HomeTechniquesHow to Make a Slipknot

Something very peculiar happens when someone starts learning to knit or crochet:

They forget how to make a slipknot.

I’ve seen this again and again; there’s something about applying an old learned skill to a new art that causes them to completely forget how to make one.

The funniest one thus far happened just this past month. I’m teaching my mother to knit (if you know me and are even slightly craftily inclined, it’s only a matter of when — it will happen eventually). She was casting on for her second project, a garter-stitch short-row shawl knit end-to-end. Because she wasn’t sure how wide she wanted to make the shawl, I decided to teach her a knitted cast-on instead of the long-tail cast-on I’d previously taught her.

So first, I asked her to make a slipknot.

She made a loop with the yarn, then held it up with perplexity.

“Mom, you know how to do this.” A small giggle was creeping into my voice as I saw the distress in her eyes. “Mom, you taught ME how to do this!”

She laughed, and said, “Yes, but could you remind me?”

“Yeah, but this is going in my blog.”

So for everyone who has forgotten, here’s how to make a slipknot:

1. Make a loop with your yarn. Check where the yarns cross: you want the “tail” of the yarn on the bottom.

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2. Reach through the loop and grab the working yarn, then pull it through the first loop. Alternately, shove a loop of working yarn through the first loop.

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3. Pull on the yarn tail to tighten the first loop.

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Ta-da! Slipknot!


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