Slipping a stitch is simply moving a stitch from the left needle to the right needle without working it. This technique is used in socks (see the ‘let’s knit socks’ tutorial for more sock related techniques) among other things and is often used on scarves (slip the first stitch of every row) for a clean and firm edge.
There are 2 ways to slip a stitch, knitwise and purlwise, with yarn in front or with yarn in back. Slipping a stitch knitwise twists the stitch while slipping it purlwise does not.
The tutorial below will give you the basics but check out our NEW slip stitch tutorial (with videos!) here.
::: how to slip a stitch knitwise with yarn in back :::
1. Insert your right hand needle into the first stitch on the left hand needle as if to knit.
2. Slip the stitch off the left hand needle, onto the right hand needle.
::: how to slip a stitch purlwise with yarn in front :::
1. Insert the right hand needle into the first stitch on the left hand needle as if to purl (from back to front)
2. Slip the stitch off the left hand needle, onto the right hand needle.
There are several knitting techniques that require you to slip stitches. Several decreases include the use of slipped stitches (for example single decreases such as ssk, sl1-k1-psso, and double decreases like sl1-k2tog-psso and sl2-k1-p2sso). The photos shown illustrate slipping the first stitch of the row when working a sock heel flap (check out the our ‘how to knit a sock’ tutorial for all the details, plus a free sock pattern). There are also stitch patterns that utilize slipped stitches to create a wide variety of textural effects!
Let’s make a Beloved Bonnet | Tin Can Knits
March 31, 2020 @ 10:54 pm
[…] the bonnet, you always slip the first two stitches of each row. For this pattern you are always going to slip your stitches as […]
olga teresa gagliardi
September 13, 2019 @ 2:44 pm
Hola estoy haciendo el suéter Flax todo bien con el yugo etc, pero luego de aumentar cuantos puntos dejo en los lugares de futuras mangas y como voy aumentando el ranglan no encontré la explicación perdón pero soy muy novata en tejidos de arriba abajo Saludos Tere de Argentina
September 16, 2019 @ 11:28 am
Hi – I’m so sorry, I don’t understand the question (google translate didn’t quite get it). Are you asking about how many sleeve sts your should have? Or how many in garter?
June 12, 2019 @ 10:03 am
Hi, sorry, complete bumbling beginner here! I am working on the Rye sock pattern and have got to the heel flap. If I slip the first stitch on every row, that stitch is not going to be worked while the others in the row are resulting in massively ruched up knitting…..clearly there’s something I’m not getting about this!!
June 12, 2019 @ 10:22 am
Oh duh! I got it. Please ignore previous question – bad case of over-thinking.
July 24, 2018 @ 4:27 pm
could you give me advice for how to slip a stitch purlwise for doing a gauge using circular needles? I am trying to do it but I realized that if I complete the round then slide it back down and do it again, there are no rows building. So I dont know how to do this correctly.
July 25, 2018 @ 10:55 am
Hi Lori – I’m sorry, i don’t really understand the question? If you are working in the round there is no need to slide your sts, but if you are carrying your yarn across the back you would slide your sts to the other side. You would always be looking at the RS of the work. It depends on what the pattern says for how you want to slip that stitch, with yarn in front or back and whether to slip it knit-wise or purl-wise
July 25, 2018 @ 11:59 am
Thanks for getting back to me. Im trying to make gauge for your Bumble beanie in the slip stitch purlwise which is what the pattern says. So with this info, could you advise me on how to do this gauge with the circular needles?
July 30, 2018 @ 10:35 am
Hi Lori – They key to the bumble stitch pattern is that All slipped stitches are slipped with the yarn held at the WS of the work. So if you are working in the round, the yarn will be at the back, but if you are working back and forth make sure it is at the WS of the work. Does that help? Also, for a beanie I would just start, because gauge in the round is often different from gauge back and forth, so if you do a swatch that’s back and forth it won’t necessarily give you an accurate look at your gauge.
May 12, 2018 @ 6:31 pm
On the Beloved Bonnet, right after the icord, it says sl2… Do I slip one stitch knitwise and then a second stitch knitwise, or do I slip two stitches, knitwise, together? No matter what I try, it looks sloppy.
May 14, 2018 @ 11:46 am
hi Cara – I slipped them both purlwise, one at a time
February 10, 2018 @ 12:45 pm
When I attempt to slip purlwise at the beginning of a row, I get a very loose stitch. Any suggestion for tightening this up?
February 14, 2018 @ 12:42 pm
Hi Linda – You can try slipping knitwise, that would twist the stitch and tighten it up. You can also try giving the second stitch of the row an extra tug, to tighten it up. That will tighten up the slipped stitch as well.
August 23, 2017 @ 8:38 am
I’m working on the stripes hat currently. Once you start to decrease it has you slip a stitch at the end of each section. Does this mean to just slip it and NOT knit it? Or should I be knitting it after I slip it?
August 23, 2017 @ 1:39 pm
Hi Delaina – just slip it!
Mini Octopus Hat Knitting Pattern - Little Red Window
May 2, 2017 @ 4:20 am
[…] 2:k1, sl1 purlwise, k1, slide stitches down to the other end of the needle without turning your […]
March 17, 2017 @ 5:42 pm
How do you sl3 wyib
March 18, 2017 @ 4:47 pm
Move your yarn to the back of the work, slip three sts.
February 13, 2017 @ 7:40 am
Bumble sweater reads, stitches are slipped with the yarn held at the WS of the work, does it matter if I slip as if top pearl, this follows a knitted stitch? Thank you
February 13, 2017 @ 9:09 am
Hi Joan – I slipped it as if to purl
October 23, 2016 @ 11:25 am
in the rye pattern when it says repeat it (in my case) 9 times. those it include the first 2 rows that we already did before this was said or not?
October 24, 2016 @ 10:32 am
Hi Taehee – if a pattern says ‘repeat’ you are working something 9 times MORE, if it says 9 times total it includes the first 2 rows.
December 22, 2015 @ 7:30 pm
I am slipping stitches knitting then slipping stitch at end, but my slipped stitch is not connecting to the rest of my work so when I go to pick it up later it will not be connected to rest of work. What am I doing wrong?
December 22, 2015 @ 10:21 pm
I can’t really say, as I don’t really understand the context (why you are slipping stitches). Are you working from a Tin Can Knits pattern that I can reference to give you a more clear answer?
Bumble… a stylish beanie for the whole family | Tin Can Knits
June 11, 2015 @ 5:56 am
[…] Bumble is knit using a simple technique called slipped-stitch knitting which creates a tweedy colourwork effect in two colours, or a subtle waffle effect in one colour. It is very simple to work. You only ever use one colour at a time, like when you’re knitting stripes, and you simply work some stitches, and slip others. Don’t know how to slip a stitch? We’ve got a tutorial for you! […]
One Row Buttonholes | Tin Can Knits
April 27, 2015 @ 6:00 am
[…] slip the next 2 […]
February 17, 2014 @ 9:19 am
I have a question on the Rye pattern. On the heel flap you sl1, knit to end of row. Would this be sl1 knit wise since you knit to end of row. And on the 2nd row would you sl1 purl wise since you purl to the end of the row???
February 18, 2014 @ 6:52 am
Hi Ann – It’s not crucial whether you slip the stitches knitwise or purlwise. I tend to slip all my stitches PURLWISE, unless otherwise stated in a given pattern! The result will be the same for this pattern, since the slipped stitches along the edge of the heel flap will be what you pick up underneath (so they will be hidden inside the finished sock). Hope this helps ~ Emily
February 18, 2014 @ 6:59 am
Thank you for explaining this. Love the pattern!