How to calculate a big decrease

I have a project I have my eye on, and at one point I have to decrease “30 sts evenly” from 146sts. I would think it’s as simple as dividing (146/30) which comes to 4.8. Is that all there is to it? I would imagine that with an answer like 4.8 I would round down to 4 and go from there? Anything else I should take into account?

It seems to me that a long time ago, before I started knitting “in earnest”, I had tried a similar decrease and had ended up with a quarter of the sts left after all the decreases were done, which is why I’m asking this now rather than when I’m in the middle of the pattern.


Yep, it’s as simple as that dividing the total amount of stitches by the decreases gives you the number of stitches between decreases. You say you end up with 4.8, then you would round up to 5. So it would look like this in your knitting… k1,2,3,k next 2 together (sts 4,5) Beings it isn’t a full number, I would start out with k1, k2tog, then start your counting, then finish with a k2tog and then k1. Just to keep the selvedges even.
Increasing you would do the same thing except you would increase in the 5th st or whatever count you got for your inbetweens.

Ah, that helps! See if I had been told to round to 5, I would have done k1,2,3,4,k next 2 together! Good thing I asked. I’m going to write this somewhere so I don’t forget somewhere down the line.

Thanks a lot!

Being you’ll normally do one dec at the beg of the row, you’d actually divide by one less than the total no of decs (30-1=29). So 146/29…which is 5.

If you end up with extras…such as dec 6 over 98 (98/5=19 or 20). With 19 you’ll have a few extras to work in, with 20 you’d come up short. So do a couple at 19, a couple at 20.


You have to include the k2tog as part of the divided number which is 5 in this case.

I also have trouble doing the math and then having it come out evenly! I have bookmarked “knitting how to decrease evenly”. this will plot it out and for some reason being able to read the row with decreases is better for me than having to count stitches! Tillie

Fibernut: sounds like you really know what you are talking about! I am stuck in a pattern with a similar question, but with a slightly different twist.

The pattern says to “Begin k2, p2 rib, purling 2 sts tog 28 times evenly spaced in reverse St st portions of fabric…”. I am decreasing from 72 sts and cannot figure out what the pattern would be. Any chance you can help?

Much appreciated - I am snowed-in in Ohio and this is the perfect time to catch up on my knitting!

Okay, you need to dec 28 sts over 72. I think I’d do it as p2tog, p1, p2tog, p1 etc. Although it’s worded oddly, that you’re to begin the 2x2 rib, but you’ll be decreasing in the rev St st…? Or do they mean to dec in the purl sts? In which case it would be k2, p2tog, k1, p2tog or something if you’re supposed to be doing ribbing. Basically you’re going to dec by about 1/3 so you should start out with the dec, work one st, dec, work a st, etc… ending with a dec.

K, from what I saw in the directions you wrote, they want you to do your decreases in the purl ditch of the ribs. Which would be the reverse stockinette part (bumps are showing).
Stockinette is where the v’s are the front or the outside, and where the bumps are the back or inside.
Reverse stockinette is well the opposite of that.

I thought that might be it, but I don’t think there would be enough of them to decrease 28 sts. There’s only 18 purl ribs across 72 sts. So I think you have to be decreasing on a k1, p1 combination on some of them.