Friday, February 01, 2008

Imagine that these happy children are stitches.

The girl stitches on the left are happy Left Slanting Decreases

The boy stitches on the right
are happy Right Slanting Decreases

The boy in the middle is an unhappy Left Slanting Decrease. Poor kid.
For a decrease to be happy, it must be supported by it's friends.
Right Slating Decreases are supported when they lean against existing stitches in the same row. Left Slanting Decreases are unsupported if they don't have friends to lean against.

So the
trick is to work Left Slanting Decrease in the following row, so that the decrease can lean back against stitches that have already been worked!
Here's how I do it:

Step 1: On the Right Side, knit the stitches to be decreased singly (not together), wrapping the yarn in the opposite direction (counter clockwise) to seat them correctly for the next step.

Step 2: On the Wrong Side, work to the sts to be decreased. They will be obvious because they'll be seated differently on the needle (due to the way you wrapped them in the previous row.) Thus, they will be perfectly oriented for you to go on to Step 3...

Step 3: Purl these two sts together through the back loop. Insert the right needle into the stitches from the back as foll: Insert needle into the second stitch from the point (pink st), then insert it into the stitch closest to the point (yellow st). Purl them together. (Click on image for animation)

You have just created a much happier decrease that is Left Slanting when viewed from the Right Side of the work.
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posted by Annie at


Anonymous Maria said...

Would the prerequisite for the perfect left leaning decreases include a brain in the knitters head? If so, I may need to bow out. I'd get to my next right side row, and I'd have fixed the stitches seated the wrong way. I would then wonder why I had so many extra stitches!!!

February 01, 2008 4:28 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Okay, I get it. I think. You are sort of untwisting the stitches when you decrease, which makes them lean nicely.

All you need to do is:

a) remember on the rightside row to twist the stitches instead of decreasing them
b) remember to actually decrease on the wrong side.

Hm, and I'm up to left slanting decreases on the pattern I'm working on now. I'm going to try it to see how much differently they look.

February 01, 2008 5:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

More pictures please? It sounds good, but I can't quite wrap my head around how it works.

February 01, 2008 6:44 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Wow - that is brilliant & so simple if you really think about it. Thanks a million - now I just have to see if I can figure out how to make such beautiful left leaning decreases in the round (probably too taxing for my brain at the moment, but maybe if I sleep on it for a while.

February 01, 2008 7:11 PM  
OpenID kmkat said...

Excellent, and thank you! I didn't quite follow the animation, but I think I can understand the concept well enough to accomplish it. More pictures would be good, if you wanted to show us.

Is there a way to do this in the round?

February 01, 2008 11:02 PM  
Blogger Cheri said...

Thank you! Thank you!! Now can I do it?

February 02, 2008 12:12 AM  
Blogger . . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

I take it that this doesn't work when you're knitting in the round? Or am I missing something?

February 02, 2008 1:07 AM  
Blogger Marcia Cleary said...

Hi Annie,
Thanks for sharing this neat trick. Works like a charm! I also practiced your double-knit slip st edging idea for the edge of a jacket - love your techniques.
Hope you are getting better. I don't know how you do it all.
Warm wishes from Marcia at

February 02, 2008 8:43 AM  
Blogger knotology said...

Nice trick! I'm going to start doing this, too! Thanks!

February 02, 2008 10:04 AM  
Anonymous janel said...

Oooh, thanks for the great tip!

I'm over here to tell you that your blog always makes my day. You've been given a blog award. Check out my blog to see it.

February 03, 2008 12:06 AM  
Blogger Kelly said...

Thanks for another GREAT tip!!

I understand how this technique works. My question is what causes the stitches to look distorted, wobbly (what I call wonky) in regular knitting?? Such as when knitting in the round?

February 03, 2008 1:38 PM  
Blogger Wannietta said...

Hey Annie,

I do a similar thing - I wrap my SSK sts the "wrong" way on the WS row so that I can decrease on the following RS row (to conform with conventional decreasing instructions). Good pictorial!

February 04, 2008 4:16 PM  

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