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SSK Alternative Method

A no-slip, no-remount method for making a left-leaning decrease
by Jackie E-S

In lace knitting, the ssk stitch (or its equivalent left leaning decrease sl1-k1-psso) is often used as a compensating decrease for the yarn overs that are fundamental to the construction of knitted lace. Usually, the methods described for making either of these left-leaning decreases involve slipping of stitches and changing the orientation of one or both stitches so they are not twisted.

In looser 'moose lace' type knitting, I have found an alternative method for making an equivalent ssk that does not involve slipping or remounting. This speeds up the knitting somewhat for me, as well as being a fun change of pace. For example, I used this method on portions of models I made for Palette of Colors Shrug and Lacie Blankie. In those patterns as published, I described in the abbreviations and techniques section the more traditional and accepted method for working an ssk, rather than this seemingly esoteric method. This method gives same results and I wanted to take the opportunity now to share it with you so that you may consider for your own use if you find you like it.

In this discussion, I will be assuming you are knitting off your left hand needle onto your right needle, and that stitches as they face you are normally mounted with the right leg of the stitch forward on the needle.

Although the photos are shown for English style knitting (working yarn held in right hand), the method is same as for Continental knitting (working yarn held in left hand).

Begin the left-leaning 2-stitch decrease by inserting right hand needle point as if to knit into first stitch on left hand needle.

Without removing that stitch from left hand needle, use your right hand needle point to bring the left leg of that stitch forward ...

... and such that right hand needle point is now positioned in front of second stitch on left hand needle.

Insert right hand needle point as if to knit into second stitch on left hand needle. Note that the first stitch is still on both the left and right hand needles.

Wrap or scoop working yarn as normal to make a stitch.

Normally I would not be holding my working yarn this far from the needles, but I didn't want my hands to get in the way of you seeing the stitches.

With right hand needle point, draw working yarn through both loops on left hand needle.

To help navigate the working yarn between the loops, I sometimes find it helpful to dip my right hand needlepoint downwards a bit and sort of 'weave' the needle point through the loops. It sounds complicated, but once you get the rhythm, I think you will find it fluid and fun.

Drop both loops off left hand needle to complete the decrease.

Return to Index of Jackie E-S Articles & Tips.

Thank you for interest. I am here to serve you and help keep your knitting a pleasurable experience. If you have questions or need assistance with purchasing or knitting my HeartStrings patterns, let me know. Sincerely, Jackie E-S

Email address: jackie@heartstringsfiberarts.com
Phone: 678-262-6338 or 877-764-2747 (toll-free in US)
Postal address: HeartStrings, Jackie Erickson-Schweitzer, 53 Parlange Drive, Destrehan LA 70047-2133 USA

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Last revised Wednesday, 23-Jan-2013 09:22:00 CST