How to knit SKP – Slip, knit, pass

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.

a knitted swatch decreased with skp - a neat left-leaning decrease
A swatch decreased with SKP on the right side.

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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SKP knitting instructions

someone knitting the skp knitting decrease in teal cotton yarn

SKP works a lot like a standard bind-off. You always knit a stitch and then pass another stitch over. The only difference is that the stitch you pass over will be slipped and not knitted.

Active Time 1 minute
Total Time 1 minute

Instructions

  1. Slip one stitch knitwise to your right knitting needle (so you enter from left to right).

    starting the skp by slipping one sittch knitwise
  2. Knit the next stitch as normal

    knitting one stitch as normal
  3. Pass the stitch you slipped before over the one you just knitted using your left needle. And that'S already it!

    passing the slipped stitch over the one just knitted to finish skp

Notes

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.

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.
adjusting the tension by yanking the left loop of the stitch below the skp
Yanking the stitch one row below out to tidy up the SKP

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.

Anyway, that’s everything you need to know about knitting SKP. Comment below in case you still have any questions.

how to knit skp - a left-leaning knitting decrease

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