How to Knit SSK & SSP Decreases

SSK & SSP Decreases in Knitting

I use the SSK in many of my designs and I use SSP often as well. In the Tempest collection both decreases are featured in a lot of the patterns.

The knit 2 together (k2tog) decrease leans to the right and its mirror image decrease is an SSK—slip, slip, knit—which leans to the left.

SSK Decrease

  • To do it, slip the first stitch as if to knit.
  • Slip the second stitch as if to knit.
  • Insert the left hand needle into the front of both of those slipped stitches—you can see that you’re all set up to work a k2tog through the back loop (tbl)—so just wrap the yarn around your right hand needle and draw the stitch through in the usual manner.

The results are that the first of the two stitches involved in the decrease lies on top of the second stitch and leans to the left.

SSP Decrease

Sometimes it’s necessary to work a left-leaning decrease from the wrong side of the work—this is called an SSP—slip, slip, purl.

  • Just like with the SSK, one at a time, slip the first two stitches knitwise.
  • Transfer them back to the left hand needle without twisting them. Transferring them needle tip to needle tip ensures that no twist is introduced to the stitches.
  • Now it’s time to work a purl 2 together (p2tog) tbl. But first I want to show you a regular purl tbl. The right hand needle goes in from left to right.
  • For the p2tog tbl, insert the right hand needle into 2 stitches from left to right.

To learn more about left-leaning decreases, you can also see our tutorial about SSK variations »

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