Monday, October 6, 2008

SSK Shortcut!

See Snapper knit. See Snapper knit fast! Fast Snapper! K1, P1, K2tog! Fast, fast, fast! SSK -- goes -- so -- slow......

So, I wondered if there was anything I could do to speed up doing SSKs. I like doing K2togs -- you just knit them together with one motion. Easy peasy. But with SSKs you have to stop and slip one stitch, slip the second stitch, put them back on the left needle, then knit them together. That's 4 separate movements for one stitch. There had to be an easier way to do this with less steps and thus be speedier!

I looked at the stitches on the left needle. I was working in the round, so all my stitches were knit. The problem was that they were slanted in the wrong direction on the needle, which you correct by slipping them off the needle and re-orienting them so you can knit them together and get that left slanting decrease. Was there a way to get them positioned correctly without having to slip them back and forth?

YES! Huzzah! The secrect lies in how you knit the stitch in the row before. I looked at how I actually wrapped the yarn around the right needle as I did the knit stitch. If I just wrapped the yarn around in the OPPOSITE direction, the resulting stitches are facing the right way so that in the NEXT row all I have to do is the K part of the SSK. I have already done the SS part!

It also works if you are knitting back and forth. You would be purling the stitches in the row before. To set them up for an SSK, just wrap the yarn in the opposite direction. Then, again, all you'll have to do is knit the two stitches together as you would the K part of the SSK.

Does this make any sense at all? All I know is it works for me. And I can knit faster!


apryl said...

hmmm...i just slip, slip then knit through the back of those by slipping the left needle through the back of the two's 3 steps but goes just as smooth as k2tog. i'm a picker, not a thrower....that may make a difference :)

Anonymous said...

you can do it by s1 k1 psso too, mind that is 3 movements.

Jorah said...

Makes sense to me, but I probably couldn't keep track of which stitch on the current row would be a SSK on the next row. I bow humbly before your skill there! I actually make my SSKs faster than my K2Tog, because I do the same trick Apryl said; I don't move the stitches back to the left needle. Plus, my k2togs are really slow because I normally have to slip one purlwise, loosen the second stitch, put the first stitch back on the left needle, then k2tog; this is because my knitting is so infernally tight that I can't get the needle into the second stitch!