what-is-ssk-in-knitting

SSK is an abbreviation that stands for slip, slip, knit, which means that the knitter has to slip 1st, slip the next, after which you will then place the left needle back into the slipped sts and work them together. This knitting technique will make a decrease that slant to the left.

If you are keen on knitting scarves, rectangular blankets, and baby blankets, you might probably shy away from mastering the SSK technique. Although if you want to modify the types of items you produce and give your knitting some unique shape, then SSK knitting technique is something you need to consider today! But to master this technique, you need to learn how to decrease and increase stitches. SSK is a significant type of decrease. This wonderful left-slanting . decrease shortens two stitches to one. 

The SSK is always paired with a right-leaning decrease, K2TOG which means knit-two-together knit and makes a decrease that leans to the left. SSK is an easy knitting technique that everyone can learn. You can use the basics of SSK stitch in numerous other stitches as well. SSK is almost similar to binding off a method known as cast-off. Many beginning knitters use the cast-off method to finalize their first set of items. SSK is normally used as a method to bind of scarves. If you are a beginning knitter, mastering this technique will help you to build your knitting skills and also follow several patterns.

Project examples where SSK decrease are usedFour similar ways to make a left-slanting decrease stitch
Baby socksAlmost SSK
Baby bootiesKnitting of two stitches together through the back loop
ScarvesSKPO
BlanketsSPPO
Baby jackets 

How to SSK

To perform this technique, you need to slide the first stitch as if to knit, also slide the second stitch as if to knit, then slip the left-hand knitting needle in the front of the two stitches and knit them together. To be honest, this technique is more than just slipping and knitting, what you’re doing is decreasing a stitch by sliding two different stitches and then knit them together.

Other keen knitters also execute this decrease by slipping the second stitch as if you purl, and the first stitch as if to knit, as with the standard decrease, working them together in the front of the two stitches. This knitting method makes it slightly like a knit-two-together decrease. If you want to mirror decrease on a garment, this is the best method for you.

When to Use This Technique

If you want to add shape to a project or garment, the decreasing stitches is one of the most effective ways to use. As you master your knitting skills, you would find out that one of the most popular methods to decrease stitches is the slip-slip-knit technique. Other methods of decreasing stitches will offer you a different feel and look, but SSK method is so simple. There’s no reason why you, as a beginning knitter, should not use this method if it is required by the pattern of your project.

Most keen knitters use SSK technique to shape the ankle part of the garment, like baby socks and booties. Also, knitters also use SSK technique to shape the animal parts of stuffed animals. As you progress with your knitting skills, you may be asked to pair the left-leaning SSK with K2TOG knit, which normally slants to the right. These tow knitting techniques, together, will help to even out the stitches, so they don’t appear crooked. Most professional knitters refer these two knitting stitches as mirror of each other.

Mastering SSK technique will help you to know how to slip-slip-purl, as it uses the same basic stitch, with the only difference of a purl instead of a knit. Once you’ve mastered SSK technique, you can now launch out to knit several different patterns involving different shapes.

Why Use SSK Instead of K2TOG?

Almost every decrease and increase stitches have a lean to them, hardly would a knitter find that removing a stitch or creating a stitch does not impact the other stitches around it. The SSK technique is no different. SSK is a left slanting decrease stitch. This means that the stitch’s top slants left, away from the stitch’s bottom.

In the other hand, the K2TOG technique is a right slanting decrease stitch, it is the mirror to the SSK technique. SSK and K2TOG techniques are always paired at the right and left edges of the sock’s toe to create a similar shape. 

Are your SSK Stitches all Lopsided?

Honestly, I can relate with most keen knitters around the world, that they love their decreases and increases to match. Knitters love that the tension should be identical whether it’s right or left.  When you work directly on the front of SSK, instead of knitting the stitch through the front of the loop, why not put a twist on the stitch and knit it through the loop’s back. This method works well and it’ll make your left leaning decreases look professional.

Technically, making an SSK is limited to only one way- a left slanting decrease stitch. Here’s the good news. There are four more ways you can make a left slanting decrease stitch. We are going to take a look at each of them and see which one is effortless to knit and which one offers a better look and shape.

Please take note of this before we get started – when you’re making these four decreases that are similar to the SSK technique, make sure you purl all stitches in all wrong side row.

  1. Almost SSK


This decrease method is very identical to the real SSK but offers a more improved look and it’s a bit easier to knit. It is a popular method derived from an old knitting book by a professional knitter. Evidently, this method is considered to be distinctive.

Here is how you can make Almost SSK decrease;

  1. Slip one stitch knitwise
  2. Slide it back to the left needle
  3. Through the back loop, knit the next stitch and this stitch together.


As you can see, there are just three steps to be taken to make this decrease stitches. These simple steps, make it easier to create than the real SSK decrease. Besides, this decrease creates a line of stitches that is straight, and more uniform in size.

2. Knitting of two stitches together through the back loop

This is considered the simplest and easiest decrease of them all-it entails only a step to create it. The step involves;

Knitting two stitches together through the back loop.

Making this decrease is such a breeze. However, this decrease forms a line of stitches that is not straight at all. Although it appears quite elegant when used for embellishing your knitted items. To be honest, most beginning knitters use this decrease stitch.

3. SKPO

Don’t mind how intimidating the name sounds for a decrease. Besides, it’s not the easiest decrease either, so brace yourself! To be honest, SKPO is a decrease stitch that is more intricate than all other way of making similar SSK decrease, but not by much. The intimidating abbreviation stands for “Slip, Knit, Pass the slipped stitch Over”. To make SKPO decrease, you need to execute just three steps;

  1. Slide one stitch knitwise
  2. Knit the second stitch
  3. Put the left needle into the stitch you slide knitwise and pass it over the knit stitch and above the right needle.


The challenging part of making this decrease is the “passing over” part, this is because you have to make sure the knot stitch is not slipped off the right needle when passing the slipped stitch over it. This means you need to be extra careful when performing this step.

This decrease create a line of stitches that is even and straight, so your extra effort will definitely pay off.

4. SPPO

SPPO is another fancy title for a quite stunning decrease. This decrease is very identical to the SKPO decrease, but the only difference is that you purl instead of knitting a stick in step. That’s why the P for purl replaces K in the abbreviation. To create this decrease, you need do the following;

  1. Slide one stitch knitwise
  2. Purl the second stitch
  3. Stuck in the left needle into the stitch slipped knitwise, and pass it over the knot stitch and above the right needle.


This decrease creates a line of switches that looks lovely but not straight. It will look great when used for decorating your knitted creations, like a baby jacket.

So, these are the four ways to make a left leaning decrease similar to SSK. Concerning which is the best depends on your need. SPPO decrease is ideal for knitters who need a decorative decrease. For knitter who want a simple decrease, then “Knitting of two stitches together through the back loop” is the best choice. If you’re in search for the one that offers the neatest looks, go for SKPO. As for me, I prefer the “Knitting of two stitches together through the back loop” method. This is because it offers a nice neat looks and it’s very easy to execute.

Closing Thoughts

We’ve come to the end of this informative article. We hope you know what SSK means in knitting. Please feel free to ask any questions that you may have.

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