Slip knots are not as hard to make as one might think. My husband made them seem hard to do and I felt pretty incompetent. The woman who taught me how to crochet though had a very different approach to slip knot making that just clicked in my brain. I hope to pass this wisdom along to you in this lesson.
It might help to learn how to make this naughty slip knot on a flat surface. Once you get the hang of it you won’t need a flat surface.
Take your skein of yarn and find an end. You might notice that sometimes it is pretty easy to find one end and sometimes it is impossible. What end to work from and how to prep your skein is an intense topic that I choose not to get side-tracked into–perhaps, this question makes for a good topic of discussion on Krafters Korner.
Okay, now that you have found an end, you need to know that the area from the end of the yarn to your crochet hook is called the tail. The area from your crochet hook to the skein is called the working yarn.
Got it? Good.
Unravel some yarn and lay it flat on a surface with the very end of the yarn at the 12 o’clock position and the skein at 6, or pushed aside and out of your way. You might want to snip off about a foot of yarn to practice and just get the feel of it all.
Now, loop the end of the yarn in a clockwise fashion, starting at 12 o’clock and bringing the end to 3 o’clock and over to the 9 o’clock position.
You now have something that looks like a lollypop on your flat surface; and you’ve got a bit of a tail on the left hand side of the vertically positioned yarn (or the stem of the lollypop.
Take the top of the loop and flop it downward or toward the 6 o’clock position. Yep, just flop it right on over. Note that now you will have the loop on top of the stem of the lollypop; and you’ve got a beautiful little vertical bisecting piece of yarn in the middle of your loop.
Pick it up. Yup … with your fingers just pick that bisecting yarn right up and through the loop. As you pick it up, you will have to insert an index finger under the yarn being picked up. I typically use my right index finger and close my remaining fingers around the working yarn. I also take my left hand and grab the tail.
Once your index finger is inserted under that newly forming loop and your hands are holding onto the tail and the working yarn, you now are in the perfect position to pull in opposite directions; or at least, pull the tail. This will tighten the yarn around your finger. With a little adjusting–or not—you now have a slip knot that is necessary for starting many, many craft projects.
Don’t forget to take your finger out of the newly formed loop.
One last step: Pull the tail and working yarn in opposite directions and watch your loop disappear. Start from the beginning again to get more practice.