Learn a Stitch: Slip Stitch Crochet

In the February issue of Crochet World, we feature the Rib Stitch Cap & Mittens pattern by Nancy Nehring. It uses the second most basic crochet stitch (I would say the chain stitch is the most basic stitch): the slip stitch. Slip stitch crochet is actually a whole style or form of crochet. You can make countless projects just using this simple stitch in a couple of ways.


Let’s sum up some of features of one of the earliest forms of crochet:

-It is typically worked through one loop only.

-Slip stitch in the back loop only produces horizontal bars on the front of the fabric and the fabric lies flat.

-Slip stitch in the front loop only produces vertical bars on the front of the fabric and tends to curl towards the front of the fabric.

-Slip stitch crochet worked in rows creates a stretchy fabric, think ribbing.

-Slip stitch crochet worked in the round in a spiral (or continuous round) produces vertical stitching that is about a 1/2 stitch off from the previous round’s stitch. As you work the start of your round will continue to shift to the right for right-handers and to the left for left-handers. So you need to mark the actual start of the round and when you complete you tube or spiral project lay the piece flat and align the starting marker along the side to find the true end of your work and keep the start and finish aligned.

-Slip stitch crochet can be used to create 3 types of fabric: brocade, jacquard and ribbing.  Ribbing is the simplest and is what you find in the hat pattern from the issue as well as the cuff of the mittens. It’s very stretchy and has a knit-like appearance.


Brocade patterns move from working in the front loops to the back loops to produce            pattern fabrics.

Jacquard uses one stitch throughout, either front loop slip stitch or back loop slip stitch, but alternates colors to produce colorwork patterning.

-Slip stitch crochet produces very short row heights so it can take quite sometime to finish a project that uses slip stitch crochet, so patience becomes a key. But these dense stretchy fabrics are just perfect for wintertime accessories.

Now it’s time for you to take a bit of a crochet adventure around the internet to learn more about slip stitch crochet and to find some fun patterns. Click the links below to discover more!

Learn more about crochet history and this style of crochet from Little John’s Yarn and Julia from Little World of Whimsy. You’ll find them interesting and entertaining.

Get Nancy Nehring’s book Learn Slip Stitch Crochet.

Having trouble finding patterns? Try using “knit-look” in your search as well as “slip stitch crochet”.

Once you have mastered this style, take it one step further with Bosnian Crochet! The results are just amazing and it is still just working slip stitches strategically (for the most part).


The Ivy Neck Warmer by @LyudmilaHefny is a great Bosnian Crochet starter projects. There are photos to help you work through it and Lyudmila also has video tutorials online!

—Britt Schmiesing, editor

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