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How to work a ssk (slip, slip, knit) decrease

October 3, 2013

The ssk (or slip, slip, knit) is a has a rather counter-intuitive name because it is not really as it seems. You are doing more than just slipping and knitting, you are in fact decreasing a stitch by slipping two stitches and then knitting them together through the back loops. The ssk is used often in knitting as the opposite or counter or mirrored decrease to the k2tog (knit 2 together). It leans the opposite way – k2tog leans right and ssk leans left.

::: how to work a SSK (slip, slip, knit) :::

1. Slip 1 stitch knitwise. [tutorial on how to slip stitches here]

2. Slip 1 more stitch knitwise.

3. Insert your left needle through the front of the 2 slipped stitches.

4. wrap your yarn around the right needle (it’s in behind) and pull the loop through both of the slipped stitches, knitting them together.

Slip 2 sts knitwise (one at a time)

Slip 1 stitch knitwise

ssk2

Slip 1 Stitch Knitwise

Slip 1 Stitch Knitwise

Put left needle through the fronts of both slipped stitches

Put left needle through the fronts of both slipped stitches

Wrap yarn around the right needle and pull the loop through both slipped stitches

Wrap yarn around the right needle and pull the loop through both slipped stitches

This is what a completed ssk looks like.

This is what a completed ssk looks like.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. Gert permalink
    June 21, 2018 10:02 am

    What is the difference if you just knit two through the back loops instead of SSK?

    • June 25, 2018 4:31 am

      SSK lies a little bit flatter, because the stitches have been re-oriented when you slip them knitwise. But really, it’s pretty much the same thing!

  2. CBentz permalink
    February 16, 2018 7:41 am

    Well, Fiddlesticks, I have been doing this ALL WRONG! Thank you so much for the tutorials so I can go back & do it the right way.

  3. yardena permalink
    February 11, 2018 9:34 am

    Hi, Sorry if this is the second note you are getting from me. I don’t think the other note went through.

    I am knitting the Harvest sweater and all is going well. However , i am running into not understanding the instruction when it comes to the sleeves. “Decrease round: k1, ssk, knit to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1 Knit 8 (8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 7, 6, 6, 5, 5, 5) rounds”

    Do I decrease continuous for 5 rounds ( I am size 3x) or do I decrease every 6th row?
    Your help will be greatly appreciated.
    Solong, Yardena

    • February 14, 2018 12:39 pm

      Hi – You are decreasing every 6 rounds, so there are 5 rounds of just plain knit in between.

  4. YVONNE BEVERIDGE permalink
    March 17, 2015 3:17 am

    What a wonderful site this is. My mothers day gift to my Mum everything she needed to make your Thistle scarf, she was so pleased with it. She is almost 80 although very experienced, she couldn’t remember or didn’t know SSK, I don’t even knit but was able to tell her over the phone after looking at this site, everything is made so clear. I will stick to the crochet though, I love the wooden hook I bought.

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