Emily Explains : What does SSK really mean?
We’ve had a busy week here in the design office with a photo shoot, design meetings and even a visit to the Yarn Sellar in Maine (Thank you, Carrie!). I am so happy to be back in the office today to write and reflect on it all.
Since starting at Berroco, I’ve realized how important it is for me to go back and re-establish my basic knitting techniques. I want to really understand why a pattern calls for certain techniques at certain times. I feel relatively confident reading patterns, but feel hesitant as I am preparing to write my own. This week I have been practicing and trying to really understand how to find my gauge with the help from Norah and Martha, who have been so patient and kind in helping me with this endless struggle. In my spare time, I started knitting Lowry, a beautifully artistic pattern from Norah Gaughan vol. 13. I am already learning so much from this pattern alone.
One stitch I’ve been practicing for shaping, which is also frequently used in other patterns, is slip slip knit (SSK). This stitch creates a left-leaning decrease. Here’s how it’s done:
Start by slipping two stitches, one at a time, from the left needle and placing them on the right needle knitwise. Next, insert the left needle into the front of two stitches of right needle. Then knit them together.
For a better visual, watch Amanda’s wonderful video on decreases.
In the past I’ve wondered why a pattern sometimes calls for K2tog and other times calls for SSK? Don’t they both do the same thing ( decrease 1 stitch )? What’s the difference?
Here’s the answer:
SSK stitches slant to the left.
K2tog stitches slant to the right.
Using K2TOG and SSK together creates beautiful symmetry to your piece. I hope this helps!