A slip knot is the first step in almost all crochet projects. There are multiple ways to create sliding knots, and some can be a little confusing. This helpful guide shows one simple method. It's an excellent choice for beginners who need to learn how to start their work.
Not only does this slip knot method form the knot you need to begin, but it also starts the rhythm and motion that carries on through the rest of your crochet. As soon as you make the knot, you can continue to making chain stitches.
If you are working from a crochet pattern, use the yarn and crochet hook outlined by the pattern instructions. If you are just working on learning crochet, start with a mid-size hook and yarn, say a size G/6 (4.25 mm) or H/8 (5.0mm) crochet hook and a worsted weight acrylic, cotton, or wool yarn would be a terrific choice. Choose a yarn in a light or bright color and that is not too fuzzy. Basic yarns are easier to work with when you are first learning to crochet and need to see the stitches.
These instructions are intended for right-handed crocheters. If you're left-handed, please see how to crochet left-handed for helpful ways to learn the craft.
Equipment / Tools
- Crochet hook in size appropriate for yarn
- Yarn for practicing
Hold the Yarn and Hook
With a four-inch tail of yarn in front and the working strand (the one that goes to the ball) in back, grasp the yarn in your left hand between your thumb and index finger. Allow the yarn to flow freely over your index finger. Support the strands of yarn with your middle and ring fingers.
Using either a pencil grip or a knife grip (the photo shows a knife grip), grasp your hook in your right hand. Your fingers should be relaxed enough to move freely, but they should grip tight enough to maintain precise control over the hook.
To start, keep the hook facing upward. Slip the crochet hook between your index finger and the yarn.
Make a Loop on the Hook
Don't let go of the strands of yarn in your left hand. Lift the crochet hook just above your left hand; hold the top of the draped yarn on the hook with your right index finger. Rotate the head of the hook clockwise (to the right) under your right hand and back to the starting position. Essentially you are turning the hook in a circle.
This move will twist the strands to form a loose loop on the hook. It's not secure yet, but it is beginning to look like the start of a crochet project.
Yarn Over Hook
Adjust the fingers of your left hand to prepare for crocheting. Pinch the tail of yarn between your middle finger and thumb. Insert your index finger between the strands of yarn and up to the back, to more easily manipulate the working yarn as it unwinds from the ball. Ideally, the strand should loop over your index finger and then pass between your other fingers to create proper tension.
Either use your left hand to wrap the yarn over the crochet hook from behind and then over the top, or use your right hand to manipulate your hook to do the same thing. This maneuver is called "yarn round hook" or "yarn over."
This may all feel a little awkward at first, but the more you practice, the more natural it feels. Before you know it, you'll be doing it without thinking.
Draw Through a Loop
Use the head of your crochet hook to draw the yarn over through the twisted loop on the hook. The yarn over passes through the loop and forms a loose slip knot on the hook.
Adjust the Loop
You now have a loose slip knot on your crochet hook. Leave the knot on the crochet hook and pull gently on both ends of yarn to tighten it. Be careful not to over-tighten it, as the crochet hook should move easily inside this loop. It should be snug but not excessively tight.
Your first slip knot is finished and now you can begin your crochet project! The next step is to form your starting chain by making chain stitches.
In crochet, the beginning slip knot does not count as a stitch. It differs from knitting, where the first slip knot does create a stitch. When you're following the instructions of your first crochet pattern, and counting the stitches of your foundation chain, don't count that slip knot!