Traveling twisted decrease to the right

A step by step tutorial on an interesting right-leaning decrease for twisted stitches and an alternative to k2tog twisted

I don’t think there is a single more complicated topic than knitting decreases. They appear so simple, but when you want the perfect decrease line on both sides of a project, things can sometimes get really complicated. Your k2tog and SSK will only get you so far – especially if your pattern involves twisted stitches or Bavarian twisted stitches.

a swatch with a traveling twisted decrease

While I was working on my Bavarian sock knitting pattern (make sure to check it out, it’s free) I came to a place where I wanted to decrease two columns of twisted stitches into another column evenly on both sides (see picture below). And here’s the problem: A k2tog tbl is left-leaning. So, on the right side, I had no problem, because with that decrease the outer line of twisted stitches would lie on top the way I wanted it.

A swatch with a k2tog tbl and a k2tog twisted for comparisson
Mirrored twisted decreased in a little swatch

But on the other side, a k2tog tbl would result in the inner line of twisted stitches on top of the outer line, while a regular k2tog (which would be right-leaning) doesn’t produce a twisted stitch. But that was neither what I wanted nor was it symmetrical. That’s why I came up with the traveling twisted decrease to the right. The perfect solution if you want a right-leaning twisted decrease.

Note: The name for this decrease is not canonized. Though I could not find it anywhere else, that does not mean someone else came up with it before and gave it a different name. An alternative would be knitting a k2tog twisted, which will look almost identical.


Knitting this traveling twisted decrease to the right is a two-step process. First, you need to create a 1×1 cable and then you need to knit those two stitches together through the back loop. Let’s take a look.

Step 1: Insert the right needle into the second stitch on the left needle from the front and press your left index finger against the first stitch to secure it.

insertting needle into second stitch on the left needle from the front

Step 2: Drop the first two stitches on the second needle; The first stitch should be pressed against the right needle, while the second stitch should be securely on it.

dropping the stitches by pulling out the left needle

Step 3: Pick up the dropped stitch right away with your left needle.

pickping up the dropped stitch straight away

Step 4: Slip the slipped stitch on your left needle back to the right needle. You just re-arranged the order of those stitches.

slipping the slipped stitch back to left needle

Step 5: Insert your right needle into the back of these two stitches. This can be a bit tricky at times.

knitting the two stitches together through the back loop

Step 6: Wrap the yarn around the needle counter-clockwise and pull through (so, a regular k2tog tbl).

knitting the two stitches together through the back loop

Comparing this decrease with an SSK

swatch comparing sssk with k2tog twisted on both sides
A swatch where I decreased with a traveling twisted decrease in the middle and SSK at the bottom on both sides

It is interesting to note, that this decrease does not result in a left-leaning decrease like you would expect when you knit two stitches together through the back loop or doing an SSK. The decrease-line clearly leans to the right.

It’s actually just a different way to achieve a k2tog twisted. But, it’s maybe a tiny bit more condensed and I feel it’s much smoother to knit while doing Bavarian twisted stitches. It also just takes 3 slipped stitches instead of 4, so win-win for me.

Obviously, you might not want to use it to decrease a purl and a ktbl stitch, but usually, you would do a traveling stitch there anyway and the differences between a twisted and an untwisted purl stitch are very hard to spot under that decrease anyway.

It is perhaps interesting to note that, if you were to knit a traveling to the left and then knit those two stitches together, you would end up with an SSK. I feel that fact is very fascinating because it’s always important to remember that, in knitting, you can often arrive at the exact same results using different techniques.

Reading tip: The ultimate list of knitting decreases – centered, right-, and left-leaning alternatives for every project.

Anyways, That was my little tutorial on a traveling twisted decrease to the left. Feel free to ask your questions below

how to knit a traveling twisted decrease to the right

Leave a Comment