Donna's Writings


Book Review: The Art of Slip-Stitch Knitting

I’m a sucker for learning about different knitting techniques and I love when traditional techniques are used in new and unusual ways. Slip-stitch knitting is not, to my knowledge, an old or traditional technique. I think it was invented by Barbara Walker, who called it “mosaic knitting” in her 1976 book of that title. Walker used the technique of slipping stitches to create colorwork patterns using only one color in a row. More recently, in Pop Knitting, Britt-Marie Christoffersson quilt-like textural patterns using slipped stitches combined with regular stockinette and garter stitch sections.

COVER-Art-of-Slip-StitchIn the Art of Slip-Stitch Knitting, Faina Goberstein and Simona Merchant-Dest use slipped stitches to create colorwork and textured patterns, and go even further to create fascinating slipped-stitch cable designs and to use slipped stitches for shaping and to add extra finesse to finishing as well.

Everything about this book is fun. The designs are fresh and fashionable, the techniques are interesting, and the photography is clear and contemporary. But it’s not just a pattern book. All of the techniques used are explained clearly and in detail with illustrations and photographs.

You can look inside the book on Amazon and you can get a good look at all of the projects on Ravelry.

The 16 patterns include sweaters, scarves, cowls and shawls, hats, and boot toppers. So whether you’re just starting out with this technique or you’ve already worked with slip-stitch patterns and you want to explore further, you’ll find something that suits your needs. There are even a few projects that you can still have time to knit up before Christmas!

Personally, I want to cast on today for this amazing scarf. I am pretty good at being able to figure out how things are knit from looking at photos, but I have no clue on this incredible creative design!



  1. Actually Barbara Walker devoted a lot of time studying and collecting slip-stitch patterns and her contribution was in formalizing it in a stitch dictionary. Plus she coined the term of Mosaic Knitting in her book (1976) and developed charts for some existing patterns and invented many new mosaic stitch patterns. Incredible work!

    But she did not invent a slip-stitch technique. I have a Russian translation of a Latvian book where these stitches already are included with charts and instructions. Russian translation dates 1958, but the original is earlier, of course. Just think about the heel stitch for a sock. It is a slip stitch pattern and it has been used for ages. You can see old projects from Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, and many other countries like Czech, Bulgaria, etc where slip-stitch patterns were mixed with fair isle and other traditional techniques.

    It is all fascinating to me and I am constantly developing new slip stitches.
    You can see all the projects from this book at

    • Well cool! That is really good to know. I know in Lithuania they made those slip stitch honeycomb mittens in the 19th century. I didn’t know of anything else. But of course what I don’t know is much more than what I do know!

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