Making a Slip Knot

The First Stitch When You Begin Knitting

While many of you may already know what a slip knot is and how to make one, I want to make sure you all know by giving you a very easy knitting lesson.  

So the slipknot is also called a running knot and a slip loop and they have hundreds of uses besides when you begin knitting. 

Here are a bunch of slipknots. Someone decided to showcase the fabric by making slipknots across the board.  


It's the same type of thing as making a slip loop on your needle.

The handy thing about running knots is that when you pull on one end the loop will tighten and when you pull on the other end it loosens it. 

When you pull on both ends together the loop comes undone.

And when you begin knitting, the slip knot becomes the very first stitch you will make. 

More importantly it's the stitch that fastens the yarn to your knitting needle so that you can cast on the rest of your knitting stitches. 

I have been asked whether you include this stitch in the stitch count after all the stitches are on your needle.  

The answer is yes. It is the very first stitch. When you cast on all the stitches you need, you don't take the slip loop off the needle.

Not only is it used when you cast on your knitting stitches but it's very helpful when you need to add a new color of yarn in your knitting. 

It's a way to help anchor the first few stitches and keep them all consistent.

Here's How to Make a Slip Knot

Slip knot to begin knitting

Take a length of yarn about 6 - 10 inches long and make a loop crossing the long end of the yarn (the ball end) over the shorter end to create the loop.

How to make a slipknot

With the working yarn (the ball end) stick the yarn behind the loop kind of cutting the loop in half like in the picture.

How to make a slipknot

Then take your knitting needle and insert it underneath that piece of yarn and just pull it through the loop.

How to make a slipknot

Now just pull the end so that the loop snugs up nicely on the needle. Not too tight.

How to make a slipknot

And that's all there is too it.  Simple right? 

Now you're ready to learn how to knit starting with casting on the rest of your knitting stitches. 

My casting on knitting page will show you three easy cast on methods so you can choose the one you like best.

You might even want to try them all while you're at it. After all it's nice to have alternatives. 

Go slowly and enjoy.

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