Beginner Basics: How to Slip Stitch

The slip stitch is a rather essential skill–but luckily it’s super easy. This is an essential stitch in crochet because it’s used to join rounds, to create a ring, in amigurumi, to create granny squares and about a dozen other things. So how do you crochet the slip stitch? It’s easy!

I’ve crocheted a swatch in blue using the single crochet, and my slip stitches are in white so you can see them better. Slip stitches are shorter than the single crochet, but I have never seen them used for a larger piece like washcloth or even a sturdy purse. Mostly the slip stitch is a joining stitch, but it can be used a lovely finishing stitch or to add a design element to the overlook of a piece. Either way, you need to know how to crochet this simple and essential stitch. Let’s get started shall we?

To crochet the slip stitch (abbreviated to sl st in patterns), insert your hook into a stitch. In the case of my swatch, I’m inserting my hook into the next single crochet. Now, yarn over (Figure 1) and draw the yarn through both the stitch and the loop on your hook at once (Figure 2). This is done in one motion. You should have one loop on your hook when you are done. As you can see, my row of slip stitches look similar to a chain. If yours look mine, you’ve mastered the slip stitch.

Don’t worry if you find this stitch is a little slow going at first–I found that myself when I first started crocheting. Over time, I found that the stitch became less fussy and quicker to work up. I actually quite like slip stitching now, and recently I decided that one skill set I want to add to my crochet know is how to use the slip stitch crochet method to create larger pieces. I have found some designers use this method and their projects are absolutely lovely.

Tips for Beginner Crocheters

  • Be patient. Learning anything new takes time.
  • You might be all thumbs in the beginning. Just keep practicing.
  • Take breaks to loosen up your fingers and wrists. Like any repetitive motion, crochet can lead to pain if you’re not careful.
  • Check your posture too! Your shoulders don’t belong up by your ears as you crochet, nor should your spine be curved.
  • Don’t mind what anyone says about how you hold your hook or yarn. The right way for you is what works and gets the job done! I would not be here if I had wasted time worrying about holding my yarn right. 
  • Get yourself a yarn basket or bag and keep it handy where you crochet most.
  • Purchase a variety of hook sizes, you’ll end up needing them if you want your piece to turn out the way a pattern intends, or want to work with different yarn weights.

Practice the slip stitch a few times on any swatch, just to get the hang of it. You’ll have the hang of it in no time.

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