How to make a slipknot for knitting

Start knitting by making one simple loop. Here's our step-by-step guide to creating a slipknot – it's easy when you know how!

How to make a slipknot step 3

When you get down to the very basics, knitting is simply a series of loops, all pulled through one another to create a fabric. So the first loop, the slipknot, is very important to get right and gives you a good foundation. A good knit relies on a good knot!

Don’t worry, learning how to make a slipknot is not hard. Take your time and practise creating a few – it may seem monotonous but it will pay off in the end.

We also have a method for making this knot using a crochet hook in our how to make a slipknot for crochet guide, so you could give that a try too and see which one you prefer.

How to make a slipknot: step-by-step guide

When you create slipknots for casting on, make sure you leave a fairly long tail of yarn at the end, at least 10cm in length. This way, you can be sure it won’t unravel and it will be easier to weave into your knitting at the end.

Remember, while you’ll need to pull it firmly, don’t make your slipknot too tight once it’s on the needle. It needs to be able to move along the needle, and if it’s a bit looser then it will be easier to knit on the next row. So what are you waiting for? Let’s make a slipknot!


You Will Need

  • Yarn
  • A knitting needle

Total time:

Step 1

1. Make a loop

How to make a slipknot step 1

Take your yarn and make a loop as shown here, with the tail end of yarn on the left, and the ball end on the right. Make sure the ball end of yarn is on top of the tail end.

Step 2

2. Move the yarn underneath

How to make a slipknot step 2

Now bring the ball end of yarn around from the right, lift the loop slightly and run the ball end of yarn underneath the loop, forming a straight line, as shown above.

Step 3

3. Insert your needle

How to make a slipknot step 3

Take your knitting needle and place it under the straight line you just formed, but over the top of the needle, as shown here.

Step 4

4. Tighten the slipknot

How to make a slipknot step 4

Hold on to the tail end and the ball end together. In the other hand, pull the needle away to form the slipknot. Pull on the ball end until the slipknot comfortably holds the needle.


Well done – you’re now ready to cast on! Take a look at our complete guide to knitting for beginners for everything you need to get started.

Searching for beginner knitting patterns? We have lots of great knits for you to cast on, including a mug hug, garter stitch cowl and phone cover.