left leaning decrease observation

When performing a left leaing decrease on a piece that is knit densely, like socks, I always do an SSK but I slip as if to knit on the first slip and as if to purl on the second rather then both as if to knit, I think the stitch lays more flatly that way. However, in knittling lace I find I can get away with the faster k2tbl (knit two through back loop) in most cases and not really be able to tell the difference. I learned this when kniting the Chevron Scarf from Arctic Lace, in this book all left leaning decreases are K2tbl and they look fine, so I started doing that for all the lace projects that I knit, until now. I'm kintting with a hemp/cotton blend yarn and the SSK looks just the tinnest bit tidier then the k2tbl (yes, I am guilty of doing both methods in the same project - it's the only way I can compare how they differ.) I guess it's the smoother texture of the yarn and maybe lack of elasticity. I'm curious to see if anyone else experiments with this.


Thomasknits's picture

I've decided just to lose the fight against the left leaning decreases. There are certain things that hand knitting just does. One of them is unsatisfactory left leaning decreases. The other is the pesky knit stitch column next to a purl column.
However, what i tend to do is try to loosen up the right leaning decreases so they match the looser left decreases.


albert's picture

What is it that's pesky about a knit stitch column next to a purl column, Tom?

Thomasknits's picture

Say you are doing k3 p1 rib... the last knit out of the 3 always looks wider, or more open.


Bill's picture

the left edge of a cable is always a problem for me...that knit stitch next to the purl stitch...I've read that one can knit into the back of that last knit stitch to tighten it..but I forget to...LOL

JesterTwin's picture

I'm finding the same challenge with a shawl that I am currently knitting on size 1 needles. The lace calls for left leaning and right leaning decreases, but the yarn is so very tiny as are the needles that I find that I either have to be resolved to making all my decreases the same or taking a bit of scrap yarn and trying different ways to get around the back of the stitch to make the decrease go in the other direction.

MMario's picture

According to several ;luminaries in the lace world, older examples of fine (and some not so fine) lace - all the decreases are the same. Evidently they didn't bother to mirror decreases.

It appears to be a modern foible.

In the finer gauges - I figure if I know which way I did it and have to strain to tell the difference, it sure as heck doesn't MAKE a difference and I use the easier to work.

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Good point, Mmario. I often work mirror decreases [or increases, for that matter] but there are times when it truly doesn't maka a difference. Most often, it is only other knitters who analyze a piece to find out those types of details anyhow. Another thought is that a lot of the historic shawls were knit by women who did it for pay...using one type of decrease helped them keep up a steady pace so they could move on to another project. More finished pieces meant more money. -- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

VillageKnittiot's picture

I am sort of a cheater when it comes to left leaners... if it's a K2tog for right leaning, I K2togtbl (Knit 2 together thru the back loops) for Lefties. It's slightly different than an SSK, but try it and see if it's enough to bother you. I find them much faster to work.