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Examining Knit Decreases: K2tog, SSK, and Sl2-K1,P2sso

March 30, 2009

I recently have become interested in the exact form that increases and decreases take.  I’d like to build up a better understanding, so that I can choose the best increase or decrease for a given situation, and get the effect that I desire.  So I’ve been swatching a bit.  This first swatch shows paired decreases.  In this swatch, I’m just looking at the way the fabric looks when you decrease with right-leaning decreases (K2tog) or left-leaning decreases (SSK) or with a symmetrical central decrease (Sl2-K1-P2sso).

This one is the result of a left-leaning decrease, knit stitch, then right-leaning decrease.  It was created by doing: SSK, K1, K2tog, which I repeated every right side row.  I think it is interesting to note that the K2togs (on the right side of the central knit stitch) are much more invisible/integrated into the fabric than the corresponding SSK decreases, which do not seem to lie as flat.

This one is the result of the opposite – a right-leaning decrease, then knit stitch, then left-leaning decrease.  It was created by doing: K2tog, K2, SSK, on every right side row.  Instead of being quite flat, this pairing of decreases creates a dominant line which actually stands proud of the adjacent knit fabric.

The third section is a symmetrical central double decrease; Sl2-K1-P2sso.  This is worked by slipping 2 stitches, knitwise, at the same time (as if you were going to K2tog), then knitting the next stitch, and then passing the 2 slipped stitches over the knitted stitch and off the needles.  It is similar to the previous swatch in that it is a strong vertical line which stands proud of the surrounding fabric.  In this case I have worked the Sl2-K1-P2sso decrease every right-side row.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Deborah Henderson permalink
    December 20, 2020 12:03 pm

    My instructions are *sl2k, k14,k2tog* 3 times. This is suppose to decrease 8 stitches but my calculations are 9 stitches. Help!

    • December 21, 2020 4:59 am

      Hi I’m not sure the pattern you’re working on, but if you’re only meant to decrease 8 sts, you could just skip the last k2tog and thus will only decrease 8 sts, and then continue the pattern from there? ~ Em

  2. Liz permalink
    October 2, 2009 12:54 pm

    When you SSK, slip the first knitwise, then slip the second purlwise, they’ll lay flat like the k2tog.

  3. June 2, 2009 3:24 pm

    What a great resource, I’m bookmarking this one! Thank you!

    What did you do for the top decrease though, where it’s kind of sunken? That could have a nice effect I think, for certain projects.

  4. April 1, 2009 9:29 am

    Great idea to study decreases like that. I tend to just follow a pattern. Understanding it thoroughly would be much better!


  1. decrease methods « Eyrie crochet

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