The Forgotten Crochet Stitch

June 02, 2017

Most of us use it frequently. Just a little here and there. Some consider it more of a technique than a stitch. But it IS a stitch.

We tend to forget that this stitch is very versatile and can be used for much more. It can give your work a dense - though soft and drapable - fabric, you can use it for decoration, and it can be used for a stretchy ribbing.

Have you figured out by now, what stitch I'm referring to?

Slip Stitch

Yes, I'm talking about the Slip Stitch. Sometimes you will see slip stitch fabrics named Bosnian Crochet.

The slip stitch can be used for the ever-so-popular dishcloths or washcloths, but also for regular clothing - hats, scarfs, sweaters, mittens, etc. As some ways to do slip stitches are outstanding for ribbing, it can also be used for cuffs for the sleeves and likewise.

In case you are wondering. The topmost image is a stylish washcloth. WIP (Work in Progress).

The color changes of the yarn are special and dictates when to turn.

The slip stitch might be the smallest of all the stitches, but I find my slip stitch projects working up pretty fast, once I've got the rhythm. I guess this is due to the simplicity of the stitch and the need of a bigger hook.

Kids sweater. It might look knitted, but it is all about crocheted slip stitches.

Loosen up Your Tension

Your tension needs to be loose - very loose - for you to work with slip stitches. Else you cannot insert your hook in the stitches. So it is excellent practice, if you have a tendency of tightening your work too much. Your hand and arm will thank you for practicing a looser way of crocheting.

Doing rows, you can slip stitch into:
  • both loops (ss)
  • front loop only (fss)
  • back loop only (bss)
Plus combinations - like alternating FSS and BSS - or you can do reversed types of the above. You get very different textures from the different types. Here are just the basic ones.


Size matters! A lot! In general a bigger hook than normal will give you a great fabric. Different sizes of hooks will make a huge difference regarding look and behavior.

As the slip stitch doesn't take up much space, it can be tricky to insert a hook into it. Use a sharp-tipped hook and preferably also one with a pointed lip in case you want to experiment with inverted stitches* (see the 'Want More?' paragraph below).


There are two main ways to turn. With or without a chain. Your choice. If you have a 10 stitches wide row and choose to turn with a chain, your work will be about one stitch wider than a work with no turning chain. Your work will also have a tendency of a more sloppy edge, when you turn with a chain. Try both ways.

Row Ends

No matter how you choose to turn, I highly recommend stitch markers for this! It makes it much easier for you to find the right place to insert your hook into and also makes it easier for you to insert the hook. I put my stitch markers differently, when I do slip stitches (see the images).

This is how I place my stitch marker.
This is what it looks like on the way back.


Using the slip stitch for ribbing is easy. With the right combo of hook/yarn, most of the slip stitch types will stretch. The most common might be slip stitches into the back loop only. This creates a nice knitted-like texture when relaxed and might be the slip stitch version, that stretches the most.

Want More?

If you are hooked on the slip stitch in a geeky way now, you might want to dig deeper into it. A smaller group of people (designers, etc.), once tried to make a Slip Stitch Crochet Wiki. It doesn't cover everything, but it gives you extra clues to work with. - They got hacked at a certain point. Maybe that is the reason, they never finished the wiki.

Another great thing to explore more is the slip stitch short rows. One of my favorite crochet thinkers - Vashti Braha - made a Slip Stitch Short Rows Tutorial for this.

Finally, you might want to give the slip stitch a thought, for decoration purposes. This is also called Surface Crochet. A big topic on its own. Look it up on Google or Pinterest.


UPDATED January 2018. Read more about slip stitches here.

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  1. Thanks I will try this stitch for my next project.

    1. You are welcome. I've got a lot of great feedback, questions and a few requests regarding the Slip Stitches, so I have more coming up for you :)

  2. Oh great article! I will try it for sure!

    1. You are most welcome Simone. :)

      Let me know how it works for you and if you need help I'm just in the making of Slip Stitch tutorials.

  3. Thank you. I really hadn't thought of this stitch at all. You are awesome.

    1. Thank you (blushing).

      I hope you will like the next Slip Stitch articles as well :)


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