Enhancing SSK Knitting with Technique Variations

With knitting, an individual has the opportunity to work with amazing yarn fabrics and colors, as well as choose from multiple stitches based on each project.

Of course, once an individual achieves moderate to advanced skills, the possibilities multiply but even as a beginner, many incredible items can be crafted. In the beginning, it would be imperative to learn the basics of knitting, which includes stitches.

One of the more popular options is with SSK stitching, which consists of projects completed with a slip, slip, knit stitch that is relatively easy to master.

In this article, I wanted to provide a brief introduction to the SSK stitch but also some of the various techniques that go along with this particular method. With this information, it becomes clear that while a relatively easy stitch to master, it offers plenty of versatility. Because of this, an individual could create many different knitted items and without having an abundance of experience.

What is SSK?

In simple terms, SSK is a type of knitting stitch comprised of slip, slip, knit of two stitches together. Because of the way the stitch is performed, it decreases and at a slant to the left. Although someone could use the SSK stitch as is, many people prefer using knit two together to create a decreasing right slant or if preferred, other variations. Regardless, when done correctly, projects would look sophisticated.

To create a knitted item using the slip, slip, knit stitch a person would start on the knit side. The first stitch would be slipped onto the left-hand needle as if going to knit to the right-hand needle. The same thing would be done with the following stitch. The left-hand needle would be inserted into the front loops of these stitches going from left to right. Next, the yarn would be wrapped normally around the right-hand needle, followed by two slipped stitches being knitted together.

Now, if an individual preferred to do SSK knitting on the purl side, the instructions would change somewhat. For the first step, the same actions would be completed to include slipping the first stitch onto the left-hand needle as if to knit to the right-hand needle. Again, the same thing would be done with the next stitch. Now, the two slipped stitches would need to face in the same direction but then transferred back to the left-hand needle. Finally, two purl stitches would be done together going through the back loops.

Enhancing SSK

As mentioned, the SSK stitch could be used as is although many people like to use it with another stitch called “knit two together”, which is also referred to as K2Tog and k2tog. Of all decreasing stitches used in knitting, this is by far the easiest. The process of creating a subtle right slant using this stitch is similar to completing a standard knit stich. The only exception is that two stitches are worked through opposed to just one.

K2tog tbl

This abbreviation stands for “knit two together through the back loops”, which is similar to K2Tog. In fact, the finished stitch resembles S1, K1, PSSO, and SSK. The biggest advantage to using this particular knitting stitch is that it can be done quickly. This involves working two stitches to be decreased. Next, the right-hand needle would be inserted into the backs of the following two stitches. After wrapping the yarn normally, the two stitches would be slipped off the left-hand needle. When done the knitted item has a decreasing left slant.

S1, K1, or PSSO

Another great stitch is known as S1, K1, or PSSO, which translates to “slip one, knit one, pass slipped stitch over”. Knitting with this stitch results in a look very much like what SSK produces although the work is usually not as clean or tidy. This starts by working two stitches to be decreased. The next stitch would then be slipped to the right-hand needle in the same manner as if knitting. The next stitch would be knitted with the pass slipped stitch going over the knit stitch. As with SSK, this stitch also produces a slight left decreasing slant.

Double Decreasing

We also wanted to mention that in some instances, an individual would choose a double decrease. This consists of three stitches, each suspended from one stitch. Because of this there are six potential orders of stitches to include 123, 132, 213, 231, 312, and 321. In other words, the first number in the sequence represents the topmost stitch, the second number is for the middle stitch, and the third number the bottommost stitch.

In using 321 as an example, the third stitch would be the uppermost, the second stitch the middle, and the first stitch the bottommost. One important note is that of the three positions, the uppermost stitch is the most critical. For that reason, the 213 and 231 combinations look much the same on the knitted item.

For right slants, K3Tog and P3Tog are among the favorites. However, if someone wanted a double decrease that was symmetrically pleasing, 213 would be the ideal choice. To accomplish this, the stitch would include slip stitches 1 and 2 that are simultaneously knitwise, followed by knit stitch 3 and slipped stitches being passed over the stitch that had just been knitted.

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