Knitting is a beloved craft that allows you to create beautiful garments and accessories. One of the essential techniques in knitting is slipping stitches. Slipping a stitch means passing it from one needle to another without knitting or purling it. While it may seem like a simple action, slipping stitches can create unique textures and patterns, adding depth and interest to your knitting projects.
Slipping stitches is often used in lace knitting, colorwork, and when working with stitch patterns. It can be used to create decorative edges, add structure to the fabric, or even create a visual break between different sections. Learning how to slip a stitch correctly is crucial to achieving the desired effect and maintaining the integrity of your knitting project.
There are different ways to slip a stitch, depending on the desired effect and the pattern instructions. The most common method is called “Slip Knitwise” (or “SKP”), where you insert the right needle into the stitch as if you were going to knit it but simply pass it onto the right needle without knitting it. Another method is “Slip Purlwise” (or “SP”), where you insert the right needle into the stitch as if you were going to purl it and then slide it onto the right needle without purling it.
Whether you are a beginner or an experienced knitter, mastering the art of slipping stitches will enhance your knitting repertoire and allow you to create intricate and beautiful designs. In this step-by-step guide, we will explore the different ways to slip stitches and provide you with tips and tricks to perfect this technique. So grab your knitting needles and let’s dive into the world of slipping stitches!
What is a Slip Stitch?
A slip stitch is a basic knitting technique that involves moving a stitch from one needle to another without knitting or purling it. It is a versatile technique that can be used for various purposes, such as creating decorative patterns, shaping, or joining pieces together.
Slip stitches are commonly abbreviated as “sl st” in knitting patterns. They are often used in combination with other stitches to create texture, colorwork, or to create a smooth edge.
When slipping a stitch, you can either slip it purlwise or knitwise depending on the effect you want to achieve. Slipping a stitch purlwise means inserting your needle into the stitch as if you were going to purl it, while slipping a stitch knitwise means inserting your needle into the stitch as if you were going to knit it.
Slip stitches can be worked on the right side (public side) or wrong side (back side) of your knitting, depending on the pattern instructions. They can be slipped individually or in groups, and the specific instructions for each pattern will determine how the slipped stitches are used.
Slipping stitches can be a useful technique to add texture to a project, create a smooth selvedge edge, or create intricate designs. It’s a skill that every knitter should have in their repertoire and can be easily mastered with practice.
Tools and Materials
Before you start slipping stitches in your knitting, make sure you have the following tools and materials:
- Knitting Needles: Choose a pair of knitting needles in a size appropriate for your project.
- Yarn: Select a yarn that matches the recommended gauge for your project. Different yarn weights and fibers will produce different results, so choose one that suits your needs.
- Tapestry Needle: You’ll need a tapestry needle to weave in any loose ends of yarn once you’re done with your project.
- Scissors: Keep a pair of scissors handy to trim your yarn as needed.
If you’re new to knitting, it may be helpful to have a stitch marker or row counter to keep track of your progress. This is especially useful when knitting complex patterns that require multiple slip stitches.
Remember to always choose tools and materials that are comfortable for you to work with. This will make the process of slipping stitches much more enjoyable and easier to learn.
Step 1: Slipping the Stitch
Slipping a stitch is a basic technique in knitting that involves passing a stitch from one needle to the other without knitting or purling it. This can be done to create decorative effects, shape garments, or prepare stitches for other knitting techniques.
To slip a stitch:
- Hold the knitting needles with the working yarn in your right hand and the empty needle in your left hand.
- Insert the right needle into the next stitch on the left needle as if you were going to knit it.
- Instead of knitting the stitch, simply transfer it from the left needle to the right needle without knitting.
- Continue slipping stitches as instructed in your pattern or as desired.
Slipping a stitch can be done in different ways to achieve different effects:
- Slip as if to knit (abbreviated as “sl 1 k-wise”): This is the most common way of slipping a stitch. Insert the right needle into the stitch as if you were going to knit it, and then transfer it to the right needle without knitting.
- Slip as if to purl (abbreviated as “sl 1 p-wise”): This method is used when you want to create a decorative effect or keep the stitch twisted. Insert the right needle into the stitch as if you were going to purl it, and then transfer it to the right needle without purling.
- Slip with yarn in front (abbreviated as “sl 1 wyif”): This method is used when you want to create a decorative effect, such as a slipped edge or when transitioning between knit and purl stitches. Bring the yarn to the front of the work, insert the right needle into the stitch as if you were going to purl it, and then transfer it to the right needle without purling.
Remember to follow the specific instructions in your knitting pattern for slipping stitches, as some patterns may require specific slipping techniques.
Step 2: How to Slip a Stitch Purlwise
To slip a stitch purlwise means to move a stitch from one needle to the other without twisting it. This technique is commonly used in knitting patterns to create specific textures or decorative effects.
Here is how to slip a stitch purlwise:
- Hold the knitting needles with the working yarn in the back of the work.
- Insert the right needle into the next stitch on the left needle as if to purl.
- Gently slide the stitch from the left needle to the right needle.
- Keep the stitch orientation the same, in other words, do not twist the stitch as you move it.
Note: When slipping stitches purlwise, the yarn is always kept in the back of the work, which means it stays behind the needles throughout the entire process.
You can slip a purl stitch either on the right side or the wrong side of the work, depending on the pattern instructions. If slip purlwise is not specified, assume that the default slip method is knitwise.
Slipping stitches purlwise can create a variety of effects such as adding texture, creating neat edges, or forming decorative elements in lace knitting patterns. It is a technique that every knitter should have in their skill set.
Step 3: How to Slip a Stitch Knitwise
Slipping a stitch knitwise is another technique that is commonly used in knitting. It involves transferring a stitch from one needle to the other without actually knitting it. This can be done for various reasons, such as creating decorative effects, decreasing or increasing stitches, or simply adjusting the position of the stitch.
To slip a stitch knitwise, follow these steps:
- Hold the knitting needles in your hands, with the working yarn at the back of the work.
- Insert the right needle into the next stitch on the left needle as if you were going to knit it.
- Instead of knitting the stitch normally, simply slide it from the left needle to the right needle without wrapping the yarn around it.
A slipped stitch will appear a bit elongated and twisted on the right needle. It will not be secured by a new loop of yarn, which is what happens when you knit a stitch.
Slipping a stitch knitwise is denoted in knitting patterns by the abbreviation “sl 1” or “sl 1 k-wise”. This indicates that you should slip one stitch knitwise, without actually knitting it.
Remember, slipping a stitch knitwise can be used in a variety of ways to achieve different effects in your knitting. Practice this technique and experiment with different stitch patterns to become more comfortable and proficient in slipping stitches.
Step 4: Common Mistakes to Avoid
While slipping a stitch in knitting is a relatively simple technique, there are some common mistakes that beginners often make. Here are a few things to watch out for:
- Not slipping the stitch correctly: Make sure you insert the needle into the stitch from the left to the right, as if you were going to knit it. Then simply slide the stitch onto the right needle without knitting it.
- Slipping the wrong stitch: Pay attention to the pattern instructions and make sure you are slipping the correct stitch. It’s easy to accidentally slip the stitch next to the one you intended.
- Twisting the slipped stitch: When you slip a stitch, make sure it lays flat on the needle without any twists. Twisted stitches can disrupt the pattern and affect the overall look of your knitting.
- Forgetting to slip the stitch with the yarn in front or back: Depending on the pattern, you may need to slip the stitch with the yarn in front or back. Be sure to read the instructions carefully and slip the stitch accordingly.
- Slipping the same stitch multiple times: Some patterns may require you to slip the same stitch multiple times in a row. However, if the instructions only call for slipping the stitch once, make sure you don’t accidentally slip it more than once.
Avoiding these common mistakes will help ensure that your slipped stitches look clean and tidy in your knitting project. By practicing and paying attention to detail, you’ll be able to incorporate slipped stitches into your knitting with ease.
What is slipping a stitch in knitting?
Slipping a stitch in knitting is a technique used to create various stitch patterns or to move stitches from one place to another without working them.
Why do knitters slip stitches?
Knitters slip stitches for several reasons. It can be used to create decorative patterns, add texture to a project, or to move stitches to a different position on the needle without actually working them.
How do I slip a stitch in knitting?
To slip a stitch in knitting, insert your needle into the next stitch as if you were going to knit it, but instead of knitting it, simply transfer the stitch from the left needle to the right needle without working it.
When should I slip stitches in knitting?
You can slip stitches in knitting at different points in a pattern, depending on the desired effect. It is commonly used in Fair Isle and stranded colorwork patterns, as well as in lace knitting and certain cable patterns.