How to properly decrease?

Hey all. I’m about to set out knitting a teddy bear and have a lovely pattern to follow. Overall, after reading through it I understand what’s going on and what I need to do (it’s written for novice knitters).

However, I have only just begun to explore increasing and decreasing in a pattern. Increasing I understand and don’t think I’ll have a terrible time with. Decreasing on the other hand I need advice on.

Here’s the instruction for one of the rows I’m having trouble understanding:

“Decrease 1 st at beg of row and each following 4 th row until 47 sts”

There are also instructions, later on to decrease 1 st at the end of the row.

I know there are left and right decreases, and that’s where I’m having the problem. Which one do I use at the beginning, and which one do I use at the end of the row? The overall pattern is stockinette and all decreases are done in the knit rows.

One last question: in the quotes above, it says to decrease every 4 th row. Would it go like this:


I hope this makes sense! Thanks!

Decrease at the beginning of the row, at the right side edge as the row is facing you or decrease at the end of the row, at the left side edge as the row faces you. Just make sure you don’t miss a “decrease at [I]each[/I] end” of a row. That’s an easy one to skip over.
You’ll have to see which way you would prefer the decrease to slant, to the right (k2tog) or to the left (ssk).
And yes, that’s the way you would decrease every 4th row.
I hope you’ll post a photo of the finished bear. It’d be fun to see it. Good luck with the pattern!

Thanks for answering back :slight_smile: I’ll be sure to post a picture as well as soon as I finish - if I’m successful, I’ll probably show off to anyone who will look!

I did have another question, but this is more conceptual than pattern-based:

The bear I’m doing is basically knitting up pieces and then stitching the pieces together. So an arm is two separate pieces stitched together, the body is the same, etc.

Since I can essentially decide whether to angle right of left when decreasing (as long as I’m consistent) does that mean that I should do the opposite for the second piece?

So, for example, if I’m knitting the [B]front[/B] piece of the body, and I decide that when decreasing at the [B]beginning[/B] of the row I will go to the [U]right /U and at the [B]end [/B]I’ll go[U] left /U, once I finish and begin on the [B]back[/B] piece of the body, would I then reverse it and go [U]left[/U] at the [B]beginning[/B] of the row (ssk) and [U]right[/U] at the [B]end /B, when called for?

Since it’s a stockinette and I’ll want the smooth pieces facing outward, I’ll stitch it with the smooth pieces facing each other before I flip it to stuff. I just want to make sure all the pieces line up correctly.

So would I reverse, or just do it exactly the same both times?

Some of this may be more evident once I actually start, I just want to be prepared beforehand. Not an awful lot of the rows actually have me decreasing at both ends on the same row; most of the time it’s just decrease on one row, knit/purl for awhile and then decrease again.

Again, thanks for all the help!

I would decrease the same way on both pieces so that the decreases all point toward the seam or all point away from the seam, depending on how you decide to do them. Whether the decreases line up across the seam from each other or not, I’d like that kind of symmetry. This may be clearer to you as you knit one piece and then start the second and you may prefer the decreases to slant differently or align differently when you see the actual parts in hand.

You’ve gotten such good instruction on your questions that I’m going to bring up something you didn’t ask about. When you are knitting two of the same thing (i.e. and arm front) you can knit them at the same time by casting on twice with two balls of yarn or from both ends of one ball and then doing the same row twice. That way you won’t have to start the same piece all over again you can see that they match.

Can you link to the pattern or a picture? I’d like to see what you’re working on.

The pattern is actually in this book I bought:

I’d link the pattern but cannot find it online and I don’t have a scanner.

This is, though, what the bear is supposed to look like when finished:

Of course, with my skill level I’ll be happy if it just resembles a bear! Though the pattern itself really isn’t overly complicated; I just need to learn to increase/decrease a little more fluently and I’ll be good to go - and I’m practicing before I actually begin.

What a cute bear. I’m sure you’ll do just fine and end up with a great teddy. Actually, it’s just as well you couldn’t post the pattern as it would undoubtedly violate copyright laws.