Learn Something New: The Slip-Stitch Crochet Seam

Mosaic Tile Afghan
by Judith L. Schwarz

I have three afghans in the works, and they're all knitted in blocks and then sewn together.

Although there's a lot of finishing work involved in these types of knitted blankets, I don't mind. The trade off is that they're portable and each block is a different stitch pattern, so there's no chance of getting bored with the pattern. I love this way of trying new stitch patterns, too. Even if you're not crazy about one of them, it's soon over and you're on to the next one!

Check out the free pattern at left—the Mosaic Tile Afghan is just gorgeous! This would become a family heirloom for sure.

But back to the finishing issue, which is mostly made up of seaming the squares together. You can use good old mattress stitch, which is my favorite seaming technique for most things, but I'm partial to slip-stitch crochet seaming for seaming afghan squares.

Here's how you do it:

Slip-Stitch Crochet

Using the slip-stitch crochet seam

With right sides together and working one stitch at a time, insert a crochet hook through both thicknesses into the stitch just below the bound off edge, or one stitch in front of the selvedge edge.

Catch the yarn and draw a loop through both thicknesses, then catch the yarn again and draw this loop through the first. This secures the end stitches together.

*Insert the hook into the next stitch, through both thicknesses, then catch and draw a loop back through both thicknesses and through the loop on the crochet hook; repeat from *, keeping the crochet stitches even.

To end, cut the yarn leaving a tail 6–8" (15–20 cm) long. Pull the tail end through the last stitch on the hook. Thread the tail on a tapestry needle and weave it back through the seam allowance for 2" (5 cm).

TIP: Slip-stitch crocheted seams are easy to remove if you've made a mistake—just pull on the working yarn to ravel. Because it's so easily removed, it's ideal for adjusting the placement of matching seams or easing in fullness.

—Vicki Square, from The Knitter's Companion

I'm going to be using the slip-stitch technique in the next week or so because I've got a baby blanket to deliver. Just three more squares to knit!

Join me in knitting an afghan! I know you'll enjoy it as much as I do.


P.S. What's your favorite seaming technique? Share it with us in the comments!

Other Things You May Like to Check Out:


Finishing & Construction, Knitting Daily Blog
Kathleen Cubley

About Kathleen Cubley

Hello daily knitters! I'm the editor of Knitting Daily. I've been obsessed with knitting for about ten years now and my favorite projects are sweaters. I like the occasional smaller project, but there's nothing like yards of stockinette with a well-placed cable or a subtle stitch pattern here and there. I crochet a bit now and then—especially when I need to produce a baby blanket in time for the baby shower. I've been in publishing for 20 years and I'm finally exactly where I want to be: at the crossroads of knitting and communication. I live in Spokane, Washington and when I'm not knitting I enjoy gardening, snuggling with my dogs, swimming, reading, and playing in the snow in the winter. But, really, I'm pretty much always knitting!

13 thoughts on “Learn Something New: The Slip-Stitch Crochet Seam

  1. I’ve tried that seaming method and it can give thick ridges. I’ve also use just the outside loops in a slip stitch which lays smoother at times.
    Good advice love the patterns

  2. I’ve always used the slip stitch seam method but never knew it was an “accepted” method. It was just easier for me and the seam comes out so much more even! I was so excited to see this article as it confirms my method! Thank you!

  3. I make a lot of afghans comprised of squares – as you say, it’s portable and a fun way to try new stitches. I stitch the squares together with the crocheted slip stitch. I don’t use this method on garments because I think it makes the seam too bulky – wish I could, though! So much easier.

  4. Hi Kathleen, Thanks for the suggestion! Am making an afghan for my son’s impending wedding and was looking for an alternative to mattress stitch. Perfect solution.

  5. I’ve always used this method of joining. I find it easy to ease pieces together this way if the need arises. Don’t remember who showed me this because it’s been too long ago–maybe my grandmother.

  6. For seams with a matching number of stitches, I prefer the backstitch. The resulting seam has some give, and is very easy to make. I use backstitch for side seams of a bodice and seams of a sleeve, as well as shoulder seams. Side and sleeve seams need very little marking, whereas shoulder seams need a lot of safety pins to make things match. But I have a feeling that would be the same no matter which stitch I used to join them.

  7. Hi, I have made several afgans and used a variantion on this technique. I didn’t like the ridges on one side of the blanket and sometimes I alternate which “good”side is up. I lay two blocks on top of eachother just overlapping the first row of stitches. A long knitting needle woven down the intended seam is beneficial for keeping them lined up. Then do the crocheted slip stitch as described between the first and secnd row of stitches in both layers. You get a flat seam witha row of chained loops on one side (almost invisible with matching thread) and a single line down the back.


  8. I’ve made a number of baby afghans using various sizes of Granny Squares. I like doing a single crochet on the right side; it makes a ridge that gives the afghan a nice finished look.

    Louisville KY

  9. Refence holding the seam of a garment together,
    I use a large blunt darning needle threaded with the same wool as the garment.
    using single thread.
    Press the right sides of garment together and weave from left to right, then right to left of both pieces, through the rows, Keeping the rows level while you stitch.
    This gives a flat seam needed in making up garments.
    Keep the thread a moderate tension, if too tight give a stretch to the seam before securing the thread, if too slack draw the thread tighter.
    p.s. I have enjoyed reading your website, since starting to knit again.

  10. I love crocheting pieces together, compared to stitching them. I have an alternative to making the chain in a straight line.
    I began experimenting, when I thought the straight chain method made the seam too tight. I wanted something that would feel more like the work in the squares.

    So, I move from side to side, angling the chain stitch to the right of the line of stitching, then to the left……alternating until I reach the end. This makes a row of what looks like an embroidered Feather Stitch. I like the stretch this has built in, and the look reminds me of vintage pieced quilts.