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How to: decrease knit stitches (k2tog)

Lesson • Essential Shaping • 04:28 • Beginner

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.

Essential Shaping

Course Overview



Included with Let’s Knit Together membership



41m 46s







What you need

What you need

A pair of straight, single-pointed knitting needles; a ball of yarn

Course Description

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.

Meet your instructors

  • How to: decrease knit stitches (k2tog) Knitting Video

    Julie Peasgood

    Julie is an actress and presenter just starting out on her knitting journey

  • How to: decrease knit stitches (k2tog) Knitting Video

    Neti Love

    Neti is your resident knitting expert who knows the ins and out of all things yarn

Practical Guides

  • Count the stitches carefully to make sure you decrease at just the right point in your pattern each time.

  • There are various ways to decrease the number of stitches to shape your knitting and k2tog is a quick and easy stitch to master – it really is as simple as it sounds. Worked with the yarn at the back, and taking the right-hand needle from front to back from the far side of the furthest stitch, wrapping the yarn as usual to knit these two stitches and off the needle to create a right-leaning stitch. When decreases are made at regular intervals or above each other, they can form an attractive part of the pattern, as in the top of a hat. K2tog may be the only decrease in a pattern and can appear within a row, or it may be used at one side of the fabric, with a left-leaning decrease (such as ssk) being used at the opposite end for more symmetrical shaping. When used at the very beginning of a row, it forms a minimal edge stitch. Knitting two stitches together is also used to bring the end of a shaped piece to a point, and when you k2tog the last two stitches together, fasten off by taking the cut yarn end through the last stitch and pulling carefully to secure it and create a neat finish. If you see the abbreviation k3tog, this means knit three stitches together and is worked in the same way as a k2tog.

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