Secrets of the Slip Knot

Secrets of the Slip Knot

The first thing almost every knitter learns, is how to make a slip knot because it’s an easy way to start many different cast ons.

When you make a slip knot, one part of the yarn, either the working yarn or the yarn tail, will create the loop that usually counts as the first cast on stitch, the other part of the yarn will tighten the knot at the base of the loop.

Top: Yarn tail controls the loop size and working yarn tightens the knot. Bottom: Working yarn controls the loop size, yarn tail tightens the knot. 

Most of the time we are interested in which part of the yarn controls the loop size, so that will be the first thing I demonstrate. Then, we’ll talk about situations where pulling the working yarn should tighten the loop and times when pulling the tail should tighten the loop.


  • Introduction
  • Working Yarn Tightens the slip knot loop
  • Yarn Tail tightens the slip knot loop
  • When should the working yarn tighten the slip knot loop?
  • When should the yarn tail tighten the slip knot loop?
  • Final Notes

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