The crochet slip stitch is one of the essential stitches that all crocheters will need to learn. It can be used to join circle rounds, stitch pieces together and shape items such as armholes and even make flowers. This easy tutorial will show you how to make a basic slip stitch as well as how to use it for decorating and creating shapes.
Slip Stitch Crochet Tutorial
What is Slip Stitch Crochet?
Slip stitches are one of the basic crochet stitches that are often used when shaping a garment or to move the yarn across a group of stitches without adding to the height.
In order to do a slip stitch you only need 2 steps:
- Insert the hook into the stitch.
- Yarn over and pull through the stitch on the hook.
The slip stitch crochet should never be confused with the slip knot with which you start your crochet project.
It is abbreviated to sl st. in crochet patterns and is the shortest of all stitches and is seldom used by itself to create crochet fabric, as it creates a very dense and tight fabric if used by itself.
It does, however, create an almost knit appearance to your fabric, and many crocheters use it as a ‘rib’ on garments.
What is Slip Stitch Used For?
They are also used to join crochet circles when working in rounds, to add decorative elements to any basic crochet fabric, or to join different pieces of crochet fabric together.
Slip Stitch Crochet - Supplies
- Hook - Which matches your yarn thickness. The crochet hook size should be indicated on the label of your yarn.
- Yarn - There are many types of yarn suitable for crochet. Your slip stitch may be crocheted in matching or contrasting color.
If you are a beginner, read my article on how to crochet for beginners for an overview of choosing yarns and hooks as well as some basic stitches.
Slip Stitch Abbreviations
Unlike many other crochet terms, both the US and Uk refer to slip stitch or slipped stitch as the same stitch. Slip stitch is abbreviated in US crochet patterns to "sl st". The UK often uses "ss".
Slip Stitch Chart Symbols
In crochet charts, slip stitch is shown as a dot (.).
Slip Stitch Heights
The slip stitch is shorter than single crochet, making it the shortest of all crochet stitches.
Slip Stitch Turning Chain
A slip stitch has a turning chain of just 1. Don't count the turning chain as a stitch unless the pattern says otherwise.
Slip Stitch Tutorial in Sewing
The term slip stitch is also used in sewing circles as a type of invisible stitch or ladder stitch used on hems and seams. When sewn with a matching colored thread, this hand stitching blends in with the fabric. This tutorial, however will show you how to crochet a slip stitch.
Slip Stitch Crochet Video Tutorial
Watch the basic techniques of how to crochet slip stitch with this easy video tutorial.
How to Crochet Slip Stitch - Step-by-Step Tutorial
To practice this technique, you will need to create some crochet fabric to start off. Make a sample rectangle in double crochet. I have changed the color of my yarn here, so you can see what is happening.
Instead of the usual chains to turn, make just 1 chain. This will bring your new row up to a suitable height to do the slip stitch crochet.
Step 1 - First Stitch
- Insert your hook into the next stitch, under both loops. (Occasionally a pattern may specify to insert the hook only under the back loop or front loop.)
- Yarn over.
- Draw your loop through both loops of the stitch and the loop on the hook, all at the same time. There will be one stitch remaining on the hook. You have made one slip stitch.
Step 2 - Row of Slip Stitches
- Repeat in the same manner for the next stitch and the rest of the row. You can see how the slip stitches lie flat on your work and don’t add any height at all. Your pattern should specify the number of stitches required.
This makes a beautiful slip stitch edging.
How to Shape a Crochet Item with Slip Stitch
It is possible to switch back to double crochet. You will see the shape that you have created is ideal for shaping when crocheting garments, such as indenting an armhole on a sweater.
Now, to resume your double crochet you will have to make 3 chain stitches to get your yarn up to the correct height. This counts as one double crochet. Continue working a double crochet into the rest of the row.
Slip Stitch Crochet to Join Chain in a Circle
This is necessary for crocheting in the round or to create crochet motifs, such as granny squares.
- Chain 6. (You will be joining this chain 6 with a slip stitch crochet to form a ring. Some patterns will have you chain a different amount. Granny squares for example often start with 4 chains.)
- Insert hook into the first chain. (Not the slip knot!)
- Yarn over and draw through that chain as well as the loop on the hook. It is kind of an ‘all at once’ movement and stitch.
- Your circle will be created and joined up.
Slip Stitch Crochet to Join The End of a Round
The slip stitch is commonly used to join rounds when crocheting circles. Rounds are common in patterns for crochet baby hats and even crochet baskets. To practice this, you need to create a circle of double crochet.
- Begin with Chain 6.
- Join the chained 6 stitches with a slip stitch (as explained above) to form a ring.
- Now chain 3 (as your first double crochet stitch.)
- Work 11 double crochet into your ring.
- After your 11th double crochet, insert the hook into the third chain of your starting chain for this row.
- Yarn over, draw through that chain and the loop on your hook at the same time.
You have joined the round of double crochet. Continue in this manner, joining each round of stitches with a slip stitch. A stitch marker may be used to mark each round.
How to Use Slip Stitch Crochet as a Decorative Stitch
You can crochet slip stitch across a row of crochet to form a stripe in a contrasting color. You will simply form your slip stitches in the same way as when using slip stitch to move your yarn across stitches, but you will complete your item first, and then slip stitch across the top of the relevant rows in a contrasting color.
Surface Crochet Slip Stitch
- Insert the hook from the front to the back of your work. Put a slip knot on the end of the hook.
- Pull the top of the slip knot through from the back of the work. It will look like a loop on the surface of the fabric.
- *Insert the hook back into the fabric a short distance away. Yarn over.
- Pull through the loop. You now have 2 loops on top.
- Pull the last loop through the first loop. This is your first surface slip stitch.
- Repeat from *
Slip stitch can form a decorative edging around your crochet fabric. It will give a smoother appearance to the edges of the fabric. You can choose to do it in the same color as the base fabric, or in a contrasting color as a decorative edging.
Surface slip stitches can be used to make decorative shapes or monograms on your work. Start by marking the shape or initials on the fabric with a removable marker. Slip stitch along the top of your fabric along those lines, in a contrasting color.
Crocheting Slip Stitch for Joining Pieces
This useful little stitch can also be used as a seam to join items together- either pieces of a garment or to join granny squares for a blanket. It is great for those of you who dislike the ‘sewing together' part of crochet work. It also results in a very neat, evenly spaced seam.
To do this, insert the hook through both edges of your work, yarn over, and pull through all the loops in one movement. If you want an invisible join with nothing showing on the front of the fabric, put the pieces of fabric right sides together.
If you use a matching color yarn, you will have an invisible slip stitch edging.
How to Slip Stitch Crochet - In Conclusion
You can see that crochet slip stitch is a very easy stitch to master and is handy to know as it has so many uses. Whatever crochet pattern you are using the slip stitch for, it is always worked in exactly the same way.
Free Crochet Patterns
Slip Stitch Crochet
- Crochet Hook
- If you are starting a new row, chain 1 for your turning stitch.
- *Insert the hook through both loops of the stitch below.
- Yarn over.
- Pull through the fabric and through the initial loop on the hook. (1 loop on hook remaining).
- Repeat from *