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How to Slip a Stitch

October 3, 2013

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. Slipping a stitch knitwise twists the stitch while slipping it purlwise does not.

::: how to slip a stitch knitwise :::

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.

Insert your right needle into the first stitch on the left needle as if to knit

Insert your right hand needle into the first stitch on the left hand needle as if to knit

Move the stitch from the left needle to the right needle

Slip the stitch off the left hand needle, onto the right hand needle

::: how to slip a stitch purlwise :::

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.

Insert the right needle into the first stitch on the left needle as if to purl

Insert the right hand needle into the first stitch on the left hand needle as if to purl

Move the stitch from the left needle to the right needle.

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, and a free sock pattern).  There are also stitch patterns that utilize slipped stitches to create a wide variety of textural effects!

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Taehee kim permalink
    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.

  2. trish permalink
    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?

  3. Ann McMinn permalink
    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???
    Thanks, Ann

    • 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

      • Ann McMinn permalink
        February 18, 2014 6:59 am

        Thank you for explaining this. Love the pattern!

Trackbacks

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