Saturday, February 27

Two Kinds of Crochet Slip Knots

I knew of only one kind of slip knot when I learned how to crochet at the age of nine. Many years passed before I learned that there are actually two kinds from a crocheter's point of view. I call them adjustable (blue one in photo) versus locking or secure (the red one). It used to be that all of my slip knots were adjustable by accident, now they are all secure on purpose! See video links at the end of this entry.

How to know which kind you make
Tug on the short end of the yarn (a.k.a. the "tail"). If this tightens the loop, you made an adjustable slip knot. If you tug on the long or "ball end" (i.e. the yarn that is attached to the skein) to tighten the loop, it is a locking slip knot.

The locking version is important because there's no chance of it coming undone when under stress, such as when it is part of a purse bottom, or the clasp end of heavy beaded jewelry, or the center of afghan motifs.

The adjustable version can be used for closing up a center hole in one of the many methods of crocheting in the round: If you work all stitches of the first round into one chain, you can then pull on the yarn tail to close up the center hole tightly. Be sure to leave a long enough end (more than four inches/10cm) for weaving in securely so that it won't loosen later.

Video demonstrations of the secure or locking slip knot:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NcOewm7qAA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIUJuYuWfSM

Video demonstrations of the adjustable slip knot:
http://video.about.com/crochet/Crochet-Chain-Stitch.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avsiVWVtPYI

If your adjustable slip knots have never loosened, perhaps you have woven in a nice long yarn end to secure it; or used a non-slippery yarn, or a tight stitch gauge.