Knit or Purl Together Through Back of Loop

These two decreases are similar to the regular knit 2 together and purl 2 together decreases, only the 2 stitches are worked together through the backs of the loops instead of through the fronts. Both result in a left-slanting decrease on the front side of a piece of knitting. They are also referred to as k2tog tbl or p2tog tbl.

Insert the right needle from front to back into the back of the next 2 stitches on the left needle.

Knit the 2 stitches together as 1 stitch.

Insert the right needle from back to front into the back of the next 2 stitches on the left needle.

Purl the 2 stitches together as 1 stitch.

Slip, Slip Knit

This decrease, abbreviated as ssk, is practically invisible. It is worked on the front side of a piece of knitting, and it slants to the left. If you want to shape your knitting on both sides symmetrically, you can begin the row with a slip, slip, knit and end the row with a knit 2 together. (See the tip on p. 105 about positioning increases and decreases neatly.)

1 Insert the right needle from front to back into the front (knitwise) of the next stitch on the left needle, and slip it onto the right needle.

2 Repeat step 1.

You have now slipped 2 stitches knitwise from the left needle to the right needle.

Slip 1, Knit 1, Pass Slipped Stitch Over

This decrease, which is also worked on the front side of a piece of knitting, slants quite visibly to the left. It is sometimes referred to as slip, knit, pass, or skp.

1 Insert the right needle from front to back into the front (knitwise) of the next stitch on the left needle, and slip it onto the right needle.

2 Knit the next stitch from the left needle.

3 Insert the left needle into the front of the slipped stitch, and bring the slipped stitch over the knit stitch and off the needle.

Double Decreases i_i

To make your shaping symmetrical, or to shape while maintaining a particular stitch pattern, you sometimes need to decrease two stitches at a time. For example, if you're working seed stitch or single rib, you can keep the stitch pattern correct by knitting or purling 3 stitches together.

KNIT OR PURL 3 TOGETHER

The knit or purl 3 together are the easiest double decreases and are good for decreasing more stitches quickly. The resulting stitch is chunky-looking and slants visibly to the right.

1 Insert the right needle into the front of the next 3 stitches (as if to knit) on the left needle.

2 Wrap the yarn around the right needle and knit the 3 stitches as 1 stitch.

You have just decreased 2 stitches. Note: Work the purl 3 together double decrease in the same manner, only purl the 3 stitches together.

BASIC DOUBLE DECREASE

The basic double decrease is worked on either side of an axis stitch, and is good for symmetrical shaping.

1 Work a slip, slip, knit decrease (see p. 112) over the 2 stitches before the axis stitch.

2 Knit the axis stitch.

3 Knit together the next 2 stitches after the axis stitch.

Knit 2 together.'• decrease

Axis stitch

LEFT-SLANTING DOUBLE DECREASE

This double decrease, also called slip 1, knit 2 together, pass slipped stitch over (or sk2p), is good for symmetrical shaping. It looks a bit neater than the basic double decrease, but it does slant visibly to the left on the knit side. You work it on the knit side.

1 Slip the next stitch on the left needle knitwise to the right needle.

2 Knit the next 2 stitches on the left needle together.

3 Insert the left needle tip into the slipped stitch and lift it up and over the knit 2 together stitch, and off the right needle.

You have now decreased 2 stitches. CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE

Double Decreases

(continued)

RIGHT-SLANTING DOUBLE DECREASE

This double decrease slants to the right and is good for symmetrical shaping. What is unusual about it is that a stitch is passed over on the left needle. You work it on the knit side.

1 Slip the next stitch on the left needle knitwise to the right needle.

2 Knit the next stitch, and then pass the slipped stitch over the knit stitch and off the right needle.

You have now decreased 1 stitch.

3 Slip the decreased knit stitch from the right needle back to the left needle.

4 Insert the right needle into the front of the second stitch on the left needle, and pass it over the decreased knit stitch and off the left needle.

5 Slip the decreased knit stitch from the left needle back to the right needle.

You have now decreased 2 stitches.

DOUBLE VERTICAL DECREASE

This double decrease results in symmetrical shaping with a raised vertical stitch in the center. You work it over a series of rows on the knit side. Purl side rows are worked without decreases.

1 Insert the right needle into the next 2 stitches on the left needle as if to knit them together and slip them off the left needle and onto the right needle.

2 Knit the next stitch from the left needle.

3 Use the left needle to pick up both slipped stitches at the same time, and pass them over the knit stitch and off the right needle.

Decrease by Binding Off Stitches

You can decrease stitches to create a right angle for an armhole, or a neck opening by binding off stitches. In general, you don't bind off stitches at the end of a row, unless you're finishing.

AT THE BEGINNING OF A ROW

To shape an armhole or cardigan neck edge, you bind off stitches at the beginning of the row:

1 Work the first 2 stitches. You should now have 2 stitches on the right needle.

2 Insert the left needle into the first stitch worked, and lift it up and over the second stitch.

Q Work 1 stitch. 4 Repeat steps 2-3 until you have bound off the number of stitches indicated in your instructions.

IN THE MIDDLE OF A ROW

To shape a pullover neck or create an inset pocket, you bind off stitches in the middle of the row.

1 Work across the row to 2 stitches before the point where you want the opening to be.

2 Work the next 2 stitches.

Q Insert the left needle into the first of the 2 stitches worked in step 2, and lift it up and over the second stitch.

4 Work 1 stitch.

5 Repeat steps 3-4 until you have bound off the number of stitches indicated in your instructions.

Note: When working across the following row, you join a second ball of yarn to work the stitches on the far side of the bound-off opening.

Some patterns ask you to increase or decrease a certain number of stitches evenly across a row when the knitting needs to quickly become substantially wider or narrower. You should use whichever increase or decrease method is best suited for your stitch pattern.

INCREASING MULTIPLE STITCHES ACROSS 1 ROW

1 To increase stitches evenly across a row, start by adding 1 to the number of stitches that need to be added.

2 Divide the number obtained in step 1 into the number of stitches on your needles to determine the number of stitches to work between increases. (For example, if you have 30 stitches and you are asked to increase 5 stitches evenly, then you knit 5 stitches, increase 1, knit 5, increase 1, and so on.)

3 If the result is not exact, you approximate and work fewer stitches between some of the increases, spreading the correct number of increases across the row as evenly as possible.

DECREASING MULTIPLE STITCHES ACROSS 1 ROW

1 To decrease stitches evenly across a row, divide the number of stitches that you have on your needles by the number that you need to decrease.

2 Subtract 2 from the result to determine the number of stitches to work between decreases. (For example, if you have 30 stitches and you are asked to decrease 10 stitches evenly, then you knit

1 stitch, work the decrease over the next 2 stitches, knit 1 stitch, and so on.)

Working a series of partial rows—instead of decreasing or increasing stitches—to create curved or slanted edges, is called short-rowing. Short-rowing eliminates the stair steps that occur when binding off stitches over a few rows, and so it's an excellent choice for shaped shoulders, necklines, and sock heels.

SHORT-ROWING ON THE KNIT SIDE

1 Work across the row to the point where the work should be turned. Keeping the working yarn at the back, slip the next stitch purlwise from the left needle to the right needle.

2 Bring the working yarn between the needles to the front, and slip the same stitch that you slipped in step 1 back to the left needle.

3 Bring the working yarn to the back, thereby wrapping the slipped stitch.

4 Turn your work, ready to work the wrong side.

SHORT-ROWING ON THE PURL SIDE

Here's how to continue the short rows on the purl side.

1 On the purl side, work across to the point where the work should be turned. Keep the working yarn at the front, and slip the next stitch purlwise from the left needle to the right needle.

2 Bring the working yarn between the needles to the back, and slip the same stitch that you slipped in step 1 back to the left needle.

3 Bring the working yarn to the front, thereby wrapping the slipped stitch.

HIDING THE SHORT-ROW WRAPS ON THE PURL SIDE

Here's how to hide the short-row wraps on the purl side.

1 On the purl side, work to the point where the wrap is.

2 Insert the right needle from back to front through the back loop of the wrap. Lift the wrap and place it onto the left needle with the wrapped stitch.

3 Purl the wrap and the wrapped stitch as 1 stitch.

Three-Needle Bind-off Works for Short-row Shoulders, Too

You can use the three-needle bind-off to join shoulders that have been shaped with short rows. That way, you get the benefit of shaped shoulders and the neat and nearly invisible seam formed by the three-needle bind-off. Instead of binding off the shoulder stitches after short-row shaping, simply leave the stitches on a holder, and when both front and back are complete, graft them using the three-needle bind-off. (See p. 42 for instructions.)

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