K2tog tbl (Knit 2 together through the back loop)

Knit 2 together through the back loop (k2togtbl or k2tog tbl) is a 1-stitch left-leaning decrease. 

It is similar in appearance to the ssk (slip slip knit). In k2tog tbl, the stitches are twisted and in ssk they are not. It is a subtle difference and these 2 decreases can usually be substituted for one another.

Watch this video to learn how to k2tog tbl in both the Continental style and English style.

How to K2tog tbl

  1. Insert your right needle through the back of the 1st and 2nd stitches purlwise
  2. Wrap the yarn counter clockwise around the right needle and pull it through the 2 stitches (this is very much like doing a regular knit stitch)
  3. Slide the 2 stitches off your left needle

Now look at your k2tog tbl. Notice at the base of your new stitch there are 2 stitches. These 2 stitches are drawn together with the rightmost stitch in the front of the leftmost stitch. This is what makes this decrease lean to the left. The right stitch is in the front and is being pulled leftward toward the center.

k2togtbl or k2tog tbl

Also notice that those 2 stitches are twisted. If you stretch your fabric from side to side, twisted stitches will tighten rather than expand because their “legs” are crossed.

Here’s a photo of k2togtbl and p2tog tbl (purl 2 together through the back loop), on the right side of the work. Note that the p2tog tbl was done on the wrong side so you’re looking at the back of it. It looks exactly like the k2tog tbl on the right side.

k2tog tbl and p2tog tbl

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