Knitting Help – Comparing Decreases

In this video we’re going to take a closeup
look at three popular decreases so you can compare them side-by-side. And next week I’m
releasing a video comparing increases, and once that sister video is out, I’ll give you
a link here on-screen to that video so you can watch it as well, cause they’re both pretty
important. And this idea came to me through email from
a viewer. Thank you very much. Keep them coming. I get a lot of ideas for videos that I’m shooting
from people giving me suggestions. And the reason that this video’s important
is sometimes a pattern will tell you, especially older patterns, will just say Decrease, like
Decrease 10 times the cross-throw. And I get emails from people saying, “What decrease
should I do, they don’t specify.” And really at that point, it’s knitter’s choice. If the
designer hasn’t given you specific instructions for which one to use, you can really use whichever
one you want. Which is why it’s a good idea to see how they look next to each other. Or
you might decide to do a different decrease than the pattern recommends, and so I want
to show you what they look like so you can make a good choice. First, I’m gonna quickly run through the different
decreases. In the video description field below, I will give you links to slow videos,
not slow videos, slow demonstrations that show you exactly how to work these decreases
very carefully. I’m going to run through just to remind you of how they’re worked as we
talk about what they look like. Let’s go ahead and take a look. Look at this weirdo piece of knitting I have
here with the different decreases. I’m gonna run through this real quick so you can see
how they’re worked. There are three basic decreases. I’m sure a lot of you already know
how to work these. This here is a knit border. And this first one, knit up two stitches before
the marker. It’s knit two together. And I find that just about every knitter learns
knit two together as a beginner, because they find that it’s an easy way to get their stitch
count back down to where it’s supposed to be. They figure it out on their own. This next one is SSK. So I slip one stitch
as if to knit, slip the second stitch as if to knit, and knit those two together through
the back loop. And this next one is PSSO. I’m going to slip one stitch as if to purl,
knit one, and then bind one stitch off over the other one. That’s passing the slip stitch
over. Just let me finish up this row real quick, and we’ll take a look at these. Okay. Now as you’re trying to make a decision for
what decreases you’re going to use, we’ll take a look at these. The first one that I
did here was a knit two together. And if we isolate this stitch, you’ll see it is a right-leaning,
single decrease. Definitely leans to the right. And as we move over here to the SSK, you’ll
see that it’s a left-leaning decrease. And that’s why these two look really good mirrored
together. If you need a double decrease and you have like a center marker, what I’ve done
here is knit two together, knit two, SSK, and it gave me kind of this wide column of
mirrored decreases, which ends up looking pretty good. These are probably the most inconspicuous
decreases you can make, the knit two together and SSK. And then we move over here. There
are a lot of older patterns, I think SSK is something that’s come more into use in the
past 20 years or so. And a lot of older patterns will have you do PSSO, instead of SSK. And
depending on how you want your work to look, you may want to substitute SSK when it calls
for PSSO. Because this is a left-leaning decrease and it has a really strong line leaning to
the left in it. You can see it is almost a decorative decrease. It used to be, in my experience in older patterns,
they’ll have it paired with knit two together for mirrored decreases. But you can see SSK
and knit two together look far better and closer to each other than PSSO. But it’s a
pretty decrease and can certainly look good, like if you are doing lined up decreases in
a hat or something. It’s definitely a choice you have to make because it is a pretty strong
statement. And this piece, this crazy piece, and no one’s
ever going to want to copy what I’ve done here. But I did the decreases and the wrong
side of the work is just knitting the knits and purling the purls. And then every right
side row was the decreases. So this is every other row decrease, every other row decrease,
every other row decrease. That might help you make a decision, as well. That’s it. Comparing three popular decreases
and next week we will compare increases.

68 thoughts on “Knitting Help – Comparing Decreases

  • When you say "leans to the left (or right)" does that mean the slant when you're looking at the garment laid flat on the table or when you're wearing it?  Thanks

  • There's also knit 2 together through the back loop to mirror the knit 2 together. I use that to 'knit the gap' when I'm turning the heel on a sock.

  • What about when you are in a row that you purl and you need to decrease, what are you doing? You just purl 2 together or you do the same thing and instead of knit stich you do a purl stich?

  • this is a really great video. I have one question – for psso, the pattern I am currently working on has this decrease but this was the first time I came across this. I know that slipping is pretty much always done purlwise, but I did that and didn't like the look of it with that kind of bar…so instead I slipped knitwise, knit and then passed the slipped stitch and I think it looks a lot better. Not sure if it matters, but for what it's worth I'm a continental knitter.

  • Thanks Staci. Not being a constant knitter, I didn't realize the type of decrease looked so different. I'll be more careful to choose the right one for the piece next time!

  • Thank you very much for this. One question: Does PSSO have a mirrored stitch for a right leaning decrease? The K2Tog and SSK mirror perfectly, but I haven't seen a right leaning decrease that matches the PSSO. Thank you!

  • Thank you so much for the "sister" video on increase/decrease.   I have literally not chosen patterns based on not knowing which is the best decrease and increase to use.  Now I can run amuck, pick patterns and knit like a fiend.

  • This was such a helpful tutorial. I have a very old knitting pattern book with some charming patterns but really non specific directions (kind of like old cooking recipes). I finally understand the different decreases. Thanks

  • Thank you for this video! I realize now why my decreases on my first sock looked strange. I was doing a PSSO when I thought I was doing an SSK. 🙂 whoops! Newbie mistake.

  • OK.  So, I'm used to my cats grabbing at my knitting.  I've even learned how to spin with a cat on my knee (kitty gives that extra bit of carding while I draft).  But I was just watching your decrease and increase videos and Houdini came and sat right on the mouse, pausing the video.  They just don't want me knitting!   I guess they haven't forgiven me for the matching antlers I knit them last Christmas…

    Love your videos!

  • Hi Stacey I'm from the UK and I'm an advanced beck net I'm disabled after a spinal I injury. I need to learn how to knit a jumper in a lace pattern and keep the integrity of the pattern whilst increasing or decreasing rows.
    I would really appreciate a pattern and tutorials made by you please I would like to start asap please many thanks

  • Hi. Could you please help me with a V neck decrease on neck edge on EVERY ROW. the pattern calls for this decrease. OR do you have video tutorials on V neck and round neck decreaesess ON NECK EDGE ON EVERY ROW? Thanks for your very kind help. Thanks for sharing and caring. Hugs xxx

  • This video is very helpful to recognize the right and left leaning decreases. Rather than just read the pattern hoping the author knows best. Thank you.

  • Can you tell me how do this the Patton said at neck edge on every alternative row as follows 4 sts once them 5sts 8times what dose this mean

  • Thank you so much for this video. Several time's I've come to YT to find your video and remind me which ones lean which direction. Thanks.

  • Ok, so I have a question about SSK. What is the function of slipping the stitches? Would it not have the same effect if you K2Tog through the back of the stitches without slipping them? I mean I've done it both ways and I don't notice a major difference, am I missing something?

  • Thank you for the video, it was really helpful. . My hat has 110 stitches and I want to decrease with a k2tog, k2, ssk style decrease instead of the usual knit 9 knit 2tog, but I don't know how to set it up and where to put the markers for 110 stitcbes. . Advice??

  • hi very pink knits, my question is, when you knit two together or ssk decrease, which goes where,for example you said they mirror each other,so would I use knit two together at beginning of decrease ,and ssk at end. hope that makes sense, or can I use one for everything.

  • In studying the different decrease videos of all you very talented knitters, I have noticed that in the SSK some of you, slip as if to knit the first one and slip as if to purl the second one, some slip both as if to knit and so forth. I understand that which way you slip changes the direction of the "leg" but I don't see that it changes the direction of the decrease. Does it matter?

  • Hi thank you for your helpful clip. I am a beginner knitter and was trying to find a video on how to decrease to shape the top of the sleeve but can't seem to find one. I'm working on a 1940's pattern ,started decreasing one stitch each end .I did the SSK on (LHS) and K tog on (RHS) till 41 stitches remained.Then pattern reads next row take 2 tog each end of row,next row take 3 tog each end of row repeating this 3 times before casting off. I've done this and to be honest it doesn't look very tidy.Do you mind me asking you how you would of done it.I have found video's on knitting the sleeve from picking up from the joined front and back ,lot's showing decreasing on sloped shoulders and I also found one of your's on were decreasing was on short rows with casting off.Hope you don't mind me suggesting some clips showing different ways on how to shape both sides (decreasing)for sleeve caps would be lovely.Thanks again Sharon x

  • Hello, thank you for this great video. I was wondering where I could learn to do that Pretty decorative PSSO. I actually think that its kind of nice…or rather….I have noticed that there are patterns where the sleeve are attached to sweaters but they have gorgeous detailing with the decreases. Its seen a lot on older style knitting that is very precision based, also a lot of more modern designers have adopted these kinds of details into their designs.

    I don't know where to find instructions for that, or what its really called so that i can search and research as I know and completely understand that impossible for you to answer every single question that you're asked daily on the internet. There are so many nice techniques for finishing sleeves, i'd like to learn some. Im doing sample sleeves to practice japanese short rows and am following some of your instructions and some of Carol Sundays on her website. This is great stuff. THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH. YOU Are a Blessing. You're little blue sample is Fantastic..

  • Some times I prefer to use two needles rather than in the round. If instructions are to decrease on every row, I'm not sure how to make the angle of the purl row stitches the same as the angle on the knit row.

  • SSP, your video is different than every other one I viewed. They always say to transfer two stitches knit wise to the right needle (same as yours), then transfer them back to the left needle (same as yours) but then they say purl through the back loop. Yours definitely does not require Purling through the back loop, yours being much easier than theirs. Why this very distinct difference.? I'd rather do your version but I'm wondering why your version is so outnumbered by the purling thru the back loop versions.

  • Thank you for the video, it's really helpful! I'd like to ask if it is possible (for long sweater sleeve decreasing purposes) to decrease one stitch in a line and make it look good? I noticed that with one stitch taken away at a time the decreasing line runs either to the left or right depending whether I decrease before or after the marker. Is there a way to keep a straight line on a sleeve?

  • I actually would like to replicate that piece as an educational tool. I'm part of a knitting group that encourages beginner attendance, and I find that having something physical to show them is easier to teach them with than just verbally explaining the different stitches.

  • so if you were knitting the gusset of a sock and it called for k2tog then ssk, but you wanted to use a different decrease which would you substitute with a psso?

  • I need help . what would be the best one to use if you are decreasing a sleeve when making a raglan sweater. The pattern said to decrease two stitches every 6 rounds. I used the knit two together and it left a rise. it didnt lay flat. Should i use knit two together and also the ssk and if so, which should i do first before and after the marker in the middle of the sleeve

  • Thank you so much for this video.I am learning a lot by watching your tutorials. I wonder if you could help me with something that is a decrease…..
    I just finished my first hat, knit in the round, & I found another pattern for a pretty hat. The pattern is, overall, very easy to understand. However, at the crown, during the decrease rows, there is one spot I can't understand. I spent hours looking for the answer to this. This is what it looks like:
    Round 5: sl2kpsso, p1 –I really can't figure out what to do, & on You Tube, all I can find are videos showing sl2kp2sso, which seems different, in that it adds the number 2 in the psso Maybe they mean the same thing; I don't know.

    To start, I realize I am supposed to Slip 2. Do I slip them one at a time or both together? And do I slip them knit-wise or purl-wise?
    Then, the letter k comes next, followed by psso. That's where I really get lost.
    (If this helps, I would have 80 stitches at the start of the row, & when I finish the row, I'll just have 40.)

    I appreciate any help you could possibly give me. Thank you so much. 🙂

  • For decreasing for a raglan sleeve, would you do the ask on the right side of the sleeve and the k2 tog on the left side? Or vice versa?

  • note for the heretics like me: if you knit everything through the back loop, ssk and k2tog lean the other way. so to ssk, you k2tog, and for k2tog, you ssk.

  • Thanks. Your tutorials are always so clear and easy to follow. I have a question about ssk versus knitting two together tbl?. What is the difference? You mention in the video that the "slip" to the right needle twists the stitches. Is that what makes it different from simply knitting two together through the back loop? Otherwise, the "slip" seems to be just an extra step.

  • Hi. I so appreciate your teaching and designs as well as your stories are always professionally presented. Thank you for so much help. I have a question I hope doesn't anger you. In this video you show why you choose the decrease stitch and how it lays and it all makes perfect sense. Especially for clothing.
    My question is in your video of the mitered square you do the center backwards from from what you teach here. Here you say do the left learning decrease the S.S.K. second and the K2tog (the right decrease) 2nd. But in the mitered square you teach the opposite to the ssk first then the k2tog. Is that a design choice to intentionally get the twisted stitch for decor purposes to have the twisted stitch and little decorative bump? It seems to me and I just started to learn to knit a month or two ago when I decided to make a baby blanket for my first grsndson. Anyway, while trying to pick a pattern I wateched many totorials. In you doing the mitered squar your way you teach I believe to go opposite of what you teach here? Seems to me that say for an underam perhaps on a sweater say under that may not be the best choice. It may be uncomfortable. Looks good on the mitered square. I don't think its by accident. Am I possibly correct? Is it about how you wanted the center to look on the blanket squares or what ever you use you version of the mitered square. Which by the way I quite like.
    I ask because I'm confused not to put you on the spot or pick on a mistake or something crewl like that. First because as a designer of other arts mostly. So I think it's design choice and I am just too curious so I have to be nosey and ask? I am not a troll. Thank you kindly. Trudy 🐏🐑😊

  • I have a pattern with 2 different symbols one says…

    sl2k as if to k2tog, k1, p2sso.

    The next one say.. Sl2k, k1, p2sso

    What exactly is different apart from the one that says as if to k2tog they seem to be the exact same thing so what would I do differently

  • sizleri izledim ve çok beğendim abone oldum sizde benim kanalımı izleyip abone olur musunuz teşekkürler

  • Hi. What would be the opposite of the PSSO decrease that would make the decorative part of the stitch slant to the left?

  • Hello, I’m new to your channel is there any video showing how to switch yarn into a new colour to create an ombré

  • I've been working on a scarf that uses increases and decreases to create a braid-looking texture, and I thought I remembered how to do a ssk, but obviously not… I've been slipping both stitches purl-wise, then inserting my left needle into those stitches from the right to the left, and knitting them off my right hand needle. It looks similar – when I looked at a ssk my way next to a ssk the correct way, I couldn't tell them apart at first – but it creates a slightly twisted stitch as seen from the right side of the work. Oops! Oh well. Now I know for next time. Because I'm not frogging this right now. 😂

  • Thank you for this video! I am knitting a pattern called Dreams of Ireland and it calls for alot of very intricate stitches and I use your channel for help! Could you give an example of doing an SP?

  • I watched another video, she decreased 2 sts. by knitting through the back of the 2 stitches.  Can't find it again but will try it to see what it looks like.  I just love your videos, very articulate and easy to understand.  Always look forward to them.  Thanks.

  • Can someone explain why for SSK, she says to knit those "through the back loop" as she pokes the left needle through the FRONT LOOP of the two slipped stitches on the right needle?

  • The pattern calls for a counterpart decrease at the beginning of the heel needle. Does anyone know how to do this question

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