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Barbara Breiter's Knitting On The Net

Author of The Complete Idiot's Guide To
Knitting & Crocheting Illustrated (3rd ed.)

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Learn To Knit

Selecting The Correct Decrease In Knitting

Many times a pattern will tell you the exact decrease you should be using. Sometimes it's not vital at all. If a pattern doesn't specify, k2tog is the default decrease.

Other times, especially in lace patterns, the correct decrease is important because it impacts which way the fabric biases or slants. Lace pattern stitches will specify which decrease to use when.

Patterns for garments will sometimes tell you which decrease to use when you are shaping the armholes and neck; other times the designer will assume you are already armed with this knowledge. The correct decrease will help the fabric slant in the direction it should.

Armholes, for example, move inward as you decrease. As you are looking at the right side of your work, the armhole on the right slants left and the armhole on the left slants right. Therefore, ssk is the decrease used at the beginning of a row and k2tog at the end of a row. This is especially important when decreases are placed inside the seam, as in full fashioned knitting.

When shaping necklines, it is the opposite; they move outward as you decrease. As you are looking at the right side of your work, the neckline you are shaping on the right slants to the right and the shaping on the left slants to the left.

These decreases slant to the left:

These decreases slant to the right:


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Knitting Help: Learn to Knit



The Complete Idiot's Guide To Knitting
& Crocheting (3rd edition)

by Barbara Breiter & Gail Diven



learn to knit
Available in book stores everywhere.

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The Complete Idiot's Guide To Knitting and Crocheting, has been a world wide best seller. The third edition was published September, 2006 and is available in bookstores everywhere. Information on the book and a preview of the patterns included is available at Knit A Bit.