Knitting Decrease Techniques

If you have already learned the basics of knitting, it is time to add some more techniques to your repertoire. One technique that you will find useful for a lot of projects is the knitting decrease.

A knitting decrease is a technique used to reduce stitches and narrow your project. You can use the technique to decrease your project one stitch at a time, or 2 or more. Using the knitting decrease will allow you to make more complicated forms.

Knitting Decrease Methods

knitting decrease method

Decreasing stitches in your knitting project will make your project narrower. Knitting decreases are often used to shape items such as hats, sleeves, shawls, and necklines.

There are several different knitting decrease techniques. Below are the most common:

9 Common Knitting Decrease Techniques

knitting decrease

P2TOG (Purl Two Together) Knitting Decrease

The p2tog stitch is used to create beautiful patterns. The stitch shortens the project quickly and produces a ridge.

1. Insert your right knitting needle into the first two stitches on the left needle. Insert the needle from the left to the right just as you were creating a basic purl stitch.

2. In a counter clockwise motion, wrap the working yarn around the needle. With your index finger, push the yarn towards the front, increasing the tension.

3. Pull the yarn through the two stitches using the working needle.

4. Slip the stitches off the left needle.

P3TOG (Purl Three Together) Knitting Decrease

The p3tog stitch is used to create beautiful patterns. The stitch shortens the project quickly and produces a ridge.

1. Insert your right knitting needle into the first three stitches on the left needle. Insert the needle from the left to the right just as you were creating a basic purl stitch.

2. In a counter clockwise motion, wrap the working yarn around the needle. With your index finger, push the yarn towards the front, increasing the tension.

3. Pull the yarn through the three stitches using the working needle.

4. Slip the stitches off the left needle.

K2TOG (Knit Two Together) Knitting Decrease

The k2tog stitch is the easiest knitting decrease method. It is used on the left side of projects and creates a neat decrease.

1.    Insert your right knitting needle from the front to the back of the last two stitches on the left needle. Insert the needle as if you were going to knit from the left to the right.

2.    Yarn over the needle just as you would for a regular knit stitch.

3.    Slip the stitches off the left needle.

K3TOG (Knit Three Together) Knitting Decrease

The k3tog stitch is often used in lace knitting. It can create gorgeous patterns. It creates a right leaning decrease.

1.    Insert your right knitting needle through the first 3 stitches on the left needle from left to right. Insert the needle as if you were going to knit.

2.    Yarn over the needle just as you would for a regular knit stitch.

3.    Slip the stitches off the left needle.

SSK (Slip, Slip, Stitch) Knitting Decrease

The ssk stitch is one of the most commonly used knitting decrease techniques. It used to create a left leaning decrease.

1.    Insert your right knitting needle into the first stitches on the left needle as if you were knitting.

2.    Slip the stitch onto the right needle.

3.    Insert your right knitting needle into the next stitch on the left needle as if you were knitting.

4.    Slip the stitch onto the right needle.

5.    Insert the left needle into the fronts of the 2 stitches you just moved.

6.    Wrap your yarn as if you were going to knit.

7.    Pull the new stitch through and the other 2 stitches off.

SSP (Slip, Slip, Purl) Knitting Decrease

The ssp technique creates a left leaning purl decrease. It is often worked on the wrong side of the fabric. It is very similar to ssk.

1.    Insert your right knitting needle into the first stitches on the left needle as if you were knitting.

2.    Slip the stitch onto the right needle.

3.    Insert your right knitting needle into the next stitch on the left needle as if you were knitting.

4.    Slip the stitch onto the right needle.

5.    Insert the left needle into the bottoms of the 2 stitches you just moved.

6.    Slide the stitches back to the left needle.

7.    Purl the 2 stitches together.

SKPO (Slip, Knit, Pass Over) Knitting Decrease

The skpo technique creates a central decrease. It does not lean left or fight.

1. Insert your right knitting needle into the first stitches on the left needle as if you were knitting.

2. Slip the stitch onto the right needle.

3. Insert your right knitting needle into the next stitch and knit one stitch.

4. Insert the left needle into the front of the slipped stitch on the right needle.

5. Pull the slipped stitch over the knitted stitch.

S2KPO (Slip 2 Together, Knit, Pass Over) Knitting Decrease

The s2kpo technique creates a left leaning decrease. It creates a symmetrical decrease.

1.    Knit at least one stitch before the decrease.

2.    Insert your right knitting needle into the first 2 stitches on the left needle as if you were knitting.

3.    Slip both stitches onto the right needle.

4.    Insert your right knitting needle into the next stitch and knit one stitch.

5.    Insert the left needle into the front of the slipped stitches on the right needle.

6.    Pull the slipped stitches over the knitted stitch.

SK2PO (Slip, Knit 2 Together, Pass Slip StitchOver) Knitting Decrease

The sk2po technique reduces the number of stitches by 2. It creates a left leaning decrease.

1.    Insert your right knitting needle into the first stitches on the left needle as if you were knitting.

2.    Slip the stitch onto the right needle.

3.    Insert your right knitting needle from the front to the back of the last two stitches on the left needle. Insert the needle as if you were going to knit from the left to the right.

4.    Yarn over the needle just as you would for a regular knit stitch.

5.    Slip the stitches off the left needle.

6.    Insert the left needle into the front of the slipped stitch on the right needle.

7.    Pull the slipped stitch over the knitted stitch.

We hope you learn to decrease in knitting using these knitting decrease techniques.

Now that you are familiar with the basics of knitting, it is time to learn some new stitches. We hope our short, to-the-point tutorials have taken any stress away from knitting decrease techniques.

You can find more knitting advices in our articles like How to Basket Weave Stitch, How To Purl Knit Written, Guide to Knitting Needle Size Conversion, Fixing Mistakes with Frogging Knitting, How to Knit with Double Pointed Needles, Best Knitting Sets and Best Bamboo Knitting Needles and a lot more.

Once you know the most common knitting decrease techniques, you will be able to create a wide variety of fun projects.