An SSK Ahaa moment!

It's hard to believe I've already been knitting for 6 months and I still love it.

I'm still working on that baby blanket....I can see the finish line now. That hurdle stitch really gets boring after a while. But with the doubled-up baby yarn it's a heavy blanket and should keep the little one pretty warm this coming winter.

I was playing a game of chess on the internet with a fellow from South Africa. We chatted a bit after the game (which I miraculously won) and then I mentioned that I needed to get back to my knitting.

He said "You knit!. You mean you are a GRANDMA."
(translation: You mean I just got beaten at chess by a grandma?")

I replied "Not Grandma....Grandpa"

Somehow that made him feel better although he was quite amused at meeting a male knitter.

Anyways, in the midst of the baby blanket, socks, striped scrap yarn scarf, and lace scarf project, I've started on a crystal pink lace stole or wrap. It's the most challenging project I've worked on yet.

I've been having a bugger of a time with the SSK stitch having to wrestle with it and try to corral it like a wayward steer. I set the work aside thinking of what I could do to make that stitch a little easier. Then the AHAA moment came. One of the stitches in the pattern is either a ktbl or ptbl (Knit or Purl through the back loop). It struck me that knitting through the back loop of 2 stitches would be the same as SSK!

I mentioned this to my yarn guru (my wife) and she quickly cast on a few stitches. Her hands a blur of knitting action. She did an SSK then came back around a couple rows later and did the K2TOGTBL (at least that's what I'm calling it), and exclaimed "By golly you're right!." Since we are both working on projects with similar patterns we found that the K2TOGTBL is a lot less frustrating than the SSK and even easier than the Slip, Knit, PSSO for left-leaning decreases. It is a little tricky when the second stitch is a yarn-over (YO), but pulling down on the piece opens up the stitches for this to work quite nicely.

And now back to knitting.....


Crafty Andy's picture

Visit Crafty Andy's Blog Yep sometimes things are easier than they look, congratulations on making knitting more fun and simple. Sometimes people do mirror decreases and that is when the decreases are fun. Some decreases twist the stitch making it tighter and to the left like the ktbl. Fun FUN FUN!

Don't it feel good when the lightbulb goes on in your head?

rmbm612's picture

I don't think that the k2together through the back loops and a SSK are truly the same stitich. Both will lean to the left, that true. However, by knitting through the back loops whether together or individually will twist the stitch that you make.

I use the SSK lots and rarely use the Slip 1, knit 1, PSSO. And, I've also found that if you use the SSK, by slipping the first stitch as if to knit and the 2nd stitch as if to purl, then knitting them together through the back, that the second stitch tucks behind the first slipped stitch and the new decrease stitch lies flat.

I don't know how you are doing your SSK, but once you've slipped your two stiches to the right hand needle, its easier for me to pass the tip of the left hand needle through the front of those two slipped stiches and knit them together...........

Now SSP is another story and I save that for another post.............anyway, try it and see what you think..............regardless, keep on knitting...........your grandchildren are lucky to have have two knitting grandparents...............

stillday's picture

My wife thought the same thing when I first mentioned the idea until she knitted up a swatch using the SSK and the K2TOGTBL . The stitches came out identical in every respect and it's working out just dandy on the project.

I found a youtube video of the stitch and it is called K2TOGTBL:

Crafty Andy's picture

Visit Crafty Andy's Blog Well a ssk is not the same ,but it is similar enough and maybe simpler to some that you can accomplish the same thing. Sometimes people get lost in the semantics and definitions of things and sometimes perfection is making the same mistake twice. lol!

stillday's picture

o.k now I'm I saw two other videos, each claiming to be demonstrating an SSK and each slipping the stitches a different way. One was slipping as if to knit and the other as if to purl. Yet both said they were demonstrating SSK.

While doing what I'm doing is working for the project I'm working on, I would like a better understanding of the subject. Could someone enlighten me? You'll need to blog slow and use small words of

stillday's picture

Now I see said the blind man...
Tallguy sent me this video link that cleared away the fog.

O.k. now back to knitting fun.