PurlsAndPixels

sl1kw – Slipping Stitches to Add Texture to Knitting

Learn to slip stitches knitwise with yarn in front - sl1kwyif - a knitting lesson with Liz @PurlsAndPixels.

In an earlier lesson you learned how to slip stitches purlwise at the edges of your work. Recall that slipping purlwise does not twist the stitch, but simply moves it from needle to needle.

  • Slipping a stitch purlwise with the yarn in back leaves a loop on the back side of your work.
  • Slipping a stitch purlwise with the yarn in front leaves a loop on the back side of your work.

You can also add texture to a knitting a pattern by slipping stitches. Because you do not work into slipped stitches, they will alter the normal row and column grid that knitting every stitch creates. This makes slipped stitches appear larger than the other stitches.

To add further texture to patterns, you can also slip stitches knitwise. Unlike slipping purlwise, slipping a stitch knitwise creates a twisted stitch.

  • Slipping a stitch knitwise with the yarn in back will twist the stitch and leave a loop on the back side of your work.
  • Slipping a stitch knitwise with the yarn in front will twist the stitch and leave a loop on the front side of your work.
Learn to slip stitches knitwise with yarn in front - sl1kwyif - a knitting lesson with Liz @PurlsAndPixels.

Unclear Instructions (sl)

Occasionally, a designer will not specify what type of slipped stitch you should make. When this happens, it is usually safe to assume they meant for you to slip the stitch purlwise with yarn in back (sl1pwyib). This slipped stitch alters the texture of your pattern the least and is traditionally what is intended by the generic instruction “sl” or “slip a stitch.”

Below you will find both video and written guides to help you learn to slip stitches knitwise.

Video Guide: How to Slip Stitches (sl st) in Knitting

Written Guide: How to Slip Stitches Knitwise

Slip Stitches Knitwise with Yarn in Back

Slipping a stitch knitwise with the yarn in back will twist the stitch and leave a loop on the back side of your work.

Step 1: Learn to slip stitches knitwise with yarn in back - sl1kwyib - a knitting lesson with Liz @PurlsAndPixels.

sl1kwyib, Step 1:

Hold the working yarn behind your stitches. Insert your needle into the live stitch as if to knit it (insert your left needle into the front leg of the stitch from the front to the back).

Step 2: Learn to slip stitches knitwise with yarn in back - sl1kwyib - a knitting lesson with Liz @PurlsAndPixels.

sl1kwyib, Step 2:

Do not work into the stitch that is being slipped. Instead, begin to slide the stitch off the left needle and onto the right needle. When you have moved the stitch completely onto the right needle without knitting or purling into it, you have slipped the stitch.   

Slip Stitches Knitwise with Yarn in Front

Slipping a stitch knitwise with the yarn in front will twist the stitch and leave a loop on the front side of your work.

Step 1: Learn to slip stitches knitwise with yarn in front - sl1kwyif - a knitting lesson with Liz @PurlsAndPixels.

sl1kwyif, Step 1:

Hold the working yarn in front of your stitches. Insert your needle into the live stitch as if to knit it (insert your left needle into the front leg of the stitch from the front to the back).

Step 2: Learn to slip stitches knitwise with yarn in front - sl1kwyif - a knitting lesson with Liz @PurlsAndPixels.

sl1kwyif, Step 2:

Do not work into the stitch that is being slipped. Instead, begin to slide the stitch off the left needle and onto the right needle. When you have moved the stitch completely onto the right needle without knitting or purling into it, you have slipped the stitch.

Learn to slip stitches knitwise with yarn in front - sl1kwyif - a knitting lesson with Liz @PurlsAndPixels.

Practice With My Knitting Pattern

Slipped Stitches Scarf - a free knitting pattern from Liz Chandler @PurlsAndPixels.

Ready to try it? You can practice slipping stitches with my free Slipped Stitches Scarf pattern.

Up Next

Now, you are probably getting to the point where your projects are larger than one ball of yarn. In the next lesson, I will show you what I do when my yarn runs out mid-project. Using a “magic knot” to tie new yarn to the old yarn creates a tiny, super-strong knot that connects the two balls of yarn.

Go Back to the Learn to Knit Index

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