Before you begin slip stitching, there are a few things to
keep in mind. The first is what type of hook to use. It is best
to use an inline hook with a pointy tapered tip. This type of
hook makes it easy to work with slip stitches. Using a hook with
a bulbous head and/or a round tip, will make slip stitching
anywhere from difficult to impossible.
Next, think about hook size. When slip stitching, you'll use
a larger hook than you may be accustomed to. Give yourself time
to get used to this. Using larger hooks is one of the main
things that makes this type of crochet drape so well.
You'll generally need two hook sizes when slip stitching - one
for the starting chain and final row and a hook 4 to 6 sizes
larger for the rest of the piece. The hook sizes you use will
depend on your individual tension. For a drapey solid fabric,
use the largest hook that keeps the fabric solid. For worsted
weight yarn, start with hook sizes J and P. Then adjust your
hook sizes from there.
Note: Not using a smaller hook for the starting chain and
final row, produces sloppy looking ends with loose loops.
Be careful about the yarn you use. Be sure to pick a soft
yarn that isn't stiff. This will help you slip stitch project to
hang (drape) even better. It is best to start off using a plain
yarn instead of a fun fur, slub or other novelty yarn. The
textures of novelty yarn will make it hard for you to see what
loops you are working with.
Holding the Hook
Many find the best way to hold the hook for this type of
crochet is by using the "knife hold." In other words, hold the
hook in your closed fist like a knife as if you're eating. You
may find it more than challenging to slip stitch holding your
hook like a pencil. When entering stitches, use the index finger
of your hook hand to help guide the yarn onto the hook.
Use a light or slack tension when slip stitching. Many
crocheters pull the yarn after forming each stitch. Doing that
when working with slip stitches closes the stitches and makes it
very hard to enter those stitches on the next row. Be careful
not to yank the yarn after forming each stitch.
While some may prefer to make a turning chain on each row
when turning, it is not necessary. You can simply turn and begin
your row by crocheting into the first stitch - the stitch next
to the loop that is on the hook.