Welcome to the seven entry in our ongoing series Learn a Stitch, Make a Cowl! Each month in 2015 we will teach you a new crochet or knit stitch. You can then use the stitch when you make the featured cowl. This month our stitch is the slip, slip, knit (ssk) decrease, and the cowl is the Love This Lacy Cowl in Sparkle Soft. Keep reading to learn the stitch and enter to win! Use the hashtag #learnstitches to talk about the series.
The pattern calls for Sparkle Soft, but the example is in Soft Yarn so you can follow along easier. The ssk (slip, slip, knit) is a type of decrease that leans to the left. You are probably familiar with the k2tog (knit two together) decrease, which leans to the right. Since these decreases look different, designers use both of them in patterns to produce the effects that they want.
The swatch here starts with four completed rows of Stockinette stitch (alternating knit and purl rows). Four stitches have been knit on this row so far.
To start the stitch, put your right-hand needle into the stitch as if you are going to knit a regular knit stitch.
Instead of knitting it, slip the stitch to the right-hand needle. You can see how the working yarn comes off the last stitch you knit, instead of off of the slipped stitch.
Repeat with a second stitch, so now there are two slipped stitches on your right-hand needle.
Insert the left-hand needle into the front of both stitches.
Knit the two stitches at the same time.
After finishing this row and doing a row of purl, you can see the ssk in the middle of the swatch, leaning to the left.
Bonus: Help with charts
This particular cowl has two different lace patterns and several charts. You can work the lace patterns from the charts, from the written instructions, or from both. Here are some tips on reading the lace charts.
This chart shows the Gull Wings Pattern, which is the lace pattern in the middle section of the scarf. The section shown in the chart is 21 stitches across; you repeat it several times as you go around the cowl.
The key shows all of the symbols in this pattern, as well as some symbols in other parts of the larger chart that are not discussed in this blog post. Each square is one stitch, and the symbols in the squares show the type of stitch. As you can see by looking at the key, empty squares are knit stitches. Circles in squares show yarn overs. Diagonal lines are for decreases, with the lines leaning right standing for k2tog and the lines leaning left standing for ssk. As we discussed above, these two decreases slope in different directions, so the lines match the directions in which the decreases lean.
The numbers on the right-hand side are the row numbers for this section. Since the cowl is knit in the round and so you are always going the same direction, the numbers are all on one side and we always read this chart from right to left.
To see the other stitches and cowls in this series, visit the Learn a Stitch, Make a Cowl page.
Put your name and email in the form below for a chance to be one of 5 lucky winners! Each winner will win the yarn to make this cowl. Winners will be announced at the start of August.