Where I write about knitting, crocheting and lace, and, on occasion general comments on other topics

Master Knitter Level I – Swatches #7, #8, & #9 – Decreases

Written by: Lindy

Swatches 7 through 9 are demonstrations of various decrease techniques.

Swatch 7 - SSK & K2Tog

Swatch #7

Swatch 7 demonstrates “Blended Decreases” using SSK (Slip, Slip, Knit) on the right edge and K2Tog (Knit 2 Together) on the left edge.

SSK is a left-slanting decrease and is made by slipping 1 stitch as if to knit, then slipping a second stitch as if to knit, then inserting the left needle into these two stitches and knitting them together.

K2Tog is a right-slanting decrease. K2Tog decreases are the basic decrease every knitter learns. You simply insert the right needle into two stitches on the left needle and knit them together.

I have had difficulty finding a reference that actually defines “Blended Decreases”. Through my research it appears that “Blended Decreases” are decreases that slant or slope in the direction of the desired shaping. In this swatch the left-slanting decrease on the right edge and the right-slanting decrease on the left edge slope in toward the center of the swatch.

Swatch 8 - SKP & KSP

Swatch #8

Swatch 8 demonstrates SKP (Slip, Knit, Pass Slipped Stitch Over) and KSP (Knit, Slip, Pass stitch over) decreases.

SKP decreases are also sometimes written as S1, K1 PSSO in patterns. This is a left-slanting decrease and is done on the right edge of the swatch. Any decrease that requires you to pass a stitch over another one results in a somewhat uneven stitch due to the stretching that occurs when you pass the stitch over.

The KSP decrease was a new method for me. It is a right-slanting decrease that mirrors the SKP decrease and was knit on the left edge of this swatch. KSP is done by knitting a stitch, then slipping the stitch back on the left needle and passing the stitch over the next stitch with the right needle, then slipping the stitch back from the left needle to the right needle.

Swatch 9 - K2Tog & SSK

Swatch #9

Swatch 9 uses the K2Tog and SSK decreases but is different from Swatch 7 in that the K2Tog is done on the right edge and the SSK is done on the left edge.

TKGA refers to this swatch as “Full Fashioned”. I have not found a specific definition for the term “Full Fashioned” in my references. However, two of my sources refer to full fashioned decreases as decreases that are done with 2 or more stitches on the edge, making the decreases more visible and part of the intended design of the knitted fabric. In this swatch, the K2Tog decrease on the right edge slants to the right and stands out against the slope of the fabric. Likewise the SSK decrease on the left edge slants to the left and stands out against the slope of the fabric on that side. These decreases are more visible than those in Swatch 7.

2 Responses to “Master Knitter Level I – Swatches #7, #8, & #9 – Decreases”

  1. Amanda says:

    Wow! I can’t believe how quick you are whipping these things out! The decreases all look really similar in the photos, though are they are different in person?

  2. Lindy says:

    I’ll bring them with me so you can see them more closely — if you double click on the photo, I believe you get an enlarged view of it — so that may help as well.