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A common knitting abbreviation you are likely to come across is skp or sl1, k1, psso. (Different designers will use either abbreviation depending on what they are most comfortable with but they mean the same thing...)
SKP is a method of decreasing 1 stitch with a sloped stitch leaning to the left as opposed to k2tog which has a sloped stitch leaning to the right. This method of decreasing is also similar to ssk and k2tog tbl. The end results will look slightly different and you will find some circumstances that are more suited to the use of one of them over the others but they all do basically the same thing.
Ultimately the one you choose will depend on your personal preference and the article you are making. I tend to use k2tog tbl decrease most often but will switch to ssk if I want the decrease slope to look uniform (tidier for things like the shaping on a raglan jumper) or spk for lace work when the first stitch in the decrease is a yarn over (yo). In other words I use the decrease method that looks the best for what ever project or section of a project that I am working on and it is probably even going to vary within a single project.
SKP or sl1, k1, psso
There are three steps to completing an SKP;
- slip the next stitch from the left hand needle onto the right hand needle as if you were knitting it - insert the right hand needle into the front of the next stitch with the needles tip beginning out at the back and slip the stitch all the way onto the right hand needle without knitting it,
- knit the next stitch,
- use the tip of the left hand needle to lift the slipped stitch up and over the stitch you just knitted so that you only have one stitch remaining instead of two.
Note: these instructions assume that you are right handed...
An SSK is slightly different to an SKP and the end result will look slightly different.
- Slip the next two stitches off the left hand needle and onto the right hand needle knit wise,
- Insert the tip of the left hand needle through the back
This method tends to be a little faster than the other two as you work the two stitches you are decreasing at the same time and there is only one step;
- Knit the two stitches together by inserting the tip of the right hand needles through the back loops of the next two stitches and knitting them together.