Decreases

Decreases remove stitches, narrowing the knitting. The most common ones you will find in patterns are K2tog (knit two together) and SSK (slip, slip, knit). They're easy, just watch the videos. There are also double decreases, which remove two stitches at once. I don't feature any of these on that decrease page, but you'll find at least one in the Glossary (see, for example, CDD).

The sampler below contains both increases and decreases. Since it was knit from bottom to top, the lower half of the diamonds contain increases, and the top half contain the decreases. All of these decreases are worked on the knit rows only, with the exception of SSP. 

Take a look, and you'll see they almost all look the same.  For this reason, they are interchangeable!  You really only need to learn one right-leaning decrease (k2tog!) and one left leaning (SSK is popular, but take your personal pick!).  Want straight decreases instead of leaning? Try paired decreases (like k2tog followed by SSK), or a centered double decrease (found in the Glossary tab above).

 

decreases sampler

 
k2tog
(Knit Two Together)
The most common right-slanting decrease
  view continental video
view english video
A perfect, neat decrease that slopes to the right. It's so neat and tight, it is tighter looking than any left slanting decrease.
...Knit two stitches together as if they were a single stitch.

SSK (Slip Slip Knit)
The most common left-slanting decrease
view continental video
view english video
A very commonly used left slanting decrease .
...Slip one stitch, then slip the next. Insert left needle into the front loops of the slipped stitches and knit them together from this position (through the back loops).

 

 

k2tog

SSK "Improved"
view continental video
view english video
Lays slightly flatter than SSK. Some prefer it as an even closer match to k2tog. ...I can't make up my mind, I like them both!

...Slip one stitch as if to knit, slip the next stitch as if to purl, knit the two together through the back loops.

KRPR
(Knit, Return, Pass, Return)
 
view continental video
view english video
Looser than k2tog, but in this way matches the left slanting decreases even better.

...Knit 1, return knit stitch to left needle, pass the next stitch over the knit stitch, replace to right needle by slipping purl-wise.

 

SKP
aka
sl1, k1, psso
(Slip Knit Pass) or (Slip One, Knit One, Pass the Slipped Stitch Over)
view continental video
view english video
This is the same resulting stitch as SSK. Use them interchangeably, whichever method you prefer.
...Slip one stitch, knit the next, pass the slipped stitch over the knit one.

Crossed Right
Slanting Decrease

(no video at present)
This decrease twists the stitches around to match k2tog tbl.

...Slip 1 k-wise, slip another k-wise, return them to left needle, and knit them together (through front loops)

k2tog tbl (Knit Two Together Through the Back Loops)
view continental video
view english video
This twists the stitches around and consequently tends to zig zag like crazy. It's not a great match for k2tog, clearly, but can be used decoratively.
...Knit two stitches together through the back loops.

 

 

 

 


k2tog

SSP
(Slip Slip Purl)
view continental video
  
This is actually the best looking match for k2tog. Nice and tight and neat looking! Unfortunately it needs to be done on the reverse side (the purl row), which usually means a row later or earlier than when it is called for. If you're knitting in the round, you can't use this decrease, since the purl-side never faces you.
...(On the purl row) Slip 1 k-wise, slip another k-wise. Return slipped sts to left needle. p2tog tbl: Insert right needle up into back loops of the two stitches and purl them together from this position.

k2tog

SSP

k2tog

SSP

"Yarn Over Decrease
Right-Slant"

  view continental video
view english video
A right-slanting decrease to match the Yarn Over increase below it.

...k2tog, yarn over, k2tog

 

 

"Yarn Over Decrease Left-Slant"
view continental video
view english video
Here is a decrease to match the Yarn Over increase below it. YO is included to create the hole in the knitting. But since yarn over is an increase, it is banked by two left slanting decreases to equal 1 total decreased stitch.
...ssk, yarn over, ssk