How to knit SSPK

A step-by-step tutorial on the SSPK knitting decrease. A simple and neater variation of the classic left-leaning SSK decrease

Are you dissatisfied with your SSK decrease line? Or does your pattern call for an alternative? Well, then you came to the right place because this tutorial is all about ways to improve your left-leaning decrease by knitting SSPK – slip, slip purlwise, knit.

a swatch with the sspk left-leaning knitting decrease
A swatch decreased with SSPK on the right side.

Knitters have probably been looking for the perfect left-slanting decreases for as long as this craft has existed (and I urge you to check out my full list of left-leaning decreases here). Due to the fact that the knitting direction is from right to left and the way standard continental or English knitters form their knit stitches, an SSK simply cannot be as neat as the corresponding right-leaning k2tog from a theoretical point of view.

a knitted swatch decreased with sspk

The loop on top will always be a bit looser and longer. And if you knit a simple k2tog tbl, then your left-leaning decrease will even be twisted. And that’s where SSPK comes into place. It does two things: It makes sure that the resulting decrease line is not twisted, and it harmonizes the two involved loops to form a balanced decrease line.

Let’s dive right into it, eh?

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SSPK knitting instructions

someone knitting sspk - a neat left-leaning decrease

SSPK is a simple variation of SSK. It's almost the exact same technique. Only the way you slip the second stitch is different to achieve an overall more balanced decrease line.

Active Time 1 minute
Total Time 1 minute


  1. Slip the first stitch on the left needle knitwise.

    starting sspk by slipping one stitch knitwise
  2. Slip the next stitch on the left needle purlwise (so point to point).

    slipping one stitch purlwise
  3. Insert your left knitting needle into both stitches again - without removing the right needle.

    inserting the left needle into the two stitches again
  4. Knit the two stitches together through back loop.
    knitting the two slipped stitches together through the back loop to finish sspk


You may want to skip step 2 and only slip back the first stitch for the exact same results. I find this a bit easier and faster but the classic method does slip both stitches before knitting them through back loop.

Note: You can achieve the structurally same results without slipping any stitches. This technique is often called one-move SSK.

I do have to say that of all the left-leaning decreases available to modern knitters, SSPK is probably my personal least favorite method. However, I noticed that especially English knitters really like this method, and it often creates very good results for them. Still, SKP is arguably even easier to knit and produces superior results.

Anyway, that’s how to knit SSPK. Comment below in case you still have any questions.

how to knit the sspk knitting decrease - step by step tutorial

2 thoughts on “How to knit SSPK”

  1. Dear Norman
    As a complete beginner, I can’t thank you enough for your clear and helpful explanations. I love that you take the time not just to say “here’s how to do it” but to really delve into the options, and how they look. It’s given me the confidence to take on a project, knowing that at the first query, you’ll be there to explain it all.


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