Saturday, February 27

Two Kinds of Crochet Slip Knots

2018 Update: I've revised and expanded this post at my new website. I recommend these posts!
Start Crocheting From Scratch
More Ways to Start Crocheting
Starting Knot Variations
How To Do a Slip Knot Variation

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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 versions of it from a crocheter's point of view. I call one adjustable (blue one in photo) and the other, locking or secure (the red one). The only difference is which yarn end you use to make it.

It used to be that all of my slip knots were adjustable by accident, now they are all secure on purpose! Video links are at the end of this entry.

Which Kind Do You Make?

Tug on the short end of the yarn (a.k.a. the cut end or "tail").

  • If doing this tightens the loop, you made an adjustable slip knot
  • If you tug on the long or "ball end" (i.e. where 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 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 is useful 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/10 cm) for weaving in securely so that it won't loosen later.

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.

Slip Knot Video

This video demonstration (not mine) shows three ways to make a slip knot. The first two are just different ways to make an adjustable slip knot. Notice how she uses the short yarn end when completing the slip knot, and then tightens the loop around the hook by pulling the short end.

The third slip knot in the same video is the locking slip knot. Notice she uses the ball end (long yarn end) when completing the slip knot.