Knitting with Slipped Stitches

What’s the difference between slipped, lifted and passed stitches?

Do you know the difference between lifted, passed and slipped stitches? These knitting words did certainly cause me some issues in my early knitting days.

The language of knitting has many different expressions and words and it can be hard to keep up with the lingo sometimes. Especially for us who don’t speak English as our first language!

I live in Sweden by the way, it’s a cold place big parts of the year so it’s a great place for knitters! More about me here, if you want to know me a little better!

I’m sorry for getting a bit off track here, I’m just so excited to finally have managed to put together an about me page, after procrastinating almost a year… it’s hard to write about oneself!

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How to knit with Lifted Stitches

Lifted stitches are used in increases done in the previous row. To do this type of increases you lift a stitch from a previous row up on your needle and knit it one more time.

Lifted increases

These increases can be used instead of “make one left” and “make one right” (m1L and m1R) they look similar but not entirely the same.

Right-leaning increase, RLI:

  • Insert your right needle into the right leg of the stitch in the previous row. That’s the right side of the V below the stitch on your left needle.
  • Lift that leg up and place it on your left needle tip.
  • Knit the stitch you lifted, and then continue knitting as usual. You should knit both stitches separately, first, the lifted and then the live stitch. The mother and the daughter I heard someone call them once, that’s kind of nice! The mother is the lifted stitch and the daughter the stitch on your needle.

Left-leaning increase, LLI:

This one is a little bit trickier, it’s not hard to do, but you have to be a bit observant!

  • Knit the stitch that you are going to increase into.
  • Lift the left leg of the stitch from the previous row, that stitch is now the second V below the stitch you just knitted. Because the V was passed down a row when you knitted the stitch.
  • Knit the stitch you just lifted.

Slipped Stitches in knitting

When your pattern says to slip a stitch (sl or sl st) that means to move the stitch from the left needle over to the right needle without knitting it. If the pattern doesn’t say otherwise you slip a stitch as if you were going to purl. But, what are slipped stitches used for?

Double stockinette using Slipped Stitches

Slipped Stitches are used to knit Double Stockinette. Double Stockinette creates a fabric that has the classic V-pattern on both sides, and it looks almost like the Stockinette stitch.

This is a good alternative to Stockinette Stitch for scarves and other projects that would easily curl. Since Double Stockinette doesn’t curl and looks as good at the wrong side as on the right side.

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How to knit Double Stockinette:

  1. Cast on your stitches, you will need to pick an even number.
  2. * Knit 1, slip 1 purlwise wyif*
  3. Repeat from * until the end of your row.
  4. Turn your knitting and repeat.

Colorwork with Slipped Stitches

Knitting colorwork with slipped stitches is much easier than using the Stranded knitting methods. The fabric created is denser than the fabric knitted with stranded colorwork, but it doesn’t have the floated strands at the back which makes the stranded knitting so thick and warm.

When knitting colorwork with slipped stitches you only work with one strand at the time, slipping the stitches that aren’t going to be knit with that color. Then you knit with the other strand, knitting the stitches slipped on last round.

How to Slip Stitch knitwise – sl 1 k or sl 1 kwise

To slip a stitch knitwise, insert your needle tip into the stitch as if you were going to knit it and just let it slip over to the right needle.

How to Slip Stitch purlwise – sl 1 p or sl 1 pwise

To slip a stitch purlwise, insert your needle tip into the stitch as if you were going to purl and just let it slip over to the right needle. This is the standard way of slipping stitches. If your pattern doesn’t say otherwise, always assume you’re supposed to slip purlwise.

Slip Stitch with yarn in front – sl 1 wyif

Slip the stitch while holding the yarn in front of your work. The Front, in this case, means that you want the working yarn to be on the side of the work that’s facing you. So if the RS is facing you, that’s the front. If the WS is facing you, that’s the front. 

Slip Stitch with yarn in back – sl 1 wyib

Slip the stitch while holding the yarn in back of your work. This means that the yarn should be at the back, the side that’s not facing you, no matter if that’s the right side or the wrong side of your work.

Slip several stitches

This technique is used for knitting i-cord edgings as you go. If your patterns say to slip three stitches (sl 3 or sl 3 st), you can just let the three stitches slide over to the right needle. When stitches are slipped purlwise (the standard way) the stitches aren’t twisted and therefore there’s no need to slip them on at a time.

If your pattern says slip three stitches knitwise (sl 3 k or sl 3 kwise) you will have to slip the stitches individually. Because of the twist in knit stitches.

Slip stitch with Yarn On the Needle (WYON)

Make a yarn over (YO) and then slip a stitch. The yarn should be placed over the needle from the front to the back as a regular yarn over. The WYON is worked the same way on the right side and the wrong side.

Tuck Stitch

Sometimes the floats from previous rows are picked up, placed on the left needle and knitted into a stitch (the floats and the stitch are knitted as one stitch) this is called a Tuck Stitch.

A Tuck Stitch can be made both knit and purlwise and it makes no difference if the floats are picked up from the front or the back of the work

To knit a Tuck Stitch:

  • Hold the working yarn in back of the stitch.
  • With the left needle, pick up the floats from previous rows in front or back of the next Slipped Stitch. the floats should be on top off the needle in front of the next stitch.
  • Knit the floats together with the next stitch.

To purl a Tuck Stitch:

  • Hold the working yarn in front of the stitch.
  • With the left needle, lift up the floats from the previous rows in front or back of the next Slipped Stitch. The floats should be on top off the needle in front of the next stitch.
  • Purl the floats together with the next stitch 

Pass Slipped Stitch Over PSSO

PSSO is short for pass slipped stitch over, and are commonly used in lace patterns and other types of stitch-patterns. The stitch are used in combination with other instructions like sl 1, k2tog, psso in patterns.

So, if you should knit the sequence sl 1, k2tog, psso you would do it like this:

  • sl 1, slip one stitch over from your left to your right needle. Do it purlwise with your yarn at the back, unless your pattern says something else.
  • k2tog, knit the next two stitches together, this decreases one stitch.
  • psso, pass the slipped stitch (from the first bullet) over the stitch from the k2tog (second bullet) as if you were making a basic bind off.
  • Now you should have one stitch left on your needle, and have decreased two stitches. This combination creates a left-leaning decrease.

Reading tip:
––> Guide to Knitting Colorwork, this post go through different ways to add some more color to your knitting. It’s not all about stranded knitting you know!
––> It’s not easy to remember all those abbreviations and what they mean, therefore I have made a cheat sheet with 88 knitting abbreviations for you, you’ll find it in this post. I hope you put it to good use 🙂