Tips for reducing knit

Tips for reducing knit

Decreasing knit stitches is an essential skill for any knitter. Whether you’re working on a project with shaping or creating intricate stitch patterns, knowing how to decrease correctly can make all the difference in the final result of your knitted piece. In this article, we will explore various techniques and tips for decreasing knit stitches to help you achieve a professional finish.

One of the most common methods of decreasing in knitting is the knit two together (k2tog) decrease. This technique involves inserting the right needle through the next two stitches on the left needle, knitting them together as if they were one stitch. The result is a single stitch, effectively decreasing the total stitch count by one. The k2tog decrease is commonly used in shaping sleeves, necklines, and other areas where a gradual decrease is desired.

Another popular decrease technique in knitting is the slip, slip, knit (ssk) decrease. This technique creates a left-leaning decrease and is often used in lace knitting and sock patterns. To perform the ssk decrease, slip the next two stitches on the left needle onto the right needle one at a time as if to knit. Then, insert the left needle into the front loops of these slipped stitches and knit them together. This decrease creates a smooth and even decrease line.

Pro Tip: When decreasing knit stitches, it’s important to pay attention to your tension. Make sure to keep your tension even throughout the decrease to avoid creating loose or tight stitches.

In addition to the k2tog and ssk decreases, there are several other decrease techniques you can explore, depending on your project’s requirements. These include the slip one, knit one, pass slipped stitch over (skpo) decrease, the centered double decrease (CDD), and the twisted knit two together (tk2tog) decrease. Each technique creates a unique effect and can be used in different stitch patterns to achieve various design elements.

By mastering the art of decreasing knit stitches, you’ll be able to take your knitting projects to the next level. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced knitter, understanding these essential techniques and tips will help you create beautifully shaped garments and intricate stitch patterns with ease.

Tips for Decreasing Knit Stitches

Decreasing knit stitches is an essential technique in knitting. It allows you to create shaping and add details to your knitted projects. Here are some tips to help you decrease knit stitches:

  • Use the right decrease method: There are several methods to decrease knit stitches, such as knit two stitches together (k2tog), slip slip knit (ssk), and slip slip slip knit (sssk). Each method creates a different look, so choose the one that suits your project.
  • Pay attention to stitch count: Decreasing knit stitches can affect the stitch count in your project. Make sure to keep track of your stitches to ensure that the shaping is consistent and balanced.
  • Reinforce the edges: When decreasing at the edges of your work, the stitches can become loose or uneven. To prevent this, you can reinforce the edges by slipping the first stitch of each row knitwise and knitting the last stitch through the back loop.
  • Block your work: Blocking your finished project can help even out any unevenness caused by decreasing knit stitches. It can also help the stitches relax and give your project a polished look.
  • Practice on scrap yarn: If you’re new to decreasing knit stitches, it’s a good idea to practice on scrap yarn first. This will give you a chance to get comfortable with the different decrease methods and see how they affect the appearance of your knitting.
  • Follow the pattern instructions: If you’re working from a pattern, make sure to carefully follow the instructions for decreasing knit stitches. The pattern designer may have specific decrease methods or placement in mind to achieve the desired effect.

By following these tips and practicing your decreasing skills, you’ll be able to confidently decrease knit stitches in your projects and create beautiful, well-finished results.

Common Decrease Techniques

Decreasing stitches is an essential skill when knitting because it helps shape your project and create various stitch patterns. Here are some common decrease techniques:

  • Knit Two Together (K2Tog): This decrease technique is used to decrease one stitch by knitting two stitches together as if they were one. Insert your right needle into the next two stitches on the left needle, then knit them together as a single stitch.
  • Purl Two Together (P2Tog): Similar to K2Tog, this decrease technique is used to decrease one stitch while purling. Insert your right needle into the next two stitches on the left needle, then purl them together as a single stitch.
  • Slip, Slip, Knit (SSK): This decrease technique creates a left-slanting decrease. Slip the next two stitches onto the right needle one at a time as if to knit, then insert the left needle into the fronts of these two slipped stitches and knit them together.
  • Knit Three Together (K3Tog): This decrease technique is used to decrease two stitches by knitting three stitches together as if they were one. Insert your right needle into the next three stitches on the left needle, then knit them together as a single stitch.
  • Slip Slip Purl (SSP): This decrease technique is similar to SSK but creates a left-slanting decrease while purling. Slip the next two stitches onto the right needle one at a time as if to knit, then purl them together through the back loops.

These are just a few common decrease techniques in knitting. Experiment with different techniques to achieve the desired shaping and effects in your knitting projects.

Choosing the Right Decrease Method

Decreasing is an essential technique in knitting that is used to shape your project or create interesting stitch patterns. There are several different decrease methods to choose from, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Here are some factors to consider when deciding which decrease method to use:

Method Advantages Disadvantages
Knit Two Together (K2tog) Easily memorized Can create a slightly slanted decrease
Purl Two Together (P2tog) Creates a seamless decrease in purl stitch patterns Not suitable for knit stitch patterns
Slip, Slip, Knit (SSK) Creates a left-leaning decrease Requires slipping stitches
Double Decreases (e.g., Slip, Slip, Slip, Knit-Pass Slipped Stitches Over) Creates centered or symmetrical decreases More complex and less commonly used

It’s important to choose the right decrease method for your project to achieve the desired shaping and maintain the stitch pattern. Consider the following:

  • Look at the stitch pattern: Some decrease methods work better with certain stitch patterns. For example, if you have a ribbed pattern, using a purl decrease may be more appropriate.
  • Consider the direction of the decrease: If you want your decreases to lean in a particular direction, choose a method that achieves that effect. For left-leaning decreases, SSK is a good choice, while for right-leaning decreases, K2tog is commonly used.
  • Practice and experiment: It’s always a good idea to practice different decrease methods on a swatch before working on your actual project. This will help you understand how each method works and how it affects the overall look of your knitting.

Remember, decreasing is an important skill in knitting, and mastering different decrease methods will enhance your ability to create beautifully shaped and patterned projects.

Troubleshooting Decrease Mistakes

Decreasing is an essential technique in knitting, but it can be challenging to get it right every time. If you’re having trouble with decrease mistakes, here are some common issues and how to fix them:

  • Uneven decreases: If your decreases are coming out uneven, it could be due to inconsistent tension or incorrect stitch placement. Make sure you’re pulling the yarn tightly after each decrease and double-check that you’re working the decreases in the correct stitches.
  • Missing or extra stitches: It’s easy to accidentally skip or add stitches when decreasing, especially if you’re not paying close attention. Count your stitches after each decrease round to ensure you have the correct number and be careful to work each decrease as instructed.
  • Holes or gaps: Holes or gaps may appear around your decrease stitches if you’re not working them tightly enough. Take extra care to snug up the stitches when making the decrease and avoid pulling the yarn too loosely.
  • Incorrect stitch orientation: Decreases typically involve working stitches through the back loops or front loops to create a specific effect. If your decreases are not looking as intended, check that you’re inserting your needle correctly into the stitches and following the pattern instructions for stitch orientation.

Remember, practice makes perfect when it comes to decreasing. Don’t get discouraged if you make mistakes along the way. Take your time, pay attention to your technique, and soon you’ll be decreasing with ease.

Creating Decorative Decrease Patterns

Decreasing stitches is an essential technique in knitting that helps shape your project and create interesting textures. While basic decrease stitches are functional, you can also use them in decorative ways to add visual interest to your knitting. Here are some techniques for creating decorative decrease patterns:

  • Twisted Decrease: The twisted decrease is created by knitting two stitches together through the back loops (k2tog-tbl). This decrease slants to the right and creates a twisted stitch which adds texture to your fabric.
  • Crossed Decrease: The crossed decrease involves slipping two stitches to a cable needle, holding them in front or back, knitting the next stitch, and then knitting the two stitches from the cable needle together. This decrease creates a small twist or cable-like effect in your knitting.
  • Lace Decrease: Lace patterns often incorporate decorative decreases to create intricate designs. These decreases are worked within yarnovers and create beautiful motifs such as leaves, flowers, or geometric shapes.
  • Double Decrease: Double decreases create a more pronounced decrease than a regular decrease stitch. They are often used to create pointed ends or to shape triangles and other geometric patterns.

To make your decorative decrease patterns stand out even more, you can use contrasting yarn colors or combine different decrease techniques within a single project. Experiment with different stitch combinations and see what unique designs you can create.

Remember to keep your tension consistent throughout the project to ensure that your decreases are neat and uniform. Practice these decorative decrease techniques on scrap yarn before incorporating them into your main project to familiarize yourself with the steps and achieve the desired effect.

By adding decorative decrease patterns to your knitting, you can elevate your projects from simple to stunning. Have fun experimenting with these techniques and let your creativity soar!

Working with Different Yarn Weights and Fibers

When it comes to knitting, using different yarn weights and fibers can significantly impact the outcome of your project. Here are some essential tips and techniques to consider:

Yarn Weights

Yarns come in different weights, ranging from lace weight to super bulky. Each weight is suitable for specific types of projects. Here are the most common yarn weights:

  • Lace Weight: This is the finest and lightest yarn weight. It is perfect for delicate projects like lace shawls or doilies.
  • Fingering Weight: Also known as sock weight, this yarn is slightly thicker than lace weight. It is popular for knitting socks or lightweight garments.
  • Sport Weight: This yarn weight is ideal for lightweight sweaters, baby clothes, and accessories.
  • DK (Double Knitting) Weight: DK weight yarn is versatile and can be used for a wide range of projects, including scarves, hats, and blankets.
  • Worsted Weight: This is a popular all-purpose yarn weight. It is great for a variety of projects, such as sweaters, hats, and afghans.
  • Bulky Weight: This yarn is thicker and knits up quickly. It is perfect for cozy blankets, scarves, and chunky sweaters.
  • Super Bulky Weight: The thickest yarn weight available, super bulky is excellent for extra warm accessories and fast projects.

Fiber Selection

The type of fiber you choose for your project can greatly influence its characteristics and performance. Here are some common yarn fibers:

  • Wool: Wool is a versatile and widely used fiber known for its warmth and elasticity.
  • Cotton: Cotton is a breathable and lightweight fiber that is ideal for warm-weather garments and accessories.
  • Acrylic: Acrylic yarn is affordable, easy-care, and available in a wide range of colors. It is a great choice for beginners.
  • Alpaca: Alpaca fiber is soft, warm, and lightweight. It is perfect for cozy winter garments and accessories.
  • Mohair: Mohair yarn is known for its fluffy texture and warmth. It is often used for sweaters and accessories.
  • Silk: Silk is a luxurious fiber that adds a lustrous sheen to any project. It is excellent for lightweight garments and accessories.
  • Bamboo: Bamboo yarn is smooth, breathable, and has a natural sheen. It is perfect for summer garments and baby items.

Working with Different Yarns

When knitting with different yarn weights and fibers, it is important to consider the following:

  • Gauge: Yarn weight and fiber can affect the gauge, the number of stitches and rows per inch. Always check the recommended gauge for your pattern before starting.
  • Needle Size: Different yarns require different needle sizes. The recommended needle size is usually indicated on the yarn label or pattern instructions.
  • Texture and Drape: Yarns with different fibers have unique textures and drapes. Consider the desired outcome of your project and choose the appropriate yarn accordingly.
  • Care Instructions: Different fibers have different care requirements. Make sure to check the recommended care instructions for your chosen yarn to ensure it will meet your needs.

By understanding different yarn weights and fibers, you can choose the right materials for your knitting projects and achieve the desired results.

Decrease Strategies for Different Stitch Patterns

Decreasing in knitting is an important skill that helps shape your project and create various effects in your stitch patterns. Below are some decrease strategies for different stitch patterns:

  • Stockinette Stitch: For stockinette stitch, you can use basic knit two together (k2tog) or slip, slip, knit (ssk) decreases. These decreases blend in well with the smooth, even texture of stockinette stitch.
  • Garter Stitch: Garter stitch is the simplest stitch pattern, and the decrease strategies are also quite simple. You can use knit two together (k2tog) or slip, slip, knit (ssk) decreases to create decreases that blend in with the bumpy texture of garter stitch.
  • Ribbing: When working with ribbing, it’s important to maintain the ribbed pattern while decreasing. You can use techniques like knit two together (k2tog) or purl two together (p2tog) to decrease while keeping the ribbing intact.
  • Lace: Lace patterns often require more complex decrease strategies to maintain the delicate, openwork look. Common lace decreases include knit two together (k2tog), slip, slip, knit (ssk), and centered double decrease (cdd). These decreases help create the necessary eyelet holes and shape the lace pattern.

It’s important to always follow the specific instructions for your particular stitch pattern and consult any charts or written instructions provided. Understanding how to decrease effectively in different stitch patterns will help you create beautiful and well-shaped knitted projects.

Finishing Techniques for Decreased Knitting Projects

Decreasing in knitting is an essential technique to shape your projects and achieve the desired fit. Once you have successfully decreased the required stitches, it’s time to finish your knitting project. Here are some finishing techniques to give your decreased knitting projects a polished look:

Weaving in Ends

Before you can fully finish your knitting project, you will need to weave in any loose ends. This involves using a tapestry needle to thread the yarn tail through the stitches on the wrong side of your work, ensuring that the end is secure and hidden.



Blocking is a crucial step in finishing your knitting projects, as it helps to even out the stitches and give your work a professional finish. You can wet block or steam block your decreased knitting projects, depending on the fiber content of your yarn.


If your decreased knitting project involves multiple pieces, such as a sweater, you will need to seam them together. There are various seaming techniques to choose from, including mattress stitch, whip stitch, and backstitch. Pick the technique that suits your project and gives it a clean and seamless look.

Adding Buttons or Fasteners

If your decreased knitting project requires closures, such as buttons or fasteners, now is the time to add them. Position the buttons or fasteners evenly along the garment and secure them using a needle and thread, or by knitting buttonholes directly into the fabric.

Finishing Details

Lastly, pay attention to the finishing details of your decreased knitting projects. This may include adding ribbing to the edges, picking up stitches for a collar or cuffs, or adding decorative elements such as embroidery or duplicate stitch. These finishing touches can elevate your project and add a unique touch.

By following these finishing techniques, you can ensure that your decreased knitting projects look professional and polished. Take the time to weave in ends, block your work, seam pieces together, add closures, and pay attention to finishing details for a successful outcome.


What is knitting?

Knitting is a method of fabric production that consists of creating rows of interlocking loops of yarn or thread using knitting needles.

Why is decreasing knit important?

Decreasing knit is important as it allows you to shape your knitting project by making it narrower or more fitted in certain areas. It also creates various stitch patterns and decorative elements.

What are some common techniques to decrease knit?

Some common techniques to decrease knit include knitting two stitches together (K2tog), slipping a stitch knitwise, knitting two stitches together through the back loop (K2tbl), and passing slipped stitch over (psso). These techniques can be used depending on the desired effect and the pattern you are following.


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