Shaping is the art of increasing and decreasing stitches to create a shaped piece of knitting. From socks and sleeves, to teddy bears and bobble hats, shaping is essential to move from the simple square to a beautiful garment or toy.
Course created by
Neti Love & Julie Peasgood
Shaping is the art of increasing and decreasing stitches to create a shaped piece of knitting. From socks and sleeves, to teddy bears and bobble hats, shaping is essential to move from the simple square to a beautiful garment or toy.Read More Begin this course
When you see m1 in a pattern, this is asking you to increase your stitch count by one stitch. It is a left-leaning increase in stocking stitch, and is worked using the horizontal bar between stitches.
In a pattern, kfb stands for 'knit into the front and back of the same stitch' and adds one stitch to your needle. This may leave a small bar, depending on your pattern.
To reduce the number of stitches on a knit row, pulling the shaping in to the right, you'll often see 'k2tog' towards the end of pattern row. This means 'knit 2 stitches together' as one.
Ssk is a knitting abbreviation that stands for ‘slip, slip, knit’, which is a way to decrease the number of knit stitches on a row. This will pull the overall shaping to the left.
To decrease purl stitches, you may see pattern p2tog as an abbreviation meaning to purl two stitches together. This creates a right-leaning decrease on the front of stocking stitch fabric.
To decrease purl stitches for left-leaning shaping, you can work p2tog tbl to work two stitches together through the back loop. Be sure to start from behind the second stitch to work this decrease.
Pfb in a pattern means to work into the front and back of a purl stitch. This increases your number of stitches by one when working on a purl row or set of purl pattern stitches.
SKPO is a left-leaning decrease worked over knit stitches, so usually on the right side, and it’s all in the name! Just Slip, Knit, Pass the slipped stitch Over – and you’re done.
Increase a stitch on the purl side of your knitting by picking up the horizontal loop between stitches and purl into the back of it for a left-leaning increase on the right side.
This decrease creates a neat decrease that doesn’t produce a slant to the left or the right. This means it’s useful for producing small tucks within a row, as opposed to other decreases like k2tog and skpo that help to shape edges.
If you can knit in stocking stitch, you can make a bauble! Being able to knit a simple ball shape is a great way to practise simple increasing and decreasing stitches, and here we show how it is done with a flat piece of knitting that is simply worked in rows, then sewn up.