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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.


  • Step 1: Pull out yarn Pull out about 12" of yarn from the ball. This is the "tail end" of your yarn.
  • 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."
  • TIP: Make sure the loose end of the yarn is at the bottom of the "X."
  • Step 3: Pinch "X" Pinch the "X" between the thumb and forefinger of your left hand.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • TIP: Pulling the knot too tight will make it difficult to knit your first row.
  • Step 8: Now cast on You did it—now get ready to cast on.
  • FACT: Knitting is a favorite pastime of actresses Julia Roberts, Cameron Diaz, and Sarah Jessica Parker.

You Will Need

  • A knitting needle
  • A ball of yarn

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