With this blog in mind, I often bookmark articles I’ve found online, to share with you. This one, which I have edited slightly, comes from Interweave and was published on September 09, 2015
What is a slip stitch? Pretty much just what it says: you slip a stitch from one needle to the other without working it. In knitting, there are many reasons to slip a stitch intentionally. In colorwork knitting, slipping stitches makes it easy to achieve the look of more complex colorwork techniques with little more effort than when working simple stripes. If you’re working a color stripe pattern and you slip stitches on the first round of a color change, the color from the previous round will be drawn up into the current round and it will look as if you’ve worked with two different colors on the same round. But you can do much more than imitate other colorwork techniques. You can also create effects that are unique to slip-stitch knitting.
When you slip stitches without working them, the yarn must be carried from one worked stitch to the next, spanning one or more unworked stitches. The resulting yarn strand, or float, is carried either behind or in front of the slipped stitch (or stitches). If you slip a stitch with the yarn in front, the floats that are carried across the front of the work become a decorative element. (Just make sure to bring the yarn to the back of the work again when you’re ready to knit the next stitch or you’ll end up with a yarnover increase.)
If you’ve never tried slip-stitch colorwork, start with the simple polka dot pattern above. Before you know it, you’ll be hooked!
TRY THIS PATTERN FOR A POLKA DOT TUBE COWL – it will make a useful scarf for this winter.
PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS PATTERN DOES NOT TELL YOU WHAT SIZE NEEDLES TO USE, OR WHAT YARN TO USE – YOU CAN MAKE IT UP FOR YOURSELF!
HOWEVER, TO CONTROL THE SIZING – IT WOULD BE A GOOD IDEA TO TRY KNITTING A SMALL SWATCH WITH YOUR CHOSEN NEEDLES AND YARN FIRST!
The polka dot pattern is a great introduction to slip-stitch knitting. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 16″ circular needle
- at least two colors of yarn (but use as many as you like), a main color (MC) and contrast color (CC)
- stitch marker
Note: Slip stitches purlwise with yarn in back.
With MC, and using a provisional method, cast on a multiple of 4 sts. Place marker and join in the round.
Rounds 1 and 2 With CC, *slip 2, k2; rep from * to end.
Rounds 3 and 4 With MC, knit.
Rounds 5 and 6 With CC, *k2, slip 2; rep from * to end.
Rounds 7 and 8 With MC, knit.
Repeat Rounds 1-8 for pattern, ending with Round 6.
Block and join the ends of the cowl using three-needle bind-off or Kitchener stitch and MC.
NB: You can also try this sequence without using circular needles – to make a ‘flat’ scarf. Choose the width you want the scarf, and double it – so that you can sew the two edges together. The pattern above can be adapted in any way you want, and don’t worry about the ‘technical’ names of knitting stitches – you can choose the way you like to cast on and cast off!
Start knitting this now and you could easily finish making your cowl or scarf in time to give it to someone as a Christmas present.