I hate knots in crochet. There’s nothing worse than squishing some soft, luxurious, handmade item and feeling a hard little bump. That’s why starting my crochet with a slip knot always really bugged me…but there’s no other way, right? Wrong.

I learned this through trial and error, but was later told it’s called a “sloppy slip knot” and is popular in amigurumi. Here’s how it works:

Twist the yarn to make a loop, like you normally would with a slip knot. The tail is crossing in front of the working yarn.

Make a loop

Normally at this point you would pull the working yarn through the loop to form your slip knot…but don’t. Just put this twisted loop on your hook and pinch the twist with your other hand to hold it in place. Now, draw the working yarn through with your hook to make the first slip stitch. You will likely need to hold this stitch in place until you have made a few more.

making chains

When working back across your slip stitches, be sure to work into the last one. It will be a little loose, but you can snug it up nicely by pulling on the tail.

Tightening the first chain

This works for foundation stitches too.  Basically all you’re doing is making a very loose slip knot and counting that as your first chain. It’s fast and easy once you’ve done it a few times, and there are no knots to take out later! If this technique just doesn’t work for you, the other alternative is to make a slip knot as normal, and then undo it after you have a couple of rows completed.

I tried this with knitting too, and it works like a charm. Just put the twisted loop on your needle instead of a slip knot, and continue to cast on as normal. Depending on your cast on, you may need to twist the yarn the other way, but the basic concept is still the same.

So now I’d love to know – does this method work for you? Or do you still prefer to start with a slip knot? Do you undo your slip knot later or leave it in?


Tutorial: Starting chain – to knot, or not? — 6 Comments

  1. By putting an extra twist in the yarn you don’t have to hold it past the first chain. I learned this years ago, great until ypu have to teach someone how to crochet in 2 hours and you need to teach a simple pattern that they can use without any help as they live a province away.

    • I know, it sounds like it would, but it doesn’t – give it a try and you’ll see! 🙂 It’s the same as the end of the work not unraveling even though there’s no knot there. I’ve made whole sweaters with no slipknot, and not woven in the ends until I’m all done, and have never had any issues. It really doesn’t even loosen up once you get a couple rows in, and once you sew in the end it’s totally secure.

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