How to Knit: SSK vs Twisted SSK

How to Knit: SSK versus Twisted SSK

If you’re an avid knitter, you know that there are many ways to decrease stitches. In this blog post, we’re looking at two decreases, SSK and the Twisted SSK, found in the Prairie Hills Shawl from our April Purl Diver Yarn Club.

The SSK stitch (or slip, slip, knit) is a familiar decrease for knitters, as it is often paired with K2tog in garments for a mirrored look. These decreases are often used together because of the direction in which the stitches “point” – the SSK leans to the left while K2tog leans to the right. The Twisted SSK can be substituted for the SSK since the stitches also lean to the left.

Here’s how to perform the SSK stitch, step by step:

Slip the next stitch on the left hand needle onto your right hand needle as if to knit. Repeat for next stitch. You should have two stitches on your right hand needle.

Insert left needle into the front loops of the 2 slipped stitches and knit together by wrapping the yarn around the right hand needle as you would for a regular knit stitch.

Finished SSK.

The Twisted SSK is similar with just one change: the first stitch is slipped as if to purl, then the second stitch is slipped as if to knit. Both slipped stitches are then knit together.

Here’s how to perform the Twisted SSK, step-by-step:

Slip the next stitch on the left hand needle onto your right hand needle as if to purl.

Slip the next stitch on the left hand needle onto your right hand needle as if to knit

Insert left needle into the front loops of the 2 slipped stitches and knit together by wrapping the yarn around the right hand needle as you would for a regular knit stitch.

Finished Twisted SSK.

The major difference between these two decreases is that the Twisted SSK sports a pretty obvious stitch leg from the “slip as if to purl” step.

Many projects sometimes require keeping track of decrease rows. This is super easy to do using one of the featured items in the April Purl Diver Club, an electronic row counter ring. Just slip it on your finger for easy access as you knit – with the push of a button, you can advance the count so you never miss a stitch! 

The yarn used in this tutorial is our exclusive colorway, Sea Squirt, dyed for us by the Fiber Seed on their Sprout Sock base. This variegated color is inspired by Black Sea Squirts, as photographed by our resident diver Murray.

“Also known as Tunicates, they are commonly known as sea squirts. There are over 2,000 species of tunicates in the world’s oceans. I took this picture while diving in Indonesia with my son Dan. Sea Squirts are found in many colors and I usually see some species of tunicates wherever I dive, but I had never seen black ones before.”

For the full description, click here to order Sea Squirt yarn.

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