Slip slip knit (ssk) is a common 1-stitch decrease in knitting that leans to the left. If you look at the reverse side of an ssk, it looks just like a ssp (slip slip purl), which leans to the right.
It is often used opposite of the right-leaning k2tog to create symmetrical shaping.
In this video, I show you how to ssk in both the English style and Continental style:
How to SSK
- Slip 1 stitch as if to knit
- Slip another stitch as if to knit (you CANNOT “shortcut” this by slipping the 2 stitches together)
- Insert your left needle through the 2 slipped stitches, keeping your left needle in front of your right needle (Now your right needle is in the perfect spot to finish the stitch)
- Knit these 2 stitches together and slide them off the left needle
Now look at your ssk. You’ll notice at the base of your new stitch that 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 toward the center, causing it to lean to the left.
Other Common Left-Leaning Knitwise Decreases
Knit 2 together through the back loop (k2tog tbl) is also 1-stitch left-leaning decrease. The difference is that k2tog tbl twists the stitches and ssk does not.
SKP (Slip Knit Pass) is another knitwise left-leaning 1-stitch decrease. For this stitch, you slip one knitwise, knit one, then pass the slip stitch over the stitch you just knit. It’s kind of like binding off one stitch. Pass the slip stitch over is often abbreviated psso.
Want to Practice SSK?
The best way to perfect a new stitch is to use it in a project. Our Brady the Snowman knit along is a fantastic little project for learning and practicing ssk, as well as several other increases and decreases. Check it out at https://knitalongclub.com/course/brady/.