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How To Decrease Knitting in Knit and Purl Stitches



Decrease Knitting is a way to reduce stitch(es) from your work. It can be done different ways but the most basic decreases are;

Knit 2 stitches together (k2tog)

Purl two stitches together (p2tog)

Slip-slip-knit or SSK 

Slip-Knit-Passover or SKP



Decrease Knit Stitch or Knit 2 Together (k2tog)

When we want to decrease stitch while we knit, we can just simply knit 2 stitches together (K2tog). Here are how to step-by-step photos I’ve made so that beginning knitters can understand better. 

1. With yarn at the back of your work, insert your right-hand needle through the front loops of the second and first stitches on the left needle knitwise.

2. Wrap yarn around the right needle from under and over, and from right to left.

3. Bring the wrapped yarn through both loops.

4. Slide both knitted stitches off the left needle.

and....You’ve just decreased a knit STITCH!

How To Decrease Purl Stitch (p2tog)

Decreasing knitting for Purl is done by purl two stitches together at once (abbreviated as P2tog). Here are a step-by-step guide on how to decrease stitches purlwise.

1. With yarn in front of your work, insert the right needle through the front loops of first and second stitches on the left needle purlwise.

2. Wrap yarn around the right needle from right to left.


3. Bring wrapped yarn through the loops with the right needle.


4. Slide both stitches off the left hand needle.

You’ve just done a PURL STITCH Decrease!

How To make SSK Knitting (Slip-Slip-Knit)

I’ve come across so many questions regarding how to knit SSK stitches when I browsing through knitting websites.

SSK or slip-slip-knit is basically a flip version of knit 2 together (K2tog). SSK makes a stitch slanting to the left while K2tog makes a stitch slanting to the right. Usually we knit ssk on the opposite end of K2 tog so that pattern would look more uniform.

For example, the pattern may ask you to decrease stitches at the waist line of a sweater by knitting slip-slip-knit the right side. And when you reach the left side of the sweater, the pattern will ask you to knit 2 together.

It’s pretty difficult to picture it in our heads. After all, knitting is pretty much all about images.

Here are step-by-step picture guides on SSK knitting

1. With yarn at the back of your work, slip the first and second stitches from the left needle to the right needle knitwise(from front to back). Slit one stitch at the time

2. Insert the left needle into the front loops of both stitches.


3. Wrap yarn around the right needle.


4. Pull the wrap yarn through the stitch with the right needle.


5. Slip both working stitches off the left needle.

Now you've done SSK!



How To knit Slip-Knit-Passover (SKP)

1. Slip a stitch from the left needle to the right needle knitwise (insert needle from front of stitch to back).

2. Insert the right needle into the next stitch knitwise.


3. Wrap the yarn around the right needle.


4. Pull the wrap yarn through the stitch with the right needle.


5. Slip the stitch off the left needle.

6. Insert the left needle into the slip stitch from the right needle.


7. Lift the slip stitch over the stitch just knitted and slip it off the right needle.

Now, you just eliminated a stitch with slip-knit-passover method, Congratulation!

Decrease Knitting Video Tutorial

In this shawl knitting video, I've include many decrease knitting techniques mention above.  I'm planning on making a shorter version of each decrease. Please bear with me.

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