Decreases in seed stitch - please help

I'm working a seed stitch sleeve in the round from the shoulder to the cuff, which means that I have to decrease stitches every few rows. I've frogged the @*#$% thing three times today because I just can't get the decreases right.

I gave up in disgust, the first time I ever been defeated by a technique, and am having trouble finding a solution to anything similar by searching on the web.

My pattern goes round-and-round like this:

Row 1: k1, p1, k1, p1, k1, p1, etc;
Row 2: p1, k1, p1, k1, p1, k1, etc.

Every 6th row I want to decrease four adjacent stitches down to two, making the decreases as unobtrusive as possible.

However hard I try the decreases look dreadful, uneven and just plain dumb. I can't work out when and whether to SSK, SSP, K2tog or p2tog. In fact, it looks like my cat had had a go while I wasn't looking.

Is there a really, REALLY smart guy (or gal) out there who can put me right?

ronhuber's picture

I am sure you are making your decreases either side of an imaginary line that runs down the underside of your sleeve. All decreases will be obvious but they are in an area of the sweater that is practically unseen. I would make them lean into each other and have one stitch between the decreases. You could make them a design feature and do them on a field of 6 stitches in stockinette or reverse stockinette. They are going to be even more obvious in the pattern you have chosen because you will always be knitting two stitches together (or ssk) one of which is a purl and one of which is a knit.

Britisher's picture

Thanks for that, yes, I'm realising that there is going to be no prefect fit to decrease in seed stitch. It's a real shame, because my original idea was to do the sleeves of this sweater cuff-up and the increases worked just fine, just a shame the didn't actually fit the arm-holes on the body.

Marknits's picture

If I read your posting correctly, there is no center stitch between the decreases... so you either have 4 stitches that are KPKP or PKPK to decrease right next to each other.

If this is correct, then:

If your stitches would be KPKP in this row if you weren't going to decrease, then you will want to SSK, then SSP.

If they would be PKPK if you weren't decreasing, then you will want to P2tog, then K2tog.

This way they will fold to the imaginary seam line between stitches and keep the seed stitch pattern uninterrupted.

In other words, you start with a left leaning decrease that is the same as the first stitch you would make, then do a right leaning decrease that would be the last of the four stitches you would make. this keeps the outer two stitches in pattern and swallows the inner two stitches.

at least I think this is what you were asking.

Joyful knitting,

Britisher's picture

Hey Mark, you got what I was trying to achieve just right. Many thanks for the advice. I'll try and swatch this one tonight to see how it goes. With the problems I've had with these sleeves, swatching seems preferable to any more frogging back. Suggestion much appreciated.

Marknits's picture

I take that back

The SSK is paired with the P2tog and the SSP is paired with the K2tog....


Joyful knitting

Britisher's picture

Ok, am trying these out. Any other suggestions gratefully received.

thairapist's picture

I recently did a seed stitch sleeve and there is no perfect way to accomplish this that i have found. However one of the ideas i did have was to put a phony seam down with two purl stitches and do my decreases to that and then it never was noticed. I generally put a phony seam down all my sweaters and sleeves. It make it easier to keep track of the side of the sweater, makes it easier to fold the sweater and the sweater just hangs better down the side instead of bulging.
Happy stitches

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