I'm a fairly new knitter. I'm doing a cable pattern afgan and I dropped a stitch off my needles and didn't see it and kept going so I have a loop about 20 rows down that hasn't pulled down like a dropped stitch, but it's just a loop not attached to anything and will pull if it gets yanked on. I don't want to frog down and not be able to get my needles back in, but I can't figure out how to run a circlular needle through it to frog down to since the cables are twisted around. Any advice?
If it's not really affecting anything, and you really just need to secure it, you could just tack it to the back of the work so it doesn't pull out.
If you want to bring it up but have to go through cables to get to it, then you'll have to take out all the cable stitches and retwist them when you get to them on the way back up.
I just realized that you were asking about a lifeline. If you still want to frog rather than fix the one stitch, you can pick up a row between the cables--it might be a bit tricky since you have knits and purls, but it can be done.
"Trust the pattern!"
Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana.
Hop aboard while we follow the cloud-covered van of knitting harmony, man!! Woooo!! --Hedgehog
Unless that missing stitch has thrown your whole pattern off [not likely since you didn't miss it until quite a few rows later] I'd do the Famous Aunt Dot Fudge:
Take a length of the same yarn, thread it through the dropped stitch. Pull both to the wrong side. Thread one end of your yarn strand through a couple of wrong-side stitches to anchor it. Now tie a knot in your yarn length, then weave the two ends into the wrong side of your work as if you'd just added a second ball of yarn.
Voila! Nobody'll know unless they already know to look There for your goof.
Fudge can be good.
PS: Oh, be sure to do an increase so that your dropped stitch gets replaced in the overall pattern.
AHHH! Thank you! Really didn't want to rip out 20 rows. When I was working on it, I was sitting w/ friends and kept thinking I must be miscounting, only later I realized I was one short. I think I will try this trick. I just wasn't sure how to anchor it so it wouldn't pull. I safety pinned it with a big pin until I could get an answer and set it aside (that was well before xMAS and I've been stuck ever since!)
Thank you thank you thank you for telling me EXACTLY how to secure it!
Now since I was here poking around last night I'm motivated to try SOCKS!!! LOL! Off to get some sock yarn!