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.
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.
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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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.