How to Decrease a Stitch in Knitting? Shrink Your Stitches

HomeTechniquesHow to Decrease a Stitch in Knitting? Shrink Your Stitches

Decreasing a stitch in knitting is a common technique used to shape your project. There are several methods for doing this, but two common techniques are knitting two stitches together (k2tog) or slipping a stitch, knitting the next stitch, and passing the slipped stitch over (ssk).

Knitting is more than just a hobby—it’s an art form. From the soft blues of a baby blanket to the bright pinks of a hat, you can create anything with your knitting needles and yarn.

But even experienced knitters need help when it comes to decreasing stitches. If you’re looking for tips to decrease your stitch count, look no further!

Knitting two stitches together (k2tog) or slipping, knitting, and passing the slipped stitch over (ssk) are easy techniques that will help you create beautiful designs in no time. Imagine the possibilities as you craft gorgeous garments with professional-looking decreases!

Overview of Decreasing a Stitch in Knitting

Ready to learn a great new way to shape your knits? Let’s take a look at how to decrease one st!

Decreasing stitches in knitting is an essential technique for creating shapes and sizes within your project. To ensure the best result, it’s important to pay attention to both stitch selection and tension control.

When decreasing a single stitch, you have two options: knitting two stitches together (k2tog) or slipping; knitting; and passing the slipped stitch over (ssk). K2Tog creates a right-slanting decrease while SSK creates a left-slanting decrease. It’s important to note that when following patterns, the abbreviation used will indicate which type of decrease you should use. This ensures consistency across projects and allows different knitters to work on the same pattern without issues.

Decreasing can also be combined with other techniques like yarn overs or cables for more complex designs. By combining basic decreases with these other techniques, you can create intricate looking pieces that are still simple enough for beginners.

In this way, learning how to properly decrease will open up many possibilities when it comes to designing unique projects! No matter what design you choose, proper tension control is key for successful decreases. Too much tension will create an unattractive jagged edge, while too little tension may cause gaps between stitches or even holes in your fabric.

To ensure consistent tension as you work through each project step by step, practice until you find a rhythm that works for you!

Now let’s move onto k2tog – the first method of decreasing one stitch in knitting…

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Knitting Two Stitches Together (k2tog)

To reduce the number of loops on your needles, you can use the k2tog technique. It’s a great way to decrease a stitch in knitting and can be used with different yarns and knit patterns.

Here are four steps to follow when using this method:

  1. Insert your right-hand needle into the next two stitches as if to knit them together.
  2. Wrap the yarn around the needle as normal.
  3. Pull both stitches off the left-hand needle at once.
  4. You’ve now decreased by one stitch!

This technique is often combined with other techniques to create beautiful knit patterns that involve decreases and increases throughout their construction. It’s important to note that not all decreases look exactly alike, so it’s important to pay attention while knitting each stitch properly in order to achieve desired results.

When done correctly, this method of decreasing can be an easy and efficient way to decrease a stitch in knitting. The key is practice and repetition. Once you become comfortable with doing it correctly, it becomes a breeze!

Moving forward, you’ll want to learn how to slip, knit, and pass the slipped stitch over (ssk), which is another popular way of reducing stitches within your project.

Slipping, Knitting, and Passing the Slipped Stitch Over (ssk)

If you’re looking to continue your knitting journey, ssk is the perfect next step – it’ll help you reduce stitches quickly and easily! Slipping, knitting, and passing the slipped stitch over (ssk) involves a few simple steps that can result in a decrease of one stitch. This slip stitch pattern is used for decreasing on the right side of your work and is great for creating an angled decrease shape. It’s important that when you are slipping stitches with this method, to keep your yarn tension consistent to ensure even decreases throughout your project.

Type Description
Slip 1 Stitch Insert needle into first stitch as if to knit but do not take onto needle. Instead slide off left hand needle without working.
Knit 1 Stitch Insert right-hand needle through back loop of next two stitches on left-hand needles as if to knit and wrap yarn around needle tip. Draw both loops through onto right-hand needle then drop them from left-hand needle.
Pass Slipped Stitch Over Knit Stitch Insert left hand needle into front loop of slipped stitch then lift it over knitted stitch and allow it to fall off end of the right-hand needle. Now one single knit stitch remains on right-hand needle – one decrease complete!

Once you’ve got the hang of these three simple steps, you’ll be able to create beautiful decreases quickly and easily! Plus, once you’re comfortable with this technique, there are several variations that can be used depending on what type of angle or look you’re wanting to achieve with your project. Be sure to practice often so that ssk becomes a go-to skill in your knitting repertoire! With this technique mastered, decreasing any type of pattern should become a breeze!

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Tips for Decreasing a Stitch

With the right techniques, decreasing a stitch can seem like a breeze – even an absolute cinch! Here are some tips for successful decreases:

  • Yarn Choice: Selecting the correct yarn is essential when decreasing. Look for high-quality materials that will hold their shape when knit and won’t become too loose or misshapen after completing the decrease. Avoid using any yarns with slippery fibres, as this can cause stitches to unravel or bunch up.
  • Gauge Swatching: Before you start your project, it’s important to swatch and check your gauge. This way, you’ll be able to make sure that your decrease will result in the right size of knitting piece. It may also help prevent frogging (ripping out) later on if something goes wrong!
  • Technique: Decreasing is all about technique; practice makes perfect! Take care not to pull too tightly on each stitch while knitting so that they don’t become distorted or bunched up. When slipping stitches, use two needles instead of one—this will reduce friction and keep them from becoming unevenly stretched out.

Getting into the groove of how to decrease a stitch doesn’t have to feel daunting. Just remember these tips for success! With a bit of patience and practice, you’ll be well on your way towards achieving different types of decreases in no time.

Achieving Different Types of Decreases

Once you’ve got your technique down, you can easily explore the wonders of creating various decreases – from ssk and k2tog to slipping stitches over and passing slipped stitches!

Decreasing pattern variations depend on several factors including yarn selection, knitting tension, stitch count, and project type. For example, if you’re knitting a garment in ribbing with a 4-stitch repeat pattern, k2tog would be the best choice. If you’re making a hat with an 8-stitch repeat pattern in stockinette stitch, then slipping stitches over (ssk) is more appropriate. Additionally, it’s important to consider the weight of the yarn when selecting which decrease to use; for instance, lighter weight yarns like DK or sport work better with ssk while heavier weight yarns like worsted or bulky work better with k2tog.

Decrease Type Yarn Selection Considerations Project Type Considerations
K2TOG Heavier Weight Yarn Ribbing
SSK Lighter Weight Yarn Stockinette Stitch
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When working on any project that requires shaping such as hats or sweaters always take into account how each decrease will affect the overall look of your piece. As long as you remember to keep these considerations in mind when selecting what type of decrease to use for your project you’ll be able to achieve beautiful results every time!
With some practice and exploration of various decreases patterns, soon enough you’ll have mastered all the necessary skills needed for almost any knitting project.

Troubleshooting Common Problems

You may encounter a few bumps in the road during your journey of mastering knitting decreases, but don’t worry – with just a little bit of troubleshooting you’ll be back on track in no time!

Here are four tips to help you troubleshoot common mistakes and get back to your knitting project with ease:

  1. Take it slow: If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the decrease techniques, take it one stitch at a time. Practice each technique until you feel comfortable before moving onto the next step.
  2. Counting stitches: Knitting can be very repetitive so it’s easy for concentration to slip or for mistakes to happen. Make sure you count your stitches often so that any mistake can be corrected quickly and easily.
  3. Check gauge: If your garment isn’t turning out as expected, check your gauge against what is suggested on the pattern instructions or yarn label. This will ensure that all measurements are accurate and can save a lot of time if adjustments need to be made later on.
  4. Don’t give up!: The most important tip for troubleshooting is not to give up! You may have hit a snag in your project but with practice and determination you’ll master these decrease techniques in no time!


You now have the knowledge to decrease a stitch in knitting! Whether you’re attempting k2tog or ssk, always remember to take your time and double-check your work.

With practice and patience, you’ll be able to achieve beautiful decreases that look like they’ve been done by a professional.

Decreases can seem intimidating at first, but before you know it, you’ll be decreasing stitches with ease—it’s almost like flying!

So grab some yarn and needles and get started on crafting something amazing!

Katherine Pearce
Katherine Pearce
Katherine Pearce is a knitting enthusiast and the founder of With a deep passion for the craft, Katherine aims to make knitting accessible to everyone, regardless of their skill level. Through, she provides online tutorials and resources to help others discover the joys of knitting and develop their skills.

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