This post is about 3 handy decreases.
The first, "Knit 2 together" (abbreviated "k2tog") slants to the RIGHT. K2tog decreases away ONE STITCH every time it is done.
The second decrease, "Slip, slip, knit" (abbreviated "ssk") slants to the LEFT. Like k2tog, ssk also decreases away ONE STITCH every time it is done.
In lots of garments, paired decreases are used: k2tog AND ssk to make raglan decreases, v-necks (and other shapings too, like hat tops, sock gussets, etc.)
A third type of decrease "3 stitch decrease" (abbreviated "3stdec") slants neither right nor left, but makes a STRAIGHT LINE. 3stdec decreases away TWO STITCHES every time it is done. It is used especially on the tops of hats where a flat top is wanted (tams, roll-brim shaped hats) or to make the flat bottom of a knitted bag.
click pictureHere are directions for each of the three decreases:
KNIT 2 TOGETHER
- PREPARATION: Insert right needle from left to right (knitwise) through the two stitches at the tip of the left needle. Draw the yarn through the loops.
- The FINAL RESULT: The LEFT stitch lies on top, the RIGHT stitch is hidden behind, and the decrease slants RIGHT. One stitch appears where 2 were before, so k2tog is a one-stitch decrease.
SLIP, SLIP, KNIT
- FIRST SLIP: Insert the right needle from left to right (knitwise) into the first stitch on the tip of the left needle, and slip the stitch onto the right needle.
- SECOND SLIP: Repeat same step with the second stitch
- KNIT TOGETHER THOUGH THE BACK LOOPS: Insert the left needle into the front of the 2 stitches previously slipped onto right needle. Draw the yarn through the loops from this position.
- The FINAL RESULT: The right stitch lies on top, the left stitch is hidden behind and the decrease slants left. One stitch appears where 2 were before, so (like k2tog) ssk is a one-stitch decrease.
3 STITCH DECREASE
- Inserting from left to right (knitwise), run right needle through TWO loops at tip of left needle and slip these two stitches onto the right needle. Note: You are to slip both stitches at the SAME TIME, therefore, insert the needle from L to R through the second stitch from the tip, then through the stitch at the tip, then slip both off the L needle, together, onto the R needle.
- Knit the next stitch.
- Next, insert the tip of the left needle under the 2 slipped stitches and lift them OVER the knitted stitch. (This is called "passing the slipped stitch(es) over" and is abbreviated "psso.")
- If 3stdec looks like combination of k2tog and ssk, that's because it is. The stitch which originally lay two from the tip of the L needle comes to lay on top of the resulting stitch sandwich, and it is pointing straight up--the orange stitch in the above diagram, while the two stitches lower down in the sandwich (green and red) slant R and L, respectively, as shown.
- One stitch appears where 3 were before, so 3stdec is a two-stitch decrease.