Create stitch patterns, add warmth, texture, or reinforcement—knitting slipped stitch is the simplest of techniques that adds a whole lot of “oomph” to any project.
Read on to learn what slipping stitch does to your knitting and how use it effectively.
And of course, don’t miss the simple knit shawl pattern at the end, which shows just how potent the slipping stitch can be.
What is “Knitting Slipped Stitch”?
A slipped stitch causes elongation in the stitch as it stretches from one row to the next (or more) and results in a floating bar of yarn either in front of or behind the slipped stitch. So knitting slipped stitch uses these elongations and floats to create a stitch pattern.
- What is “Knitting Slipped Stitch”?
- What Can I Use Knitting Slipped Stitch For?
- When Slipping Stitches Turns Into Mosaic Knitting
- How Does Mosaic Knitting Work?
- Meet Mended Blues, A Simple Knit Shawl Pattern
- Meet the Incomparable Yarn for the Mended Blues Shawl
- Why “Mended Blues”?
- What You Need to Knit Mended Blues, A Simple Knit Shawl Pattern
- Get More For Less
What Can I Use Knitting Slipped Stitch For?
Slipping stitches can be used to add a visual pattern, to add warmth, or to reinforce a section of knitting.
For a visual pattern, knits and slips can be alternated each stitch or you could slip a stitch after knitting 5 stitches. The floats can be brought around to the front of the work and carried across for a visual effect. These knit floats can be picked up in other rounds to create swooping A-frames. The options are endless!
Knitting slipped stitch adds warmth to a pattern in the same way it adds reinforcement—the short bars of floats add an extra layer of yarn to the knitted section. This adds an extra layer of protection against abrasion (which is why it’s so popular in sock heels) as well as an extra layer to trap heat and provide warmth.
But all this addresses what happens when you’re working with only 1 color. What happens when you have 2 or more?
When Slipping Stitches Turns Into Mosaic Knitting
Mosaic knitting is the exactly the same as above—knitting and slipping stitches to form a pattern. But when you alternate colors every 2 rows, that visual effect turns striking, allowing you to paint a geometric picture, much like that of working with mosaic tiles.
Mosaic knitting is the easiest form of colorwork. You can create beautiful, multi-color motifs.
But because you’re knitting slipped stitches, you only work with one color at a time.
How Does Mosaic Knitting Work?
Mosaic patterns are worked in paired rows. The first row sets up the pattern of knits and slips and the next row follows it—making an exact copy.
Because each row is worked twice, the patterns are angular in nature—worked from dozens (if not hundreds) of tiny squares.
Patterns made by slipping stitches can be as simple as creating vertical stripes or horizontal dashes (check out the simple knit shawl pattern below) or can create vast complex visuals, as seen in Barbara Walker’s seminal book Mosaic Knitting.
But the great thing about mosaic knitting is: Unlike stranded colorwork, mosaic knitting can be worked from either written instructions or a chart, so you can find your comfort zone every time.
“So what does all this have to with this simple knit shawl pattern I keep seeing pictures of?”
I’m so glad you asked!
Meet Mended Blues, A Simple Knit Shawl Pattern
Mended Blues explores the basics of knitting slipped stitches by alternated 3-stitch dashes. This creates a striking visual motif when paired with contrasting colors, but is incredibly relaxing to work.
This entirety of this simple knit shawl pattern is worked in garter stitch—even the mosaic knitting element. The pattern also plays with simple increases and decreases to create beautiful shaping.
What makes this simple knit shawl pattern unique is that it begins at the widest edge and works back to the tip. This means you’re tackling the longest rows (which are still not that long) when you are most excited for the project and it only gets easier and faster as time wears on (and you’re starting to get excited about other things).
Another thing that makes this shawl fun? Getting to pick out 3 colors in DK weight yarns that play well together!
Meet the Incomparable Yarn for the Mended Blues Shawl
Do you remember the Cowgirl Blues indie yarn dyers that I told you about? The ones changing the world one skein at a time?
Yeah, this is their yarn. And Mended Blues blossomed into the big, cuddly shawl it is today because I couldn’t resist their irresistible yarn.
I adored Airforce, the middle shade, but I could not decide if I liked it better with Indigo or Silver Fox.
You see, this was supposed to be a 2-skien shawl.
But when I opened the package and saw all 3 together. I fell in love with how the colors played with one another and Mended Blues was born.
Why “Mended Blues”?
The basic slipped stitch design mimics that of the running stitch—popular in visible mended for… (You guessed it!) blue jeans.
Between the colors, the simple mosaic motif, and the fact that my favorite pair of blue jeans was about to rip, it was a match made in heaven.
What You Need to Knit Mended Blues, A Simple Knit Shawl Pattern
Wingspan: 65”/165 cm
Depth: 22”/56 cm
3 colors of a DK weight yarn:
A – 186 yds/170m
B – 178 yds/163 m
C – 132 yds/121 m
Cowgirl Blues Merino DK (100% Wool) 186 yds/170m, 100 g – 1 skein each of Indigo (A), Airforce (B), & Silver Fox (C)
Needles & Notions
US 7/4.5 mm – 32”/80 cm (or needles needed to obtain gauge!)
17 sts & 30 rows = 4”/10 cm in garter stitch, after blocking
Note: Gauge is not crucial for this project, but it will effect your final size and yarn usage.
Techniques to Indulge In
Simple increases & decrease
Slipping stitches with yarn in the front and back
Get More For Less
If you think slipping stitches for Mended Blues looks like fun (and I hope it does!), jump on over to Etsy or Ravelry and grab yourself a copy of the simple knit shawl pattern! And don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter for exclusive discounts on every release as well as access to free patterns and video tutorials each month!