How to Do an SSK aka Left-Leaning Decrease in Knitting

Learn how to do an ssk aka left-leaning decrease in this knitting tutorial from Howcast.

So now I’m going to show you how to do a left leaning decrease.

There are actually a few more choices with left leaning decreases than there are with right leaning decreases. With a right leaning decrease, you do a knit two together, but with a left leaning decrease there are a couple different options.

I’m going to show you my favorite one first, which is just to knit two together through the back loop. So what that means is, instead of knitting two together through the front loop like normal, this time you’re going to insert the right tip into the back of two stitches at once. There we have it.

And now I’m going to knit as normal, wrap a loop around, scoop up that new loop, and pop both of them off. And you can see what that yields is the stitch on the right side leaning on top of the stitch on the left side, which makes it lean to the left.

So I’ll show you that one more time. You take the tip of the right needle and stick it into the back of both stitches that you want to decrease, wrap a loop around, scoop up that new stitch, and pop both of them off. So now you have the stitch on the right leaning on top of the stitch on the left, making a left leaning decrease.

The other way to do it is a slip slip knit. So the first stitch you’re going to slip over without working it, as if to knit. Slip the next one, as if to pearl. And then insert the tip of the left-hand needle into the front of both stitches and knit. I’ll show you that one more time. Slip, as if to knit. Slip, as if to pearl. Insert the left tip into the front of both stitches and knit as normal.

So both of these methods yield left leaning decreases, but you can see that they look a little bit different. Here we have the knit two together through the back loop, which sort of raises the front stitch a little bit more than the slip slip knits. You can choose whichever one you like best.

And I’ll show you an example of what balanced decreases would look like. Here on this side we have a row of stitches that are leaning to the left. And on this side we have a row of stitches that are leaning to the right.

So if I were working balanced decreases on a garment, say, when I get to the point where I’m going to do my first decrease, which I know is after knitting two stitches, I can see that that’s a left leaning decrease, so I’m going to choose my method here. I’m going to do a knit two together through the back loop because it is my favorite.

And now I have contributed to that growing line of left leaning decreases. And then I would knit across until I got to my right leaning decrease and they would be symmetrical.

So those are two different ways to work a left leaning decrease.