Ask Amy: How do I work a sl 1, k2tog, psso (sk2p) knitting stitch? [VIDEO]

This week’s free pattern, Cunningham, is a sweet blanket knit in Berroco Modern Cotton™ or Berroco Pima 100™. It begins with a circular cast-on method, called Emily Ocker’s cast-on, and works out in a simple lace pattern. The lace pattern is charted and is also pretty basic—yarnovers, knit two togethers (k2tog), and slip-slip-knit (ssk) stitches, but it also uses a double decrease—sl 1, k2tog, psso (sometimes this is written as sk2p). This stitch is really easy once you get the hang of it, but to help you get started, here’s a quick tutorial.

Let’s first break down what those abbreviations mean. Sl 1 stands for “slip 1”, k2 stands for “knit 2 together”, and psso stands for “pass slipped stitch over.” You can find all of these abbreviations at the end of the Cunningham pattern as well.

To work this stitch,  you’ll work according to the chart until you get to the symbol for the double decrease, which looks like this.  In the Cunningham pattern, you work a yarnover, then the double decrease, then another yarnover.

Bring the yarn forward between the needles to start the yarnover, then slip the next stitch to the right needle.* The yarn is still in front of the work, between the last stitch you knit and the stitch you just slipped. Then knit together the next two stitches on the left needle—so now you’ve decreased one stitch. But in decreasing that stitch, you also finished the yarnover, so your stitch count remains the same. Now, insert the left needle tip into the stitch that you slipped, which will be the second stitch on your right needle. Lift that stitch up and over the first stitch to pass it over and decrease one more stitch. In Cunningham, you work another yarnover right after, so again, your stitch counts are evened out.

* Should the stitch be slipped purlwise or knitwise? I have always slipped my stitch as if to purl, but discovered while making this video that Alison has always slipped her stitch as if to knit. This led to a lively discussion, and the third person in the office, Donna, also slips hers as if to purl, so that’s why we filmed the video to show slipping the stitch as if to purl. I tested out slipping the stitch both knitwise and purlwise and discovered that I couldn’t really tell a difference, but that could just be how I knit (my tension is on the loose side). If you’re not sure which way you should slip the stitch, we recommend doing a little experimenting to decide whether slipping the stitch knitwise or purlwise makes you the happiest.

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