How to Tie a Slip Knot for Knitting

So you're staring at your un-knitted ball of yarn wondering, "What have I gotten myself into?" Fear not, a simple slip knot is the first step in any knitting project, so after this lesson you'll be an expert in getting started.


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Grab your needles and yarn and get ready to knit baby gifts, blankets, hats, scarves, and more.

You Will Need

  • A knitting needle
  • A ball of yarn


  1. Step 1

    Pull out yarn

    Pull out about 12" of yarn from the ball. This is the "tail end" of your yarn.

  2. Step 2

    Form loop

    Form a loop by crossing the yarn about 4" to 6" from the tail end of the yarn—it will make an "X."

  3. Make sure the loose end of the yarn is at the bottom of the "X."

  4. Step 3

    Pinch "X"

    Pinch the "X" between the thumb and forefinger of your left hand.

  5. Step 4

    Form smaller loop

    With your right hand, form a smaller loop, with the strand of yarn still attached to the ball, about 2" to the right of the first loop.

  6. Step 5

    Insert loop

    Feed the smaller second loop up through the bottom of the first loop, and insert your right forefinger through the second loop.

  7. Step 6

    Pull down ends

    Grab both ends of the yarn with your left hand and pull down, but don't completely tighten the knot.

  8. Step 7

    Knot yarn

    Slip the needle through the loop, remove your finger, and pull the yarn attached to the ball into a gentle knot against the needle.

  9. Pulling the knot too tight will make it difficult to knit your first row.

  10. Step 8

    Now cast on

    You did it—now get ready to cast on.

  11. Knitting is a favorite pastime of actresses Julia Roberts, Cameron Diaz, and Sarah Jessica Parker.