From all angles – decreases; part 3 May 7, 2012 – Posted in: How to, Mondays with Mona

Double decreases

Sometimes a pattern will ask you to decrease two stitches at a time with a double decrease. Most often it happens in lace patterns, but there are some garment patterns that include double decreases. In any case, it is good to know how to work them.

I have not yet stumbled upon a pattern that asked to do double decreases from the WS (though I suppose they could be out there), every decrease shown is worked on the RS.

K3tog – knit 3 together

A double decrease worked by knitting 3 stitches together, just as the name says. The result are three stitches ‘piling up’, with the stitch on the left on top.

Inserting your needle into 3 stitches at once can prove tricky. As with everything, practice makes perfect!


S1, k2tog, psso – Slip 1, k2tog, pass slipped stitch over (the just knitted one, of course)

Slip 1 stitch knitwise*

Knit 2 stitches together.

Slip first stitch over stitch just knit.

Right stitch on top.

This results in a decrease where the first stitch (on the right) rests on top, the middle stitch is hidden under the two stitches leaning in from left and right. This decrease is often used in lace patterns, though not solely.

S2kwise, k1, p2sso or psso – Slip 2 knitwise (two stitches together, this is important), knit next stitch, pass two slipped stitches over stitch just knitted.

Slip 2 stitches knitwise*

Knit next stitch.

Pass slipped stitches over stitch just knitted.

Middle stitch on top.

This is also called ‘center double decrease’ because the the middle stitch lies on top. The two stitches left and right lean towards the middle stitch, but are hidden under it. This decrease is used in lace and garments – where keeping a stitch in line (the middle stitch) is preferred.

Slight variations of abbreviations/explanations for the latter two described decreases exist, but once you know the most common kind it is easy to deduce what the pattern asks for.

*For these decreases all stitches are slipped knitwise, unless otherwise asked for. If slipped purlwise, the stitches get twisted and you will get a different result.

This concludes my look into decreases – I hope you’ll find it helpful, maybe for one of your next projects?

– Mona