Slipped stitches let you incorporate more than one color in a row by using stitches (the slipped ones) from the row below for the current one. If you knit one row in blue, and the next one in red, you can get a blue stitch on the red row by slipping a blue stitch from the left hand needle to the right needle as you work with the red yarn.
Slip stitch patterns can create a great texture (using one color or two) by slipping every other stitch and alternating which stitch is slipped on every other right-side row. If the stitch is slipped with the yarn in back, an vertically elongated stitch is formed. If the stitch is slipped with the yarn in front, a horizontal strand is visible in front of the elongated stitch.
The slipping of stitches in a knit piece is not only an easy was to add texture or complex color to a pattern, but also to make a more dense fabric. By slipping stitches you are compressing the stitches vertically which makes the row gauge tighter. Slipped stitch patterns work especially well when used in accessories, heavier sweaters and jackets.
To slip a stitch with yarn in back:
• Pass it from the left hand needle to the right hand needle without working it as follows: With the right-side facing, and the yarn in the back, using the right hand needle, go into the next stitch on the left hand needle as if to purl, then slide the stitch onto the right hand needle without working it. Easy as pie.
To create a dash (slipping a stitch with yarn in front):
• Work as above with the yarn in the front of your work while you slip the stitch.
Try out this stitch:
Here are some patterns where you can try out slipping stitches:
• Caitlin Pullover
• Princess Needle Cozy