Most of us learned to start our crochet by making a slip knot. It’s so annoying to squish some soft, luxurious, handmade item and feel that hard little bump. But you don’t have to! You can start your crochet without a slip knot.
Starting chain without a slip knot
Twist the yarn to make a loop, just like you would to make a slip knot. The tail is crossing in front of the working yarn. Normally, at this point, you would pull the working yarn through the loop to form your slip knot…but don’t. Instead, put this twisted loop on your hook. .
Pinch the twist with your other hand to hold it in place.
Now, draw the working yarn through with your hook to make your chains as normal. After a few chains, you can let go of the start loop.
When working back across your chains, 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.
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.
If this technique just doesn’t work for you, there is another way to ditch the knot as well. Make a slip knot as normal, and then just undo the knot after you have a couple of rows completed. Weaving in the tail at the end will secure the yarn, with no knot needed.
Crochet Without a Slip Knot Video Tutorial
So now we know that a slip knot is just a chain that has been tightened. That same first chain can also be a magic loop! The important part is to make sure the tail is on top when you make your twisted loop, so that the first chain can be closed by pulling on the tail. See more details in my starting a crochet circle tutorial.
Not Just for Crochet
This same technique works for knitting too. Just put the twisted loop on your needle instead of a slip knot, and continue to cast on as normal. For some cast ons you may want to twist the loop the other way, but try it both ways and see which works better in each case.
The only time I would not use it is if you plan to pick up stitches from the cast on edge. In that case the slip knot gives you a bit more structure to pick up from, and then you can undo it later.
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