tutorial – working the SSK decrease

Tutorial on working the SSK decrease

When we’re talking about a single, left-leaning decrease, I usually prefer working the SKP decrease. This abbreviation stands for “slip 1, knit 1, pass slipped stitch over”. However, many people prefer the SSK decrease instead. SSK stands for “slip slip knit”, but working the decrease entails a bit more than that. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a hard decrease to work, but you do have to know how to slip the stitches.

Below, I’ll show you how to work this decrease step by step.


Yarn: Paintbox Yarns Simply DK, a good value, good quality 100% acrylic yarn, here in the color Marine Blue.

Needles: This is a pair of straights that I picked up at the second-hand store when I started knitting, brand unknown.

Working the SSK decrease step by step

  1. Work your way across the row until you’ve reached the point where you want to make the decrease

    In this case, I want to work the decrease 7 stitches in from the left side of the swatch. That is including the edge stitches in garter stitch.Step 1 of working the SSK

  2. Insert the needle into the first stitch on the left-hand needle as if to knit…

    Step 2

  3. … and slip the stitch to the right-hand needle.

    With this action, you twist the stitch mount of the stitch. Do you see how it sits differently on the needle when compared with the other stitches?Step 3

  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 with the next stitch on the left-hand needle.

    Step 4 of working the SSK

  5. Now, we have to put those 2 stitches back onto the left-hand needle. To do so, insert the left-hand needle into the front loops of the 2 stitches on the right-hand needle.

    Step 5

  6. With the action of the last step, we have already positioned these 2 stitches for the next step: Knitting them together through the back loop (k2tog tbl). This means we now only have to wrap the yarn around the needle….

    Step 6

  7. … Pull the yarn through…

    Step 7

  8. … and slip the stitch of the needle to finish the decrease.

    This is how it then looks:The result of working the SSK

The below picture shows how it looks after 2 more decrease rows have been worked. 

The result of several SSK decreases
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