Sunday, October 30

Slip Stitch Short Rows: Basic Tutorial

The first row along the bottom is the longest (24 sts).
Each "row" or "rib" of slip stitches is really 2 rows.
The top row pair is the shortest (3 sts).
There's more than one way to crochet short rows. Click here: free crochet pattern -- for a scarf that uses the method that I'll describe here.

The stitch matters. I'm really enjoying using slip stitches worked in the back loop. It's also called "slip stitch rib" or "back loop slip stitch." I abbreviate it BLOslst. [2018 update: I've come to prefer Bss.]
Photo #2: This is what the other side looks like.

Each "rib" of this stitch looks like 1 row, but it's really a pair of rows.  I like starting with a long row pair and then making shorter and shorter row pairs. One benefit is that the foundation row stays straighter this way.
Photo #3: two "wedges" of stacked short rows.

When you start with longer rows and then crochet shorter rows onto them, the ends of the short row look like a slope of bumps. (See top two photos.)

At my other blog you can see what it looks like when you crochet a long row into the ends of the short rows. 
Photo #4: Slip Slope Scarf in progress,
with stitch markers. The first 2 row pairs
of a new "wedge" show at the top. 
You can make them blend in or stand out. 

Either way, they flex, drape, and stretch nicely when you use this stitch and a larger crochet hook. Here I'm using a 6.5mm hook (K/US10.5) with worsted weight wool yarn (a.k.a. "#4 Medium Weight" or "Aran" or "Afghan weight").

Starting with a long row pair and then making each row pair shorter and shorter results in a wedge shape. Notice that each wedge has a sloping side and a straight side. 

Photo #5: One more BLOslst in that last
marked stitch will complete this row.
In the third photo, a second wedge is stacked onto the slope of the first wedge. If this rib stitch didn't look almost identical on both sides, it would be easier to see in this photo that the back of the first wedge is facing and the front of the second one is facing in this third photo.

Now for some impromptu iPhone photos while I finish the Slip Slope Scarf. 

You might not need stitch markers at all. 

Photo #6: Row is now complete. Ch 1, turn.
I've added them in these photos because in the pattern I recommend them to people who haven't done much slip stitch crochet just until they can easily recognize the last stitch of every row. 
(Just add a marker to the front loop of the first BLOslst you make in each new row. It's worth the trouble, I promise.)

In photos #5 and 6, I want you to compare how it looks when you have one stitch left to work into at the end of a row along the straight side of the wedge.

#7: New row begun. 
In photo #7, I chained 1 and turned, and then worked a BLOslst in each of the first four slip stitches. I placed a marker in the front loop of the first slip stitch of this new row. This row will be shorter; see photo #8.

Photo #9 gives you a bigger picture of how the sloped side is developing, while along the left is a straight edge--the stitches are only decreased when you reach the sloping edge. Make sense?

#8: I've worked across the new row to the last 3 slip
stitches of it. I'm going to ch 1 and turn,
leaving those last 3 unworked.
Photos #10 & 11 give another big picture: the current wedge has been completed: the last row pair has only 3 stitches in it!

#9: I chained 1 and turned, leaving the last 3 of the
stitches unworked. In this photo I've already crocheted
2 BLOslsts of this new row, and marked the first one.
And finally, photo #12 shows you how the stitch marker come in handy when you crochet a long row to begin another wedge. 

#10: A completed wedge. 
Actually, I think most people will not need the markers for this because you know you need to find three stitches to work into as you do the long row, and I think this makes them easy to find. But perhaps the markers help point out the stitches, making the photos easier to understand?

🚀This Slip Slope pattern was an exciting discovery that ended up catapulting me into a whole series of slip stitch crochet designs and classes!

#11: Reverse side of photo #9.
#12: Long row of next wedge has been
crocheted into each of the 3 unworked stitches of every short row.


  1. Wow. Thanks for taking the time to do this photo tutorial and for your free pattern. I love both knitting and crochet. This has to be the best of both worlds. Thanks again. :)

  2. Hi Monika, you're welcome and thanks for visiting.

  3. Wow... I found this off Pintrest, and I'm so glad I did! This is absolutely brilliant! That looks knit almost, and so funky. I can't wait to feel what the fabric this creates feels like!

    Thank you so much for sharing all this information! I can't wait to dig through your site!!

  4. Thank you! This looks like it will help me immensely. I've been crocheting for MANY years, but have never tackled Tunisian. I love the look of short rows.


On-topic questions are welcome!