Why Slip First or Last Stitch in a Knitting Pattern (Slip 1)?

Updated on May 19, 2018
KCO profile image

Katy has been knitting for 10 years and selling her items at local craft shows in Colorado for 2 years.

Many flat knitting patterns add instructions to slip the first stitch. Often the pattern will specify "slip the first stitch purlwise" before continuing on with the regular stitches. Other times, patterns just begin each row with sl1 (the abbreviation for slip 1 stitch).

The purpose of doing this is to create a clean, even edge to a finished garment. These are often found on stockinette or similar edges and garments. Learn more about slipping the first stitch in knitting and other variations you can use.

Why Do Edge Stitches End Up Loose?

If knit normally, many knitters end up with a garment that has loopy and uneven edges. This is because even if you deliberately focus on pulling even tension at the end of the row, there ends a varying amount of tension when you begin the next stitch.

Another reason the edge of a stockinette stitch comes out looking so uneven is the knitter was not consistent with how they started and ended a row. Especially for beginners it is common to start rows by going in front the front and to end a row going in front the back. Some strange things happen when there is only one stitch left on the left-hand needle. These variations create a bumpy, unattractive edge.

Skilled knitters compensate for the uneven tension problem by treating the edge stitches differently. If you're knitting flat (which I assume you are because that's the only way to get edges!) the edge stitches are the first and last stitches on your needle. These will be treated differently in a knitting pattern.

Source

How Does Slipping 1 Stitch Get a Clean Edge?

We know variations in tension will result in sad, loose edges despite our best efforts, so how does starting or ending with one slipped stitch fix that?

Slipping a stitch means it isn't knitted that round. No extra yarn is added. So a slip stitch will naturally pull the yarn tighter from one row to the next. This results in a consistent tension and stitch from row to row. Hence, a lovely edge!

Knit the Chain Edge

The Chain Edge is a slight variation on slipping the first stitch to create a neat edge. The only difference is the knitter needs to hold the yarn in front when slipping the first stitch, the next stitch is knitted through the back loop like normal.

The extra step to pull the yarn in front and slip the stitch purlwise just cleans up the edge a little further. It forces the knitter to do the same thing every time the piece is turned, resulting in a more consistent edge.

Source

Add An Edge to Any Knitting Pattern

Sometimes a knitter comes across a pattern they really love that is knitted flat but doesn't have an edge fix. Add your own by deciding what kind of edge you want to and adding the appropriate number of stitches to make it work.

A simple chain edge or slipped stitch is easy: just add two stitches to the pattern's instruction and remember to slip the first stitch.

As you knit more garments with a polished edge you'll get used to treating the edges differently. There are even more methods out there for creating a pretty edge on a blanket or scarf and most of them use a slip stitch to pull in the extra yarn.

Source

Fix an Uneven Knitted Edge

If it is already too later to incorporate a slipped stitch edge into your knitting and you have a finished piece with an uneven edge there are a few things you can do.

Add Fringe

Fringe added to a blanket, scarf or purse can hide an ugly edge. Find tips on how to add fringe. Choose yarn that is the same color as the knitted item. Make sure the yarn is tied completely around the edge to bind it together.

Add a Crochet Edge

If you have some basic crocheting skills you can add an edge after the knitted piece is complete. Try a single crochet or a half double all the way around the piece to tidy things up.

Block It

This is really a last resort because it has variable results. Get the knitted piece wet and block the edge as evenly as you can. It may eventually lose its form again but you can try.

Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Katy Medium

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, feltmagnet.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://feltmagnet.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)