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  3. How to Decrease in Knitting

How to Decrease in Knitting

knit

Decreasing stitches makes your knitted piece narrower. Decreases are used for sleeve caps, neckline shaping, shaping the crown of a hat, etc., and are paired with yarn over increases in lace knitting.

Two of the most common decreases are knit 2 together (k2tog) and slip, slip, knit (ssk). K2tog leans to the right and ssk leans to the left. They both combine two stitches into one stitch.

There are other decreases that decrease by more than one stitch, and decreases that do not lean left or right. They are slightly more advanced.

Method 1: K2tog

Knit two stitches together through front loop

This method slants the stitch to the right. It can also be worked in purl by reversing needle and stitch positions.

Step 1

Insert the right needle into the front of the second stitch, then the first stitch, from left to right.

How to Bind Off for Left Handers

Step 2

Knit these 2 stitches together, as if they were one, in the usual way−1 stitch on the right needle, 1 decrease made.

How to Bind Off for Left Handers

Method 2: K2tog tbl

Knit two stitches together through back loop.

This method slants the stitch to the left. It can also be worked in purl by reversing needle and stitch positions.

Step 1

Insert the right needle into the back of the next 2 stitches from right to left.

How to Bind Off for Left Handers

Step 2

Knit these 2 stitches together as if they were one, in the usual way−1 stitch on right needle, 1 decrease made.

How to Bind Off for Left Handers

METHOD 3: psso or skp

Slip 1 stitch, knit 1 stitch, pass the slip stitch over

This method slants the stitch to the left.

Step 1

Slip the first stitch to the right needle as if to knit.

How to Bind Off for Left Handers

Step 2

Knit the next stitch in the usual way.

How to Bind Off for Left Handers

Step 3

Insert the point of the left needle into the front of the slip stitch from left to right.

How to Bind Off for Left Handers

Step 4

Pass this slip stitch over the knit stitch and off both needles−1 decrease made.

How to Bind Off for Left Handers
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