Crochet Slip Stitch

By Janice Jones     |Last Updated 06-01-2023

The crochet slip stitch is rarely covered as an actual crochet stitch because it's main purpose is to move from one place on a piece of fabric, to join a ring, or as an edge when finishing off a project.

You could work the stitch in rows, but the stitch is so short that the fabric you create would be so dense.  But if dense is what you need such as making handles for a bag or tote, they the slip stitch is very practical.  

The only other reasons for using a slip stitch is to join a new ball of yarn or join rounds if you are doing circular crochet.  In fact, circular crochet is likely the place where you would see this stitch used the most.

Slip Stitch Abbreviations:  sl st or ss

The Crochet slip stitch is called the same in both the US and UK, but in the US, it is abbreviated “sl st," and in the UK, it is often abbreviated “ss.”

The symbol for the slip stitch is   “•”  which can be seen in crochet charts.

Working a crochet slip stitch with blue yarn

How to Make the Slip Stitch in a Row

Make a foundation chain to the length required and add one chain.  Insert the hook into the second chain from the hook.

Turn the hook so it is facing you, wrap the yarn around the hook and draw through both stitches.

To continue, insert the hook into the next chain stitch, wrap the yarn around the hook and draw through both stitches.  Continue in this manner for the rest of the row.

How to Use the Slip Stitch Crochet to form a Foundation Ring

Steps for making a crochet ring using a slip stitch

Ways to Use the Slip Stitch

Here are  ways to use the crochet slip stitch:

  • Make a slip stitch to join the ends of a foundation chain to form a  ring.
  • Use a slip stitch to join work when working in rounds.
  • Use slip stitches to seam two pieces of crochet fabric.
  • Make slip stitch edging to finish a project.
  • Decorate with a slip stitch on top of the crochet surface

Join  the Ends of a Foundation Chain to Form a Ring

  1. To begin, make the required number of chain stitches for the ring.  For example, your pattern might call for creating 4 chain stitches and then joining with a slip stitch.  (Ch4, join with a sl st to form a ring)
  2. Insert the hook through the first chain stitch made.  Wrap the yarn around the hook and draw up a loop. Pull through the loop and the stitch on the hook.  

This is one method you can use when working in the round such as granny squares.

Join the end to the begining of a round.

  1. Work to the end of a round of crochet.  
  2. Follow the pattern direction or add a slip stitch to the first stitch or top chain of the previous round.

This is another way of joining rounds  

Use a Slip Stitch to seem two pieces of crochet fabric

A slip stitch seam can be used to join two separate pieces of crochet fabric.  I use this method sometimes when I stitch granny squares together.

  1. Hold two pieces together with right sides facing.
  2. Insert the crochet hook into the outer or top loop of the first piece and then the outer or top loop of the second piece.
  3. Yarn over and pull through the loops on both pieces of fabric.
  4. Locate the next two outer loops and repeat step 3 above.
  5. Repeat these steps until you have seamed the side of the fabric.

Using the Crochet Slip Stitch as an Edging

Flat Contrasting Edge

Flat Contrasting Edge using a crochet slip stitch

There may be a couple of reasons why you might want to use the slip stitch as an edging around a piece of fabric.

First, if you are looking for a very simple edge, say in a different color, the slip stitch won't add much to the length or width, but it can add a bit of contrast.

To add a slip stitch edging, simply go around the finished fabric working into the stitches you've already finished.  Don't pull to tight or the fabric won't lay flat.

Stabilizing Edge

If you are working a lacy fabric and the edge is too flimsy, you might decide to stabilize it with a row of slip stitches in the same color and fiber as the finished piece.  Don't pull each stitch too tight.  You'll find that a slip stitch edge is nearly invisible by doing it this way.

Decorate with a slip stitch on top of a crochet surface

You can add a decorative touch that looks like an embroidery chain to a finished crochet fabric by working a slip stitch on the front of the fabric.

To work the Decorative Slip Stitch:

  1. Make a slip knot, and hold the knot at the back of your work.
  2. Insert the hook from front to back through the fabric, and pick up  the slip knot on the hook. 
  3. Pull up the loop through to the front side of the work, but keep the knot at the back.
  4. Insert the hook into an adjacent stitch 
  5. Yarn over and pull through the work and the loop on your hook.
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 until your design is done. 
  7. Clip the yarn leaving a 5 to 6 inch tail and insert it through the fabric to the back side.  You will need to weave in that tail when doing the others.


While the crochet slip stitch is normally not used to create fabric, it is, nevertheless, a very useful stitch for the beginner to learn.  

Did you find the crochet slip stitch helpful?

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About Janice

Hi, I’m Janice, the voice behind Smart-Knit-Crocheting. I love to knit and crochet and even more, I love teaching others what I know.

Though I learned to knit and crochet as a child, I didn’t get serious about these amazing hobbies until I retired. I’m a certified knit and crochet instructor through the Craft Yarn Council and am working on becoming a Master Hand Knitter through The Knitting Guild Association.

I’m currently living with my husband of over 50 years and our 7 Shih Tzu dogs.

I love hearing from you, so please drop me a line and let me know what you’re working on, whether you love knitting or crocheting more, and if you have any questions. Please visit my about me page for more information.

Happy Crocheting