This may post contains affiliate links. You can learn more in our disclaimer.
Learn How to Slip Stitches Knitwise or Purlwise
A number of knitting patterns require you to be slipping stitches. To slip a stitch is just to pass it from one needle to another without working it.
However, as you can slip stitches both purlwise, as well as knitwise, it is important for you to learn how to do it correctly.
In pattern instructions, you will usually be told how to slip the stitch; knitwise or purlwise.
When you are slipping stitches, also look out for the abbreviations wyif and wyib.
Wyif means “with yarn in front”. Wyib means “with yarn in back”.
You must always make sure that you have your working yarn in the right position when slipping stitches.
However, if the pattern instructions do not specify anything about the yarn position, then just leave the yarn wherever it already is.
That is in the back if you are knitting and, in the front, if you are purling.
How to Slip a Stitch Knitwise (Kwise)
A stitch slipped knitwise will twist as you change the orientation of the stitch. Slipping a stitch knitwise is often abbreviated sl1 kwise in knitting patterns.
Knit to where you want to slip the stitch.
Insert the right-hand needle into the stitch you want to slip as if to knit.
Pull the stitch off the left-hand needle. This will twist the stitch as if you have worked it.
How to Slip a Stitch Purlwise (Pwise)
When you slip a stitch purlwise, it remains untwisted. The most common abbreviation in knitting patterns for slipping a stitch purlwise is sl1 pwise.
Start by knitting to where you want to slip the stitch.
Insert the right-hand needle into the next stitch on the left-hand needle as if you were purling the stitch.
Pull this stitch off the left needle so it is on the right needle. The stitch will remain untwisted.
When Do I Slip Knitwise and When Do I Slip Purlwise?
If the knitting pattern does not specify whether you should slip a stitch knitwise or purlwise, what do you do?
In most cases, you can slip the stitches purlwise. However, there are a few exceptions.
For instance, when decreasing, you always slip stitches knitwise on a knit row. Conversely, you always slip a stitch purlwise on a purl row.
When instructed to slip a stitch at the beginning of a row, slip knitwise on knit rows. On the other hand, on purl rows you will need to slip the edge stitch purlwise.
I love your illustrations. They are large enough to follow visually and describe as the action occurs. Thank you for sharing your expertise. Liz Bodner