Slip Slip Purl (ssp) is a 1-stitch decrease. Most knitters use it on the wrong side of the fabric or in a purl section on the right side of the fabric (such as in a purl column of ribbing).
Ssp leans to the left, which is barely noticeable on the purl side. However, if you look at the reverse side of a ssp, it looks just like a ssk (slip slip knit), which also leans to the left.
It is knit similarly to the ssk, and there are 2 ways to correctly knit a ssp. In this video, I’ll show you both ways, focusing on the one I like best.
How to SSP
- 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 from the bottom to the top through the 2 slipped stitches and transfer them your left needle
- Bring your yarn forward, purl these 2 stitches together, and slide them off the left needle
Now look at your ssp. 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.
Click on any photo to enlarge it.
If you flip your work over, it will look exactly like a ssk, as shown in this photo:
How to Determine the Lean of a Stitch
The lean of a stitch is not determined by the line made in your work by repeating the decrease. The formation of the stitch determines whether a decrease leans to the left or right. If the rightmost stitch of the decrease is in front, it leans left. If the leftmost stitch is in front, it leans right.
Sometimes the 2 stitches that are coming together in a decrease misbehave and get a little twisted. This can make your stitch look a bit off. But don’t worry! You can easily fix this by simply wiggling them around a little to get them to settle into place. You can also use the tip of your needle to “encourage” them to seat themselves properly.
Want to Practice SSP?
The best way to perfect a new stitch is to use it repeatedly in a project. SSP is one of the decreases used in our Woodburne Cardigan Knit Along. Each knit along includes detailed online lessons to guide you step-by-step through the pattern so you can improve your skills while finishing the project expertly. It’s like having a knitting instructor on-demand! Check out all of our online knit alongs at https://knitalongclub.com/courses/.