Ssk? I'm confused

I have a patter calling for ssk. The description it gives beneath it is confusing… “slip 1 stitch from L to R needle as if to knit, replace this stitch on L needle in its new orientation and knit two together through the back loop”. Am I overthinking this? Why am I so confused? Is it not just a ssk?

Yes, sometimes in trying to describe simple things, writers can make one even more confused. Slipping the st knitwise make the ‘new orientation’ but it’s not necessary to mention this. This one only slips the first stitch, then puts it back on the L to ktog. It would be the same as what’s called the ‘improved ssk’ where you slip the first knitwise, the 2nd purlwise and ktog, but skipping the step of slipping the 2nd stitch.

I just slip them, leave them on the R needle and put the L needle into the front of them and k2tog.

This looks to be a ssk in which only the [U]first stitch[/U] is actually slipped (a “sk,” maybe?). Usually in ssk, you flip both stitches around and then knit them together through the back loops. However, based on your directions, this does not seem to be a regular ssk.

The “ssk” is always proceeded by a yarn over…does this make a difference?

I don’t think the yo makes any difference. There is a video here of the “improved ssk” suzeeq mentioned which accomplishes the same thing and IMO is probably easier. I’ve just done about a thousand of them…well the may be a slight exaggeration.

The “ssk” is always proceeded by a yarn over…does this make a difference?
You mean in this pattern? No that doesn’t make a difference, it’s the 2nd stitch which is treated a little different, but many people do the ssks that way. You can just do a regular ssk.

Here’s a video for the improved ssk which is what your pattern is calling for. I like it myself but you can see the original and the improved on the Glossary tab at the top of this page.

I have never read this, that SSK is always proceeded by a YO. Do you mean it is implicit in the pattern—we should just KNOW to do a YO before a SSK, or do you mean that a YO is stated in the pattern before the SSK?

I have been knitting for 40 years (!) and am having trouble with a shawl pattern; sometimes I knit for rows at a time and then, all of a sudden, I have one too few stitches. I seem to have tried everything and have never encountered a problem like this before, so I’m wondering if it’s in the SSKs. ???

Help, please!


It may be in her pattern there’s always a yo before the ssk, each one is written differently.

If you have 1 st less, then maybe you did too many decreases, or forgot a yo or it fell off the needle.

The pattern that the poster is working on may call for a yo before the ssk but that certainly isn’t a general rule. There are plenty of patterns that call for decreases and specifically ssk without placing a yo before that decrease.
What pattern are you knitting? It may be that you’re inadvertantly missing an increase somewhere in the row. Would markers help? When this happens to me I more careful about counting sts every row.

Thank you salmonmac and suzeeq. I appreciate your help and suggestions. I DID put a marker every 5 stitches of the 55! And I knit 2 rows correctly. It was a little hard because there were YOs and K2Togs which, then I had to move the markers!

What I finally figured out, or at least, this is what I think: even though I typed out the rows in bigger font, they were too close together on my paper, and I just looked at the wrong row 1/2 way through. The rows are VERY similar, simply moving the YO holes over one stitch every other row (Odd rows are P across; even rows might be like: YO, K2, slip 1 as to knit and another even row is: YO, K1, slip 1 as to knit)

I’m going to put something over those other rows so I can’t see them and just look at the row I’m doing!!

Okay, back at it!!


Ah, yes. That could well do it. I’m using sticky notes right now to block off the unworked rows on a chart so that I can keep my place. They really help especially when you’re starting a pattern and can’t predict the stitches by looking at previous rows.