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« Slip Slip Knit (ssk) | Main

Slip, Slip, Knit (ssk)

We know lots of ways to get rid of stitches, from slipping them to dropping them! SSK stands for Slip, Slip, Knit and is a left slanting decrease.

To begin, slip the first stitch on your left needle to the right by inserting the tip of the right needle into the front of the stitch. Repeat for the second stitch on the left needle.  


Now you have two twisted stitches on the right needle; they are facing the opposite direction from all of the other stitches. Slip them back to the left needle so that they remain twisted.


Now knit the twisted stitches together through the back loop, inserting the point of the right needle behind the back needle and into both stitches at once. Try to keep the stitches as loose as possible.



You have decreased one stitch and created a stitch that slants to the left. 


Reader Comments (13)

Thank you so much for this explanation and photos of ssk!!! I've never seen it explained as a twist and putting the stitches back on the left needle makes them easier to knit. Glad I found your tutorials, I'm going to check more of them out.
January 27, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMaryAnn
Your photo was great. I was slipping the stitches OK, but approaching the knitting together in the goofiest way. No wonder it did not work. Your explanation was very helpful.
February 18, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterDeryn
Thank you for these instructions! I finally "get" ssk.
May 26, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterKris
I think you've got this mixed up a bit here. An SSK decrease is a left-leaning decrease; a K2tog is a right-leaning decrease. Whether you twist the stitches or not really doesn't matter -- it's which stitch gets the needle first that matters.

For an SSK decrease, you slip both stitches as you have done; this will mount them in the other direction. You return them to the left needle, and then you KNIT THROUGH THE BACK LOOPS so that the right stitch of the pair is the first entered by the right needle. This will result in your decrease leaning towards the left. You can also just knit the two stitches through the back without changing the mounting, but the resulting decrease will have the legs crossed and will disrupt the flow the stitches.

To do the K2tog for a right-leaning decrease, you don't need to change the mount of the stitches, since they are already in the correct position. You knit the next 2 stitches together by inserting the right needle into the left stitch of the pair, resulting in a decrease which will lean to the right.
June 27, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterTallguy
Thanks Tallguy! You are so right! Thank you so much for pointing out our error.

We revised the SSK Tutorial to reflect your notes.
June 27, 2007 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
thank you so much for your neatly writtin instructions.

i can finally do a ssk!
August 12, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterrachel
As I waas reading and trying to do it like in the pictures it just didn't make any sence to me. But luckily I decided to read the comments, Tallguy explained it so well! Or, I didn't get distracted by the mismatching pictures :)
January 20, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterchocolatehead
just wondering...when i do the ssk, i slip the first 2 stitches (knitwise) from the left needle to the right needle and them knit them together off of the right needle. I don't move them back to the left needle before knitting them together and I don't knit through the back loop. Is this way also correct?
January 10, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersusan k
Hi Susan K,

Yes, that's how I do it too!

Thanks for asking,
February 14, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
in the chevron baby do I SSK with only one stitch at the beginning.....uschi and thank you...
August 24, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteruschi
Hi Uschi,

You knit the first stitch, then slip the next two stitches for the ssk (i.e. the second and third stitches of the row). I hope this helps!

Please let us know if you're still having problems and thanks for your question!

August 28, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Please help!

I have been trying to start the "Lovely Leaf Lace Scarf" and I think I must be reading the pattern incorrectly.

I cast-on 61 stitches, purl the first row and begin Row 2. When I come to the end of Row 2: K3, *K2tog, yo, k1, yo, ssk, k5 repeat from*, end last repeat many times as I have pulled out stitches and reworked the row, I continually come to the end of the row at "ssk" and only have 3 stitches left in which to knit. I do not have enough stitches at the end to "ssk, k5...and then k3" to complete the row.

I have double-checked and triple-checked that I have the correct cast-on number of 61 and watched video after video to make sure I am doing the "yo" and "ssk" correctly when the pattern calls for "yo, k1, yo, ssk".

So, now that I am typing this all it possible that Row 2 ends without completing the last repeat? And that I am supposed to end the last repeat midway with the ssk and then not have enough stitches for the k5 portion of the repeat...and instead just have enough stitches for the k3 ending?

Thank you so much for any advice/help you are able to give me!

October 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEcho
Thank you for the great tutorial.
February 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMarylou

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