Some time ago I realized something about decreases in knitting. It’s nothing spectacular or new and probably most of you have made the same observation before. Still, I find it a nice little memory aid when I’m uncertain of which decrease to use next.
So, what is this grand new discovery?
Easy. The decrease will always lean to the side your right needle is pointing while you’re working it.
For those who don’t knit or are just starting: Some decreases will lean to the left – the RIGHT stitch is sliding above the left of the two stitches you’re knitting together – for example in the ssk decrease, where you slip two stitches as if to knit, put them back on the left needle and then knit them together through the back loop. (The decrease marked SSK in the first picture) If you stack those decreases above each other, they’ll form a left leaning line that seems to gobble up the stitches to the left of it.
The right-leaning decreases (like the basic knit two together) will form a line running from left to right under which the stitches to the right of it seem to disappear. (That’s the K2tog in the picture)
Normally, while you knit stitches, your right needle will pass through the loop on the needle from left to right, pointing to the right. If you make a k2tog decrease that doesn’t change.
Thus: K2tog – needle pointing to the right – RIGHT leaning decrease – stitches to the RIGHT of it will disappear.
The whole point of the ssk decrease on the other hand, is to rearrange the stitches on your needle so you can reverse the direction your needle goes through them without twisting the stitches.
Thus: SSK – needle pointing to the left – LEFT leaning decrease – stitches to the LEFT of it will disappear.
As I said above: Nothing really new, nothing spectacular, but a nice little fun-fact I never paid attention to before.