Cross stitch, chain stitch, slip stitch… if you’re new to crochet, you’ll soon realize that there are MANY basic stitches you’ll need to get to grips with.
Whatever pattern you’re working from, you’ll have to perform most of these stitches at least once, so it’s always wise to try and understand what they are before you start crocheting.
In today’s article, we’ll be taking a look at one of the most popular of them all – the slip stitch.
The slip stitch is one of the most frequently used stitches in crochet, and with the help of this guide, you can master your slip-stitch technique and get crafting in no time!
What Is A Slip Stitch In Crochet?
In crochet, the slip stitch is one of the shortest basic crochet(see also: How To Skip Stitches For Crochet Beginners!) stitches out there.
In crochet diagrams and patterns, you’ll often see it marked with an oval or a circle, and it’s sometimes abbreviated to “sl st” in most patterns. In the UK, the slip stitch is abbreviated to “ss”.
You may also hear the slip stitch referred to as the “invisible ladder stitch”. However, this is not to be confused with the crochet (see also: How To Crochet A Bee)slip stitch.
The invisible ladder stitch is used in sewing, and when it’s done correctly, it should be so discreet that it’s barely visible. This makes the slip stitch ideal for seam or hem repair.
On the contrary, you can think of the slip stitch in crochet as a sort of ‘technique’ rather than an actual stitch.
The crochet slip stitch (see also: The Extended Triple Crochet Stitch (ETR): Explained)can be used to craft a variety of items, ranging from scarves and hats to blankets and home decor accessories.
What Are Slip Stitches Used For?
This common and versatile stitch is often used for joining up different rounds and chains, and it isn’t technically classified as a stitch when you use it this way.
The slip stitch can also be used to finish up any rough edges on your pattern, giving you a polished, neater-than-neat finish.
If you want to reduce the number of stitches you have at the start of a row, you can also use the slip stitch.
If you slip stitch over the stitches you don’t want to miss out, you won’t give them any extra height, which makes it easy to stitch in a polished boxy decrease.
Whenever you’re stitching two pieces of fabric together, the slip stitch will come in handy. Just hold the sides together (as you would if you were sewing together clothing), and start slip-stitching through the edges of the fabrics.
Most people don’t tend to make entire patterns out of slip stitches, but it can be done!
How To Slip Stitch In Crochet
Ready to start slip-stitching? Well, you’ll be pleased to know that this technique isn’t as difficult as it looks.
Here are the simple steps you’ll need to follow to perform a successful slip stitch:
- Thread your hook into the desired stitch
- Pull the yarn over (YO), and pull it back through the slip stitch and the loop of your crochet hook.
- … there is no step three, you’re done!
Yes, the slip stitch really is that simple. Drawing up a loop and drawing the loop through on your hook are performed in one motion.
However, when you first practice the yarn over (YO) and pulling it back through the slip stitch, it’s okay to do it in two separate motions. The more you practice, the faster you’ll get, and this will eventually merge into one swift movement.
Once you’ve mastered this, simply repeat it as many times as necessary to complete your project.
Slip Stitching With Different Shapes And Projects
The slip stitch can be used for seams, as a decrease, to join rounds, and as a surface slip stitch. Although the main technique stays the same for each shape and project, there are a few things you should be aware of before you start.
When joining rounds, the main technique stays the same, but you’ll need to complete your stitch at the first stitch of the round, or the turning chain at the beginning of a new round.
When slip stitching a decrease (such as an armhole for a sweater), follow the standard slip stitch technique and complete between 3-6 stitches for each armhole.
The slip stitch is one of the most popular techniques to use with seams.
Here’s the slip-stitch method for working with seams:
- Hold the sides of your fabric together, and push the hook through both layers
- YO and pull the loop through
- Now, pull your new loop through the loop of your hook
- Repeat the steps above until you come to the end of the seam
The Surface Slip Stitch
The surface slip-stitch is a popular technique for crocheters of all abilities. The surface slip stitch (or surface crochet) is just as simple as the methods above.
To perform the surface slip stitch, simply:
- Put the hook into your fabric
- Once the hook has gone from the front to the back, simply pull a loop from the working yarn, and you’re good to go!
Before you put the hook into your fabric, you may want to make a slip knot. However, this isn’t essential – slip knots (see also: Tying A Slip Knot: An Essential First Skill)can often leave behind long, trailing yarn tails which not all crocheters like.
The slip stitch is one of the simplest and most versatile crochet stitches out there. The slip stitch can be used on almost any project, and it’s so simple to do, there’s no excuse not to add it to your stitch arsenal!
It may be a technique rather than a ‘stitch’, but it’s absolutely worth learning.
If you’re new to crochet, we’d highly recommend learning the slip stitches as one of your first stitches. With just one simple slip stitch, you can work with multiple fabrics and create a variety of different projects, all with very little practice!