SSK vs K2T…aren’t they the same stitch?

April 12, 2014

I’ve knit four sock monkeys, which are knit similar to a pair of socks, just with bigger yarn. I’ve knit two complete pair of socks and am on my second sock of the third pair. I’ve had to work with increases and decreases in each pattern, and began one of my earliest patterns with increases and decreases  as a challenge to keep me interested in the pattern. I need challenge, or I am likely lose interest. In many of these patterns, I’ve encountered a number of ways to increase and decrease stitches. Today I plan to focus on two specific decrease stitches.

Image

Progress from two weeks ago, with little concern over correct knitting of ssk or k2t

Originally, when knitting a project and I encounted a ssk(Slip, slip, knit) decrease, I treated it much like a k2t(knit 2 together) decrease. The achieve the same purpose, to decrease the stitch. Since I didn’t notice much difference between the two stitches, I often just knit two together on both sides of the sock or sock monkey in order to decrease the number of stitches. Most of the time this wasn’t noticeable.

I also noticed over time and multiple projects, that ssk was often on one side of the gusset or toe, and k2t was on the other side. I thought perhaps it was a directional thing. But my socks are comfy and warm; so I did not worry about the difference between these two stitches. As I knit my current pair of socks, I reviewed my lace chart for the next row one day and realized I had both ssk and k2t in this pattern, and was expected to use them at different times and places. the ssk is on the left side and bottom half of the lace pattern and the k2t is on the right side and top half of the lace pattern.

 

The goal of this design is to create a diamond or “Almondine” shape. As I was knitting, and reviewing this pattern, I decided to review my definition of each type of stitch and investigate the difference, if, in fact, there was any. There is a difference. While it is not a huge difference on some simpler patterns, or something that uses bulky yarn. I noticed that the ssk left a smoother stitch in its wake.

ImageCurrent Progress with more concern for the difference between the ssk and k2t

The ssk is defined as: “With yarn held in back of work, separately slip two sts(stitches) as if to knit. Insert the font of both slipped sts and knit them together.”

The K2tog(k2t) is defined as: “Insert the right needle into the front of the first two sts on the left needle as if to knit, then knit them together.”

ImageScamp (The “Kitten”) helping me photograph my knitting as she’s not allowed to help me knit

Someone scanning this or casually reviewing it might think both definitions mean put both stitches onto one needle and knit them together. They don’t. The ssk requires extra steps, and it leaves you with a much smoother work I hope my pictures explain, as for the bottom half of this lace pattern, I was careful to knit all ssk stitches as defined. It left a smoother decrease than the bumpy knit two together. I hope my pictures can do this stitch justice as I don’t have any cool draw on my photo tools that I can use with the understanding which I have displayed regarding these two stitches.

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