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Ask Amanda: How do I slip a stitch?


As a beginner knitter, I found slipped stitches (or slip stitches, as they’re also written) to be some of the most vague directions when following a pattern (the photo on the left shows off the beautiful stitch texture of Tracery from NGV12, which combines slipped stitches with lace).

It seemed like an easy concept – just transfer the next stitch to the right needle without working it, right? But I found that my slipped stitches didn’t always look the same every time. It wasn’t until I looked it up in a knitting manual that I found out why: a slip stitch in knitting should always be slipped as if to purl unless stated otherwise.

It never occurred to me that there was a difference between slipping a stitch purlwise versus knitwise. I’d always just slipped them in whatever way I felt like it, which can be a relaxing knitting style but will not yield consistent results!

For a quick demo on the difference between slipping a stitch purlwise or knitwise, check out this video from our how-to library:

Now next time you encounter slipped stitches in a pattern, you’ll know exactly what to do!

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Maureen #

    I am knitting the Seabury scarf with Berroco Peruvia Quick yarn. The first two stitches on each row are slip stitches, each row alternates between WYIF or WYIB. Am I putting my right needle in as if to purl with yarn in front or back, or am I putting my needle in as if to purl WYIF and putting it in as if to knit WYIB?

    December 31, 2015
    • amychristoffers #

      Hi Maureen,

      I will forward your question to our pattern support desk. You can always write to with any pattern questions!

      January 4, 2016

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