Slipping the first stitch on purpose question

Hi there - I’m new to the forum and new to knitting. [B]Please skip to the 3rd paragraph to see where I get to my question!![/B]

I took up knitting cause even though I’ve never considered myself very crafty, I remember as a kid I loved latch hooking. I was too young to realize it at the time but I liked that there was something so meditative about it and I loved the feeling of finishing a project. But now that’s only embarrassing and the only thing embarrassing about this latest adult hobby is that it’s become so commonplace (oh no - not [I]another[/I] knitter!). I might feel better about it if I were one of the first in this latest wave - haha. I also like having something to do with my hands while waiting and there seems to be a lot of waiting around these days, having 3 boys with their extracurricular activities!

I must be very masochistic cause I keep refusing to give up even though things look baaaaad. :wall: I think it’s cause I feel like the knitting’s trying to get the best of me and I’m determined to beat it - lol. I so far know how to double cast on, knit (continental - I’m left-handed) and pearl. Don’t yet know how to cast off, and obviously I’ve yet to learn this slipping-off thing although I can see it’s easy. Lord knows I’m good at doing that by accident. :wink: I’ve made about 6 swatches which all look awful although they may be improving slightly (only slightly). I keep telling myself I’m not going to start on that first scarf yet until I learn how to fix mistakes which I’m hoping to learn by watching videos online or by attending a local “fixing” class, if I can find one.

So my main question is: if I’m about to knit a row, is that first slipped stitch (if stitch is the correct term) started as a knit as opposed to a pearl, and likewise if the row is going to be pearled, is the first slipped stitch a pearl slip?

Oh one other question: if I do attempt a scarf soon, should I be doing it stockinette or…? Is it okay that it curls up like that? What should I do - if there’s a simple solution anyway - to avoid that, or should I not worry about it?

Thanks very much!

p.s. what I’ve bought so far: circular needles #8 with fitting yarn; longer chopstick size typical #8 straight ones; circular #10.5 or so (let me know if I should return that as it hasn’t been taken out of the package yet); fitting yarn for that (chunky?); and for something fun and cause I thought maybe it would make things easier, a huge long pair of bamboo #13 with some super chunky (?) yarn to go with it! I also bought the book Stitch 'N Bitch and she goes on and on about liking to use needles long enough to hold under the arm pit so for kicks I thought these big bamboo ones might be similar to what she meant (not that I know how one even does that). I got a generous knitting store gift card otherwise I might not have spent so much, being a beginner!

p.p.s. if anyone knows of any really good videos online that show common mistakes as well as fixes, please point me in that directions. Otherwise I’ll just do youtube searches which I’m sure will turn up something. Thanks!

Oh great - I just read something about slipping the last stitch too? How is that different from just slipping the first stitch?


Welcome to Knitting Help!

You don’t need to slip the first stitch (or last) unless its for a specific reason. When done right it can create a chained look on the edge. Some people just end up with a loose stitch so they rarely do it.

Don’t give up knitting. I didn’t learn till I was over 50 so you’re never too old or young to learn, it’s a great hobby! I learned from the videos here for the most part. It takes practice to get even tension and learn all the different techniques. Just practice casting on, knitting and purling for now.

If you want to knit a scarf that would be good practice. Stockinette curls and you can help by putting a border of seed stitch or garter, but it won’t stop it entirely. If you don’t want a scarf that curls do one in ribbing, garter or seed stitch. If you don’t care then go for it!

I wouldn’t return the needles. They all get used at one time or another. I only use circular needles myself and prefer metal.

Slipping the first stitch or not is a matter of personal preference. I don’t do it and I know there are others here who don’t. In the video Demo of a Small Project, Amy talks about slipping the first stitch and how to do it. If you work a pattern that wants you to slip the last stitch, or if slipping the first stitch is important to the pattern, there will most likely be an explanation as to whether to slip as if to knit or slip as if to purl; or with the yarn in front or in back.

You’re really enthused, and that’s great. What needles you will end up wanting to use will depend on your own experience. is free to join and will give you access to lots of free scarf patterns. You can look for easy/beginner patterns and many are free.

There a good section on Fixing Mistakes under the Free Videos tab at the top of the page, Tips. Amy covers many of the common mistakes, the cause and the fix. While you’re practicing, it’s good to try recognizing mistakes and fixing them, either by taking out a row or working over to the errant stitch.
Also, for slipping the first or the last stitch. Do one or the other, not both. If you slip the first stitch of each row, you’ll make a nice chain edge up both edges anyway.

Sure, keep with it a while longer. I don’t like slipping the first stitch, they end up looser and messier than if I just knit or purl it. I do use larger needles than on the yarn label - that’s not necessarily the ‘correct’ size to use with a yarn, just the one that’s used to get gauge to classify the yarn into a weight class. Patterns may use larger or smaller ones for a specific design purpose.

Generally, to slip a stitch that isn’t going to be worked on the same row, it’s slipped as if to purl, even on a knit row. That’s just how the needle is inserted into the stitch, usually the yarn remains in back. Later you’ll encounter slipped stitches in decreases and those are slipped as if to knit.

You’re right to work on samples before you tackle a ‘real’ project - that’s how I learned to knit and it’s good to just play with the yarn and stitches to see what happens.