How to ssp in knitting

How to ssp in knitting

Knitting is a beloved craft that allows you to create beautiful and functional garments and accessories. One of the essential techniques every knitter should master is the slip, slip, purl (SSP) stitch. The SSP stitch is commonly used in various knitting patterns to create decreases and shape your knitted fabric. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced knitter, learning how to SSP will open up a world of possibilities for your knitting projects.

To perform the SSP stitch, you will need two stitches on your left-hand needle. The slip, slip, purl technique involves slipping two stitches individually from the left-hand needle to the right-hand needle, then purling them together. This creates a left-leaning decrease that adds texture and shaping to your knitting.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to SSP in knitting:

  1. Step 1: Insert your right-hand needle into the first stitch on your left-hand needle as if to knit.
  2. Step 2: Slip the stitch onto your right-hand needle without knitting it.
  3. Step 3: Repeat step 2 for the second stitch, slipping it onto your right-hand needle.
  4. Step 4: Insert your left-hand needle into the front of both slipped stitches on your right-hand needle.
  5. Step 5: Bring your working yarn to the front of your work, ready to purl.
  6. Step 6: Purl both slipped stitches together as if they were one stitch.

Practice the SSP stitch on a swatch or small project to get comfortable with the technique. With a little bit of practice, you’ll be able to incorporate the SSP stitch into your knitting projects to create intricate patterns and shapes. Happy knitting!

Gather the Required Materials

Before starting the SSP (slip, slip, purl) technique in knitting, make sure you have the following materials:

  • Yarn: Choose a yarn that is suitable for the project you are working on. The thickness and fiber content of the yarn will affect the look and feel of your knitting.
  • Knitting Needles: Use knitting needles that are appropriate for the yarn weight you have chosen. The size of the needles will determine the tension and size of your stitches.
  • Tapestry Needle: This needle will be used for weaving in the loose ends of yarn when you finish your project.
  • Scissors: You will need a pair of scissors to cut the yarn at various stages of your knitting project.
  • Stitch Markers (optional): Stitch markers can be helpful in marking specific points in your knitting, such as the beginning of a round or where a stitch pattern changes.
  • Pattern or Instructions: If you are following a knitting pattern or instructions, make sure you have them handy before starting your project.

Once you have gathered all the materials listed above, you are ready to start learning the SSP technique in knitting.

Slip the First Stitch

Slipping the first stitch is a common technique used in knitting to create a neat and professional edge. It is often used when working in a pattern that has a selvedge or when working on projects like scarves, shawls, or blankets.

To slip the first stitch, follow these steps:

  1. Start by knitting or purling your first stitch as you normally would.
  2. Instead of knitting or purling the second stitch, simply insert your right needle into the next stitch as if you were going to knit or purl it, but don’t actually do it.
  3. Instead, just slide the stitch from your left needle to your right needle without working it.
  4. Continue working across the row, slipping the first stitch of each row in the same manner.

Slipping the first stitch creates a smooth and even edge because it avoids the tension and tightness that can often occur when working the first stitch. It also helps to prevent the edge from becoming too tight and difficult to work with, especially when seaming or picking up stitches later on.

When slipping the first stitch, you can choose to slip it purlwise or knitwise, depending on the effect you want to achieve. Slipping purlwise means inserting your needle through the front of the stitch from right to left, while slipping knitwise means inserting your needle through the back of the stitch from left to right.

It’s important to note that when slipping stitches, you are essentially rearranging the order of the stitches on your needle. This means that if your pattern gives specific instructions for the first stitch, you may need to adjust accordingly. Always read and follow your pattern instructions carefully to ensure the desired results.

Slipping the first stitch is a simple yet effective technique that can greatly improve the overall look and finish of your knitting project. Give it a try and see the difference it makes!

Insert the Right Needle

Once you have cast on your stitches onto the left needle, it’s time to insert the right needle to start the knitting process.

Here’s how to insert the right needle:

  1. Hold the right needle in your right hand.
  2. Slide the tip of the right needle through the first stitch on the left needle, from left to right.
  3. Ensure that the right needle is inserted all the way through the stitch, with the tip coming out on the right side.
  4. Move the right needle slightly upward to hold the stitch securely.

At this point, your right needle should be inserted correctly through the first stitch on the left needle. You are now ready to proceed to the next step in the knitting process.

Pick Up the Second Stitch

After completing the first stitch in your knitting project, it is now time to pick up the second stitch. Picking up stitches is an essential skill in knitting that allows you to create new stitches and continue your work.

To pick up the second stitch, follow these steps:

  1. Insert the tip of the right needle into the space between the first and second stitch on the left needle, from front to back.
  2. Wrap the yarn counterclockwise around the right needle, making sure the yarn goes behind the left needle.
  3. Using the right needle, pull the loop of yarn through the space between the first and second stitch, creating a new stitch on the right needle.
  4. Slide the new stitch from the left needle onto the right needle, leaving the original first stitch on the left needle.

Repeat these steps for each stitch in your knitting project until you have picked up all the desired stitches on the right needle.

Picking up stitches can be challenging at first, but with practice, it will become easier. It is important to maintain a consistent tension and avoid pulling the yarn too tightly or too loosely. Remember to take your time and stay patient as you learn this knitting technique.

Slip the First Stitch over the Second Stitch

In knitting, one commonly used technique is slipping stitches. This technique involves moving a stitch from one needle to the other without knitting or purling it. Slipping stitches can be used for various purposes, such as creating decorative elements or shaping the fabric.

One specific variation of slipping stitches is called “slip the first stitch over the second stitch.” This technique is commonly used in bind-offs and can create a neat and finished edge. Follow this step-by-step guide on how to slip the first stitch over the second stitch:

  1. Start by knitting or purling the first stitch as instructed in your pattern. This stitch will be the one that you eventually slip over the second stitch.
  2. Insert the right needle into the front of the second stitch on the left needle.
  3. Using the right needle, lift the first stitch that you knitted or purled over the second stitch and off the left needle.
  4. You have successfully slipped the first stitch over the second stitch!

Here are a few tips to keep in mind while slipping stitches:

  • Slipping stitches can be performed on both the knit and purl sides of the fabric.
  • When slipping stitches, be mindful of whether you are slipping them knitwise or purlwise. This will affect the orientation of the slipped stitch.
  • Make sure to follow the instructions in your pattern when slipping stitches to achieve the desired effect.

Slipping stitches is just one of the many techniques you can use in knitting. Experiment with different stitch patterns and try incorporating slipped stitches into your next project for added texture and visual interest!

Repeat the Process

Once you have completed one set of SSP stitches, you can continue to repeat the process until you have reached the desired length of your knitting project.

  1. Work the next set of stitches according to your knitting pattern. This may involve knitting, purling, or other techniques.
  2. When you encounter another pair of stitches that need to be decreased, follow the steps for the SSP decrease:
  • Slip the next stitch knitwise, as if you were going to knit it.
  • Slip the following stitch purlwise, as if you were going to purl it.
  • Insert the left-hand needle into the front loops of the slipped stitches from left to right.
  • Knit the two slipped stitches together through the back loops.
  • Slip the resulting stitch back to the left-hand needle.

Repeat steps 1-5 for each pair of stitches that need to be decreased.

Continue following your knitting pattern and repeating the SSP decrease as necessary until you have finished your project or reached the desired length.

Remember to always refer to your knitting pattern for specific instructions and stitch counts.

Troubleshooting the SSP Stitch

The ssp (slip, slip, purl) stitch is a commonly used knitting stitch that creates a decrease and gives a nice twisted look to the fabric. However, sometimes knitters may encounter issues or make mistakes while working the ssp stitch. Here are some troubleshooting tips to help you overcome common problems:

  1. Twisted stitches: If your ssp stitches appear twisted or look different from the surrounding stitches, you may be inserting the needle incorrectly. Make sure to insert the needle from right to left through the front loops of the slipped stitches to avoid twisting.

  2. Uneven tension: If your ssp stitches have uneven tension, it may be due to the way you are manipulating the yarn. Make sure to maintain consistent tension throughout the stitch by pulling the working yarn firmly but not too tightly. Practicing the ssp stitch regularly can also help improve your tension.

  3. Miscounting stitches: If you find that the number of stitches on your needle is incorrect after working the ssp stitch, you may have miscounted or skipped a stitch. Take your time to carefully count your stitches before and after working the ssp stitch to avoid any errors. Using stitch markers can also help you keep track of your stitches.

  4. Inconsistent stitch size: If your ssp stitches vary in size, it may be due to inconsistent tension or needle size. Make sure to use the same size needle throughout your project and pay attention to your tension. If needed, practice the ssp stitch on a swatch to achieve consistent stitch size.

  5. Slipping stitches too tightly: If you find it difficult to insert the needle into the slipped stitches, you may be slipping them too tightly. Try to loosen your grip when slipping the stitches to ensure the needle can easily pass through.

Remember, practice makes perfect! Troubleshooting common issues with the ssp stitch will help you improve your knitting skills and create beautiful, even stitches.

Finishing and Practice

Once you have completed your SSP in knitting, it is important to properly finish your work and practice the technique to improve your skills. Here are some steps to follow:

  1. Weaving in the ends: Before moving on to any other steps, make sure to weave in all the loose ends of the yarn. Use a tapestry needle to thread the ends through the stitches on the wrong side of the fabric. This will ensure that your work looks neat and professional.
  2. Blocking: Blocking is an important part of finishing any knitting project. It helps to even out stitches and shape the fabric. Depending on the fiber content of your yarn, you can either wet block or steam block your finished piece. Follow the instructions specific to your yarn to achieve the best results.
  3. Practice: To improve your SSP technique, it is important to practice regularly. Set aside some time to work on small swatches or simple projects that incorporate the SSP stitch. This will help you become more comfortable with the technique and improve your speed and accuracy.
  4. Try different variations: Once you have the basic SSP stitch down, try experimenting with different variations. For example, you can try combining the SSP stitch with other stitches to create interesting textures and patterns. Don’t be afraid to get creative and try new things!
  5. Join knitting communities: To further enhance your knitting skills, consider joining knitting communities or online forums where you can interact with other knitters. This will provide you with valuable advice, tips, and inspiration to further improve your SSP and other knitting techniques.

Remember, practice makes perfect! The more you work on your SSP technique, the more confident and skilled you will become. So, keep knitting and enjoy the process of creating beautiful and unique pieces using the SSP stitch!


What is SSP in knitting?

SSP stands for Slip Slip Purl and is a decrease stitch used in knitting. It is commonly used to create a left-leaning decrease on the fabric.

Can I use SSP in lace knitting patterns?

Yes, SSP can be used in lace knitting patterns. It can create a subtle left-leaning decrease that blends well with the lace motifs. Just make sure to follow the pattern instructions and use SSP where indicated.


Tidy SSKs AKA Skp or S1KP

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