Two new tutorials!

By Megan Goodacre

Two new tutorials!

Yesterday, I blogged about my new crochet adventure.

Since I'm learning many new skills along the way, I thought I would document the process of learning to crochet and share it in some new crochet tutorials.

To start off the series, two basic crochet tutorials:

How to make a slip knot for crochet or knitting

How to make a foundation chain for crochet

You may be thinking, pphtt, slip knot, isn't that a little too basic? But you know what I found out about slip knots while I was doing this? First, when tied in rope, they can be used as stoppers, as shown in this cool knot animation.

And second, I found out that I don't always tie my slip knots correctly! Sometimes, I tie them as noose knots. Slip knots and noose knots are tied the same way except for the active part of the knot, the loop. With a slip knot, the loop is made out of the tail end of the yarn. With a noose knot, the loop is made out of the ball end. This is actually a key difference! Both knots are designed to tighten when weight is put on them. A slip knot tightens when the tail is pulled, a noose knot tightens when the ball end is pulled.

Why does this matter? If you use a slip knot as your first stitch in a cast on (knitting) or a foundation chain (crochet), your next stitch is made with the ball end of the yarn. You don't want to over tighten your first knot when you start pulling the ball end of the yarn to add stitches. Rather, you want to be able to, separately, adjust the tension of the first knot by pulling on the tail end.

I've always sort of known this, but didn't ever stop to figure out why my slip knots sometimes tightened with the tail and sometimes didn't.

(I don't actually use slip knots that often in knitting. I usually cast on using a long tail cast on, which you can start without a slip knot.)