Why would I slip the first stitch on a row?

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JJColestock wrote
on Jun 13, 2013 8:15 AM

I have noticed that many knitters seem to routinely slip the first stitch in each row.  Why would you do this?

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aluca wrote
on Jun 13, 2013 3:56 PM

The slipped stitch provides a cleaner selvedge edge and is easier to use when seaming pieces together.  This is because the knitted stitch is longer and tends to be looser.  When you slip the stitch, the edge has a clean chain stitch effect, if that makes sense.  Hope that helps.

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JJColestock wrote
on Jun 13, 2013 4:11 PM

Thanks.  That actually makes perfect sense, but I had never seen it mentioned in the  patterns I have made, or in the knitting info I have read (and I have knitted for over 40 years).   I have been catching the show recently and noticed that it was presented as something everyone knew should be done.  I will add it to my repertoire. 

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Muddled wrote
on Jun 15, 2013 2:50 AM

Hi

I always slip the first sts and then when sewing the side seams of a sweater I use the so-called "kitchener stitch". 

To do this you have to slip the loops left by slipping the first stitches onto needles - one side on one needle and the other on another needle. I usually use my circular 80cm needles as they are joined together and therefore don't slip.

Then sew together as you would if you were sewing stitches together. Look at this link: 

http://knitty.com/ISSUEsummer04/FEATtheresasum04.html

on how to do it.

This gives you a lovely flat seam. You can also sew shoulder seams together using this technique if you just leave the sts on the needles, don't bind off.

In fact, I hardly ever bind off, even when shaping armholes and sleeves, I just put the number of sts which have to have decreased onto a stitch holder so I can join pieces better and flatter using the above mentioned method.

Cheers

Muddles

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Ctink64 wrote
on Jun 15, 2013 8:02 PM

So do you add an extra stitch to each end for the slip, or do you just follow the pattern and regardless of what the directions say just slip the first and last stitch?  I've been looking for a way to get flat seams!

Thanks

Ctink

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Muddled wrote
on Jun 16, 2013 12:35 AM

No, I don't add any extra stitches, just slip the first stitch of very row (knit wise or purlwise depending on whether it's a RS or WS row),  and continue with the second stitch of each row, according to the pattern.

It's a bit of a fiddle to put the loops onto needles but it's really worth the effort as the seams are really neat and flat.

Cheers

Muddled

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marywoods wrote
on Jun 16, 2013 1:59 PM

Dear Muddled,

One of the main reasons I slip the first stitch of a row is for picking up later.  As someone who love to knit socks, I use this technique on the sides of my heel flaps as I am knitting them.  It gives a smooth edge for picking up stitches when it comes time to put the socks back on three needles and go from there to finish the socks.  I also do it when I am making sweaters or tank tops on the rows that will later become the picked up stitches for the neck bands and armhole bands.  These make it easier to space the stitches evenly and keep the tension even.  It is a handy trick to keep in mind when you are working on a project and you want it to look its best. 

The newest use for this that I ran into was in Jane Austin Knits Magazine.  There was a pattern for a hat where the band was knitted back and forth and then joined together  so the body of the hat could be knitted in the round.  In this instance, the first 3 stitches of each row were slipped.  This formed and I cord that was knitted as you go and provided a set of almost hidden stitches that were picked up for the body of the hat and the opposite side of the band had a very finished look.  So you learn something new all the time.  Oh, another technique where you slip the edge stitches is in making lace.

Mary Woods,

Ravenwood Designs

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Muddled wrote
on Jun 17, 2013 4:42 AM

Dear Mary,

Thank you for your reply with the tips. I also love knitting socks, but turn the heel with short rows, not a flap. However, your idea of slipping the sts when doing the flap is good.

Regarding the hat - I knit one similar to the one you mentioned - maybe you can find it on the web:

scathach_s_hat.pdf

I also slipped the first stitch on the band, interesting that three stitches can be slipped - I will have to try that.

Yes, I agree about slipping sts around the neck or armholes, and combined with my non-bind-off method, I always get a nice seam or neckband.

Another way of using slipped sts is if the armhole or sleeve calls for one one or two sts to be bound off (cast off). With one st, I just slip the first st, knit or purl the next one and psso. With two sts. you slip the first st., k2tog and psso. This makes a smoother decrease without any steps.

Of course, slipping sts within a row makes an interesting pattern, e.g. RS row: sl1(edge) * k5, sl.1,* repeat * - * to end. WS row sl1 purl wise, purl all sts. Then st.st the next four rows.

Happy knitting everyone - I'm knitting socks in between a complicated cable pattern on a sweater for my daughter-in-law. 

Muddled

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honey9 wrote
on Jun 17, 2013 6:03 AM

Just like the previous response, watch your video again and see if you've misunderstood the instructions.

honey

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Muddled wrote
on Jun 17, 2013 6:33 AM

Hi Honey9

Which video are you talking about? 

Could we be talking past each other?

Cheers

Muddled

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