A step-by-step tutorial on the SKP knitting decrease and how to adjust it to achieve a much neater left-leaning decrease line
Let’s face it. Left-leaning decreases can be quite a problem. Often, they look a bit sloppy and are quite difficult to knit on top of that. But there’s a super simple way to get neat results and this tutorial is all about the SKP knitting decrease.
SKP stands for slip, knit, pass (over) and creates a left-leaning decrease that looks pretty much like SSK. The difference, however, is that you never work two stitches at the same time. This makes this technique a preferred method for bulky yarn, blunt needles, or any other circumstance (like the end or beginning of a needle) where you may want to avoid difficult stitches.
Let’s dive right into it, eh?
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Try to work this decrease very close to the tips of your knitting needles and avoid stretching the stitches out too much as you pass over. Otherwise, it may look a bit wonky.
Reading tip: If this is too difficult here’s how to decrease knitting for beginners.
The improved SKP knitting increase – SKPY
You may notice that your SKP stitches might not form the perfect decrease line. That’s a problem all left-leaning decreases share and it has to do with your knitting direction. When you knit the next stitch, you tighten up the previous stitch.
But that will be the stitch that ends up being hidden by the left-slanting loop that lays on top. And the latter will never get the chance to get tighter as you work two stitches at the same time (read my tutorial on left-leaning decreases for more details and visual explanations).
But there’s an easy way to combat that and I call this stitch SKPY – slip, knit, pass over, yank.
- Step 1: Knit a standard SKP as detailed above.
- Step 2: Find the stitch that is one row below your SKP and yank out the left loop with your left knitting needle quite a bit.
Essentially you are moving the excess yarn that makes the decrease look a bit sloppy to the next stitch. And as this stitch is hidden below, the overall decrease will look much neater. I find this creates a much neater decrease line than the quite popular SSPK and is easy to knit on top of that.
Reading tip: The ultimate list of knitting decreases – centered, right-, and left-leaning alternatives for every project.