Basic Stitches for Lace Knitting YO SSK

Basic Stitches for Lace Knitting
By Karen Soltys for the Stitch This! blog at
A yarn over, abbreviated YO, is a way to increase stitch count.
Rather than knitting or purling into another stitch, you simply
wrap the yarn around your needle before working the next stitch
in the pattern. This loop around the needle will make one more
stitch to knit on the following row. But because it wasn’t worked
into a stitch, it also makes a little gap or hole. When the knitting
is blocked to open up the holes, all the yarn overs create the
openwork in the lace knitting. Clever, huh?
Slip, slip, knit is a left-slanting decrease in which you also work
two stitches together, but it creates the mirror image of a K2tog.
To make an ssk, insert the right needle into the first stitch on the
left needle. Slip it off the left needle and onto the right needle,
as if you’re knitting (but don’t work the stitch). Repeat, slipping
a second stitch off the left needle. Now slip the tip of the left
needle into the front of the two slipped stitches. (That means the
right needle tip will be behind the left needle tip. Got it?) Now,
wrap the working yarn around the tip of the right needle, pull
the loop through both stitches, and slip them off the needles.
Congratulations, you’ve just made a slip, slip, knit decrease. It
sounds much more difficult than it is, I promise. Look at your
knitting. See how this decrease slants in the opposite direction of
the K2tog?
Yarn over
Knit two stitches together is the most basic of all decreases. Some
lace calls for nothing more than knitting two stitches together
followed by yarn overs. Simply insert your right needle, into the
first two stitches on the left needle in one motion, wrap the yarn
over the right needle and pull it through both stitches at once.
You’ve now knit them together and decreased one stitch. If you’re
knitting a pattern where it matters if your decreases slant to the
left or the right, you should know that K2tog is a right-slanting
YO, ssk, K1, K2tog, YO. Notice how the ssk slants to the left, while
the K2tog slants toward the right.
SKP stands for slip one stitch, knit one stitch, pass the slipped stitch
over. You might also see this decrease abbreviated as PSSO, or
“pass slipped stitch over.” Whichever way the instructions list it,
here’s what you do: Slip one stitch from the left needle onto the
right needle; knit the next stitch on the left needle. Now use the
tip of the left needle to lift the slipped stitch (the second stitch in
on the right needle) up and over the stitch you just knit. Drop the
slipped stitch off the needle completely. Mission accomplished.
Knit two stitches together through the back loop. Just when you
thought there couldn’t be one more way to make a left-slanting
decrease, here’s one more. This happens to be my personal
favorite, as it really does make the exact opposite of K2tog. And,
it takes fewer motions to do this decrease than the variations
where you’re slipping stitches and passing the slipped stitches
over other stitches. I learned this from Donna Druchunas, who
shared it in Successful Lace Knitting. I’ve used it ever since.
For this left-slanting decrease, insert your right needle into the
back of the first two stitches on the left needle. Wrap the yarn
around the needle as if to knit, pull the loop through both
stitches, and slip those stitches off the left needle. Easy peasy.
My new favorite decrease!
Basic Stitches for Lace Knitting
A DCD is knitting shorthand for double center decrease. Wait, what?
Remember, lace knitting is made of yarn overs (increases) and
corresponding decreases. Usually they’re made in pairs so that the
stitch count remains constant. But sometimes, you want a decrease
in the center of a lace panel or project with a yarn-over hole on
either side. To keep the stitch count even, you need to do a double
decrease in the center to account for the two yarn overs. This
involves decreasing three stitches down to one stitch. Here’s how to
do that. It’s pretty much like doing the SKP.
An alternate method for a DCD is to:
1. Slip two stitches from the left needle onto the right
2. Knit one stitch.
3. Pass both slipped stitches over the knitted stitch and off
the needles. Two stitches decreased.
1. Slip one stitch from the left needle onto the right needle.
2. Knit the next two stitches together. (K2tog = one stitch
3. Lift the slipped stitch over the K2tog stitch and off the needles.
(A second stitch decreased.)
I told you it would be easy. But just to make things a bit more
confusing, you may also see this abbreviated as SK2P, short for slip
one stitch, K2tog, pass slipped stitch over. Got it? I knew you would!
Slip two stitches together
as if to knit. Knit the next
stitch on the left needle.
Pass the two slipped
stitches over the knit
stitch on the right needle.
Sl 2, K1, psso
Well, there you have it. The essential stitches you need to know
for lace knitting.
Sl1, K2tog, psso
© 2012 Martingale
19021 120th Ave. NE, Ste. 102
Bothell, WA 98011 USA
DCD. Notice how 3 stitches are decreased down to 1 stitch,
and flanked by YOs.
Basic Stitches for Lace Knitting