There comes a time when every knitter needs to learn how to shape their knitting. You can only make so many straight projects! Whether you’re looking to shape the top of a hat or the armholes and sleeves of a sweater, you’ll go far learning just two decreases: knit 2 together and slip, slip, knit, known in knitting language as k2tog and ssk.
The k2tog is usually considered the most basic, and it is really easy to do; just pretend two stitches are one and knit them together. This makes a right-slanting decrease and is fine for most applications. It’s not super prominent, and it’s usually what most of us default to when a pattern just says “decrease.”
SSK is a little more involved, but it’s not at all difficult. Slip two stitches as if to knit, then take the left-hand needle through the stitches from the front and knit them together. This makes a left-slanting decrease that is more prominent than a k2tog, but they are often paired for decorative effect in projects.
Here’s a quick video to show you the basics of both:
Do you have a preferred decrease? I’d love to hear about it.