Today we are finally going to start getting our hands dirty. Okay, so it’s not that exciting in the grand scheme of crochet. But it is important nevertheless. We are going to be learning how to do the slip knot.
The slip knot is the absolute first thing that your hook will do for most of your crochet projects. It is the yarn’s anchor so the whole thing doesn’t unravel. It is the starting point. Having said that, once it has been created, crocheters tend to forget about it since it’s not counted as a chain stitch.
Another Use for the Slip Knot
Some crocheters create a slip knot when they are adding yarn so the project doesn’t have a weak spot that might unravel later. This is perfectly fine as long as you know that there will be a hard little lump in that spot from the knot. I usually can get away with weaving in the ends over it so it’s fairly hidden and no one is the wiser.
How to Create a Slip Knot
There are several different slip knot techniques, but they all accomplish the same goal. Everyone seems to have their own way of doing a slip knot and the technique I normally use can be quite confusing. The following is the method that Mikey from The Crochet Crowd uses and it is much simpler for a beginner.
Put the ball or skein or ball in front of you and pull out about a foot or two of yarn. Lay the end of the yarn to the right (see photo 1).
Pick up the end of the yarn with your right hand, drape it over your pointer finger before pulling the end forward so it is between your pointer and middle fingers (see photos 2a and 2b).
Grasp the ball end of the yarn in your middle, ring, and pinky fingers (see photo 3a). Wrap the yarn around your pointer finger once going from the front to the back and then pulling the end forward. Now pinch the end of the yarn with your thumb and middle finger (see photo 3b).
Now take the loop that is closest to your palm and lay it over the loop that is closest to the tip of your finger. Do not pull it over your entire finger tip! (see photo 4).
Take the loop that is now closest to your palm and pull it over the other loop and your finger tip (see photos 5a and 5b).
Insert your hook into the loop that remains on your finger (see photo 6).
Release the loop from your finger and pull the ball end of the yarn so the loop is now taut on the hook. If it won’t tighten, pull the other end a little so you can tighten with the ball end of the yarn. Congrats! You’ve made your first slip knot!
If you would like a video tutorial, check out The Crochet Crowd’s video here. This is the point in the video where he starts explaining the slip knot, but feel free to watch the entire video. It is full of information to get you started.
I recommend that you keep your yarn tail about 6 – 8 inches long. You want it long enough to weave in later. In the photos my short tail was just to show you where it needs to be as you make a slip knot.
You want your slip knot to be snug, but not too tight. You will be redoing many chains over your crochet lifetime. To save yarn you pull the ball end to unravel the chain. If your slip knot has been done correctly and isn’t too tight, you only have to give it a tug for it to come undone so you can start over. There are also times that you might need to unravel the chain from the slip knot end so don’t make it too tight.
For your homework assignment, I want you to practice the slip knot. Also make sure that your fingers and hands match what I show in the photos. I know when you start crocheting the yarn and your fingers are going to seem like they belong to an alien. Keep going! It will soon become second nature.
I hope you enjoyed learning the slip knot. Please don’t become discouraged and give up! Remember that this is a new skill you are teaching your muscles.
Have an excellent day!