Slipping stiches which way?

I get completely confussed when knitting socks. I have made only a few pairs so I’m pretty green at this.

When you make the heel, a pattern says to slip the first stitch. Do you ALWAYS slip it as if to purl on both purl and knit side or is it “as if to knit” on knit sides and “as if to purl” on purl sides?

Then while making the guesset, there is a stitch that says :
K 1, sl 1 k1 psso, . This is always on the knit side (the purl side is just purl 2 tog). Do I slip that stitch as if to purl or knit?

I watch youtube videos of people making socks and some slip as if to purl every time and some slip as if to knit every time and some do a combo.

Does everyone do it differently? Anyone want to tell me how they do it?? :knitting:


If you are going to pass a slipped stitch over another stitch you should slip purlwise. As for the heel flap the first time I knitted a sock I slipped my stitches knitwise which resulted in a dense fabric. I believe in some cases it may be a matter of personal preference.

Actually no, if you’re going to slip a stitch that’s used in a dec (ssk, skp) you slip it knitwise. If you knit regular english or continental…

I’ve been taught to always slip knitwise unless the pattern says otherwise or unless you are doing a mosaic stitch, when you would always slip purlwise.

Or unless you’re doing a decrease. Basically, if you won’t do anything more to the stitch on the same row, slip purl wise; if you’re going to do something else like pass over or knit together, then slip knit wise. Unless the pattern says how to slip.

Ok…so if the stitch is just a slip like when making the heel and you slip the first stitch then knit the rest of the row, that would be purlwise.

To do the sl1, k1, psso (or SKP) you would slip that stitch knitwise because it’s making a decrease.

Of course, the pattern instructions override this. My pattern did not specify this time.


You got it! Most patterns don’t mention it because it’s assumed that knitters know it, or that it’s obvious. If you slip a st pwise that’s a dec, it will be twisted. And if you slip one kwise that’s going to be worked on the next row, it’ll be twisted when you come to it again.