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How to: decrease knit stitches (ssk)

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Let's Knit Together

  • Overview
  • Practical Guides

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.

Remember that when slipping the stitches, to insert your right-hand needle knitwise, from front to back, this is how to slip stitches ‘knitwise’.

The ssk decrease is straightforward, but be sure to slip the stitches knitwise rather than simply transferring the stitches across from your left-hand needle (if you moved the stitches by inserting your right-hand needle from back to front, this is slipping stitches purlwise). This is why it’s important to slip the stitches individually. These two stitches are then knitted together by transferring them back to the left-hand needle, and inserting your right-hand needle through the back loops of both stitches to knit them together as one. Wrap the yarn anticlockwise around the right-hand needle tip as usual for a knit stitch and lift both stitches off the left-hand needle. You’ll be left with just one stitch on the right-hand needle and will have completed the decrease. This decrease does create a more definite edge when used at the beginning of a row and when compared to k2tog. Do check your stitch count at the end of each row or pattern section to make sure you’re still on track, if you are working a row or round with a number of decreases.


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