Decreasing Stitches

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 20,547
    Knitting expert Toni Lipe demonstrates how to combine knit and purl stitches, including decreasing your stitches.

    Hi, I am Toni Lipe with Toni's Design Studio. Right now, we are going to talk about decreasing. One way to shape your project that you are knitting is by decreasing. You may decrease for the sleeves that go into the sweater; you may decrease the V in the neck of a sweater. You may have to decrease the number of stitches in the gusset of a sock. There are many ways to decrease and I am going to demonstrate three of the most commonly used ways to decrease.

    As you are knitting it may call for you to decrease by one stitch. The easiest way to do that is to take your knitting needle as if to knit and knit two stitches together. You have the next two stitches you would put your knitting needle through both of them at the same time wrap your yarn around and pull them off the needle. This decreases two stitches to one and this actually slants to the right-hand side of your knitted fabric but to knit two together you slide your needle into the two stitches, wrap the yarn and then pull the loop through and pull it off.

    You can also decrease in the purl row the very same way. This is the most easiest way to decrease. It does leave your stitches slanting to the right but if you want your stitches to slant to the left there are two other ways to do these decreases. I am going to knit over just a little bit and then we will get started on the slip slip knit. To do a slip slip knit as if to knit you pull this stitch off of a left-hand needle. The next stitch you do the same thing. You put your needle through as if to knit and then pull it off the needle. So, these are two stitches on the right needle that haven't been worked yet. So, what we need to do now is to take our left needle, put them through both of the stitches and then knit them. What this does is positions the stitches on the needle so that they are twisted and they slant to the left. So, you will have decrease a slanting to the left on this side; decrease a slanting to the right on this side. So, let's do that one more time. Stick your needle in as if to knit and slide that stitch right off to the right needle. Slip that stitch right to the right needle and take your left needle and put it through both stitches and then knit them off and that will give you a very nice left slanting decrease.

    Now, the next decrease is done just a little bit differently. You will slip this stitch from the left needle to the right needle as if to purl. So, you just stick your needle in and slide it off. Then you knit the next stitch and the second stitch that you just slid over and haven't worked, you will have to put your left-hand needle underneath that stitch slide it over the knitted stitch and off the needle and that will create a left-hand decrease and closely resembles the knit two together but the slant is opposite. So, let's do that again. Slip your needle into the stitch on the left-hand needle as if to purl, slide it off so that stitch is not been worked then we will knit the next stitch and then we will take this stitch and slide it over the needle and off the hook. Now, let me knit the end and I will show you what these decreases look like. See if we can see them.

    Now, the first two decreases that I did slant this way. These are the knit two together, this is the second one the slip slip knit and then the third one is a slip knit pass. You actually slip a stitch, knit a stitch and then pass it over. Now, you have enough information that you could start knitting your first basic sweater, ribbing for the cuffs and the collar, your basic increases and decreases for the sleeves and moss stitch and basketweave for pattern stitches within the sweater.