There’s a hole in mi knitting, what am I gonna do?

UB40 once sang ‘there’s a rat in mi kitchen, what am I going to do’….which is a scary thought indeed, but a hole in my knitting?! Nooooooo!!!!! I couldn’t think of anything worse 😦

A couple of nights ago I was getting ready to take a stroll down to the shop and with the weather being a bit nippy I decided to wear my Holden Shawl.


But imagine my horror when I found THIS!!

Hole in Knitting

It wasn’t actually this bad when I found it but I panicked and started pulling at the yarn trying to tie it up at the back, and ended up dropping more stitches. I was so annoyed 😦

After calming down I did what any sane and rational person would have done in the first place and headed straight for the internet for a solution to all my problems. And it turns out there are quite a few.

I decided to try this one from Knitty and here is what I did.

Firstly I secured the live stitches on stitch holders and assessed the damage (in doing so I inadvertently made the hole even bigger, grrrrr)

Knitting hole

Then I loosely grafted the live stitches together.

fixing hole

The area of damage was 4 stitches by 2 rows.

Luckily I had some spare yarn from this project as I had done a little gauge swatch when I made the shawl last year, so I unravelled about a third of that.

Unravelling a swatch

As  you can see the yarn had lots of kinks in it so it needed to be straightened. One of my favourite methods of straightening small amounts of yarn is by using a teapot.

straightening yarn

I threaded the yarn through the steam hole in the lid of the teapot and pulled it back out through the spout. Then very carefully I partially filled the teapot with hot water, just enough so as not to make contact with the yarn, then slowly started pulling the yarn from the spout. When I reached the end I refilled the teapot and reversed the process pulling the yarn back through the lid, and hey presto!

straightened yarn

Lovely straight yarn 🙂


Back to the shawl…the instructions on Knitty said I would need as many lengths of yarn as there are rows missing, and the yarn needed to be about 3 inches longer than the gap.

The trick is to lay the yarn over the hole and use these lengths of yarn to rebuild the stitches using a crochet hook to pull the yarn through.

fixing knitting hole

First row done.

Row 2

2nd row.

You then graft the 2 sets of live stitches together. An excellent tutorial on grafting can be found here.

I must admit it took me a couple of attempts to get a result I was ok with, and where it was still a bit messy in places I used a duplicate stitch to tidy it up. It’s by no means perfect but luckily for me the yarn hides a lot of sins, and I think once I have it on it will become less noticeable…

Repaired hole

…especially if I wear it as a scarf 🙂


If you find a hole in your knitting my one piece of advice would be – don’t panic! There is always a way to fix it, and thanks to the internet it doesn’t have to be scary. Now I would take a hole in my knitting over a rat any day!

Happy knitting x