There is nothing wrong with the “slip, slip, knit” decrease that is commonly known as an SSK. It forms an even line of decreases that slants to the left and works great to shape all kinds of projects – hats, shawls, sweaters, cardigans, bags and toys.
But if we can make this decrease even neater and, at the same time, easier to make, why not?
I learned this method from an old knitting book. Apparently, this way used to be more popular than the SSK we use now. Once you give it a try, you will quickly understand why previous generations of knitters liked this technique so much.
Here’s how this method works step-by-step.
If you prefer to learn from a video tutorial, click here, or scroll to the bottom of this page.
Slip one stitch knitwise from the left needle to the right needle.
It means that we should insert the tip of the right needle from left to right into the first stitch on the left needle.
Then take the left needle out leaving the stitch on the right needle.
Return this stitch back to the left needle without twisting the stitch.
To do that, insert the tip of the left needle from left to right into the slipped stitch and remove the right needle leaving the stitch on the left needle.
Knit this stitch and the next stitch together through the back loop.
That means that we should insert the right needle from right to left into the first two stitches on the left needle.
Wrap the tip of the right needle with the yarn as we normally do when we knit a stitch.
Pull the yarn through both stitches and slip them off the left needle.
We’ve just turned two stitches into one while forming a decrease that slants to the left.
To make the process even more efficient, don’t take the right needle out of the stitch in step 2. Instead, push it a bit further so that it enters the next stitch on the left needle.
Then wrap the tip of the needle with the yarn and pull it through to form a new stitch, just as we did in step 3.
This way, you will save a few seconds every time you make this decrease, and if your project has extensive shaping, these saved seconds will add up to minutes helping you to finish your project faster.
Aside from speeding up your knitting, this way of making a left-slanting decrease forms a flatter line of decreases that looks neater and more uniform. It happens because one of the decreased stitches is twisted.