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 SSK - is there an easier way?!
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Consuelo
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
582 Posts

Posted - 04/15/2011 :  2:14:50 PM  Show Profile Send Consuelo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have always hated SSK mostly because I can't seem to do it in any sort of rythm and it's just hokey....... isn't it the same thing as K2tog thru the back loop? It looks that way to me. Am I missing anything? I know I can count on this group to straighten me out if I did

Consuelo
"Travel is fatal to prejudice" Mark Twain

Eleanor
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
583 Posts

Posted - 04/15/2011 :  3:45:14 PM  Show Profile  Send Eleanor a Yahoo! Message Send Eleanor a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yes, it is the same as K2tog thru the back loop.
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KathyR
Permanent Resident

New Zealand
2969 Posts

Posted - 04/15/2011 :  3:47:01 PM  Show Profile  Visit KathyR's Homepage Send KathyR a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm definitely not a knitting technical expert so probably am not the best person to answer this but, no, SSK and K2tbl are not the same, similar, but not the same.

Make a small sample, in a solid coloured yarn for clarity, and work them both a little way apart with a few plain rows below and above. Make sure you remember which is which! Look very closely at each of them and you will see the difference.

If you read Techknitter's blog, she explains things like this very clearly and has also developed an enhanced version of the SSK, I believe.

KathyR

If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got.
My Blog
http://www.flickr.com/groups/kr_members/ (Roselea Fibres)
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zknit08
Chatty Knitter

USA
315 Posts

Posted - 04/15/2011 :  5:57:19 PM  Show Profile  Visit zknit08's Homepage Send zknit08 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm a beginning knitter and I don't have problem with knitting K2tog, but with k3 or more, I really have problem drawing up a loop through all 3 using a knitting needle, so I resorted to using a crochet hook to do this part and then transfer the loop back to the right hand knitting needle. It is much easier for me this way.
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yarnlover
Permanent Resident

1753 Posts

Posted - 04/16/2011 :  04:03:48 AM  Show Profile Send yarnlover a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm not a beginning knitter and I do the same with the crochet hook at times, especially if the yarn is "splitty."

See My Stuff: Here

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Chayah
Permanent Resident

1927 Posts

Posted - 04/16/2011 :  04:54:04 AM  Show Profile Send Chayah a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thank you, KathyR, your tips are very helpful. :) Chayah

"Each breath really is a new beginning of the rest of our lives." Jon Kabat-Zinn
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Eleanor
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
583 Posts

Posted - 04/16/2011 :  08:00:20 AM  Show Profile  Send Eleanor a Yahoo! Message Send Eleanor a Private Message  Reply with Quote
"and K2tbl are not the same, similar, but not the same." You can pick the decrease you want to do, but it is a left-slanting decrease. (knitted through the back loops of the sts.)

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Eleanor
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
583 Posts

Posted - 04/16/2011 :  3:30:03 PM  Show Profile  Send Eleanor a Yahoo! Message Send Eleanor a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I just remembered this video, which makes the ssk a little easier to do: http://youtu.be/Cg1ykku04is
(After you slip 2 sts you put the left-hand needle back into the sts on the righ needle and without taking them off the right needle, you knit through the back of the sts.)
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Eleanor
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
583 Posts

Posted - 04/16/2011 :  4:20:38 PM  Show Profile  Send Eleanor a Yahoo! Message Send Eleanor a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have been asked this question numerous times and I finally found out why you might have to ssk instead of k2tbl. I did a search and came up with this same subject on this forum (KR) and found Fran's explanation having to do with "Combination Knitting" (where you wrap your purl sts differently and when you knit them you have to go into the back of the sts to "straighten" them out - and in this case you would have to do a ssk to straighten the knit sts out and then knit through back loops in order not to get twisted sts on the decrease.
I have switched to combination knitting for the ease and "evenness" of the stockinette stitch, after so many years of knitting in the "conventional way, but it does lead to some problems if you don't recognize how the sts should be sitting on the needles.
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Consuelo
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
582 Posts

Posted - 04/16/2011 :  5:44:27 PM  Show Profile Send Consuelo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks everybody for your input. I guess I'll have to stay with SSK when it calls for it...

Consuelo
"Travel is fatal to prejudice" Mark Twain
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KathyR
Permanent Resident

New Zealand
2969 Posts

Posted - 04/17/2011 :  4:19:36 PM  Show Profile  Visit KathyR's Homepage Send KathyR a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have finally had a few minutes to search for TechKnitter's post's on SSK. Interestingly, she says nothing about k2togtbl. I seem to remember reading somewhere (EZ?) that the difference has something to do with the orientation of the stitches. A very minor difference.

First up is TechKnitter's post on how to execute the SSK - scroll down a little.

Now you have perfected that, TechKnitter has come up with yet another method for the SSK which makes it a perfect match for a k2tog.

KathyR

If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got.
My Blog
http://www.flickr.com/groups/kr_members/ (Roselea Fibres)
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technikat
Gabber Extraordinaire

596 Posts

Posted - 04/19/2011 :  5:58:34 PM  Show Profile Send technikat a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I agree with Eleanor about not moving the stitches back to the left needle - simply put your left needle through both stitches from the left and pull the yarn through with the right needle. It's already in place.

My FOs
http://www.flickr.com/photos/technikat/
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sarah montie
New Pal

9 Posts

Posted - 04/21/2011 :  04:38:14 AM  Show Profile Send sarah montie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
SSK, Elizabeth Zimmerman liked to do the SSK by slipping the second stitch purlwise. Cat Bhordi prepares for it in the row before. You really start to realize that you can do things the way you want, the important thing is that you like the visual results.
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ikkivan
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
549 Posts

Posted - 04/21/2011 :  07:01:40 AM  Show Profile  Visit ikkivan's Homepage Send ikkivan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Years ago I read a tip somewhere about slanting decreases that I have followed: when using a very dark and/or fuzzy yarn where it's next to impossible to see the stitches anyway, just use the method that's easiest since no one can tell the difference.

Donna, with intentions always bigger than her available time. (OkieDokieKnitter on Ravelry)
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Gibson Girl
Chatty Knitter

USA
151 Posts

Posted - 04/21/2011 :  10:01:28 AM  Show Profile  Visit Gibson Girl's Homepage Send Gibson Girl a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It seems to me that if you are consistant with how you do a decrease it will turn out just fine. At times you want the slants to go left or right but how that happens isn't as important as doing it the same way every time. I suppose it might make a difference if you are doing some sort of complicated lace stitch but I'm not sure how.........
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cwhitman6@yahoo.com


Posts

Posted - 04/21/2011 :  10:28:27 AM  Show Profile Send cwhitman6@yahoo.com a Private Message  Reply with Quote
SSK isn't the same as K2tog through the back loop. By slipping each st individually as if to knit, you change their orientation from "normal" to "twisted" on the needle, i.e., the former back loop of each st is now in front of the needle. When you knit these 2 sts together, the first st on your left needle ends up lying on top of the second st, causing the decrease to slant to the left.
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JMatGam
New Pal

USA
6 Posts

Posted - 04/21/2011 :  4:44:35 PM  Show Profile Send JMatGam a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If you knit the front of the first stitch and the back of the second while you're knitting them together, it's very, very similar to a ssk.

Knit happy! Janet
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emma.antunes@gmail.com
New Pal

1 Posts

Posted - 04/23/2011 :  05:24:32 AM  Show Profile Send emma.antunes@gmail.com a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I follow a variation of EZ's method that I learned from Robin Hansen's "Favorite Mittens" book. Slip as if to knit, slip as if to purl, put your needle through both stitches from the left and knit the two stitches together through the back loop. I actually only slip the first stitch, because the other becomes part of the movement of the needles.
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MeezieGirl
Seriously Hooked

USA
623 Posts

Posted - 05/19/2011 :  02:32:48 AM  Show Profile Send MeezieGirl a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It's been a while since I've been on KR, so my comment is reviving an older topic, but, being a loud mouth, I can't let it sit uncommented.

Last summer, I followed up on nonaknits' left-leaning decrease article http://nonaknits.typepad.com/nonaknits/2006/07/comparing_left_.html
by reproducing it and adding a few other left-leaning decreases I'd found. I'm REALLY glad I did. I came to a different conclusion than nona - I followed Dave's suggestion -

"Evening out your lefties is a two-step process.
Do the SSK as slip 1 as if to knit, slip 1 as if to purl, insert left needle into front of stitches and knit them together.
This is the important part. On the non-decrease rows/rounds, knit the stitch in line with that decrease through the back loop.
This will smooth out the jag by 'lessening' the decreasing stitch and 'pronouncing' the non-decreaseing stitch." -- Dave.

I liked that result the best. But then I thought, why bother with "as if to knit/as if to purl"? So I did another comparison of just those two variants, WITH the "TBL" on the alternate rows/rounds.

Voilą! That, to my mind, is the answer. Do the "standard" SSK, slipping each stitch as if to knit, finish it, and, on alternate rows/rounds, work the stitch produced by the SSK through the back loop. That tightens it up just enough to make it as neat as k2tog.

Try that variant and see if you like it, too.

Dee

You can take the girl out of New York, but you can't take New York out of the girl.

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Consuelo
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
582 Posts

Posted - 05/19/2011 :  06:03:50 AM  Show Profile Send Consuelo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
WOW, Dee! That's the most explicit discussion on the topic yet. THANKS!!

Consuelo
"Travel is fatal to prejudice" Mark Twain
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Coolj
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
428 Posts

Posted - 05/19/2011 :  06:27:27 AM  Show Profile Send Coolj a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Consuelo, your original question reminds me of a gardening dilemma I once posed to a landscape architect. "How do I get rid of ground ivy?" Her answer was, "You won't! Keep telling yourself you love it, and then you can learn to live with it." I suppose this philosophy can apply to knitting and a host of other things we dislike.
Juanita
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