (horizontal ladders):
Horizontal stitches are also dropped increase but they are created and dropped with every 2 rows, not just at the foundation.
Cast on 20 Sts.
R1: *K1, Yo (twice); repeat to last st, k1
R2: *K1, drop both yarn overs; repeat to last st, k1
R3& 4: knit
Repeat row 1-4 until piece is desired length. The ladders are created by the dropped double yo and create stripes of dropped stitches.
Experiment with your own dropped stitch pattern. The created airy design is perfect for warm weather projects. Worked in simple linen or cotton blends will not only add a touch of color and softness but also add texture to a simple summer dress.
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