Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Twisted Decreases

I'm doing Sockdown again, this month. You'd have thought I'd been all socked out by now. I'm doing a pattern from the "Underappreciated" category - so any sock pattern that has less than 15 projects on Ravelry. I'm doing Phaeodaria by Hunter Hammersen, which is absolutely gorgeous and have no idea why it hasn't got more projects - though it's a relatively recent release. Incidently, the pattern was in the Sock Report, which are all patterns using sock weight yarn and there are some really gorgeous patterns in it. I "accidently" (imagine I said this with lots of irony!) bought all the patterns.

It's a twisted cable pattern and there are a couple of stitches that I'd not encountered before. Twisted decreases - described in the pattern by k2tog tbl and ssk tbl. I thought k2tog tbl was pretty self explanatory but was struggling to find a clear description of a ssk tbl. If you slip, slip and knit through the back loops, then in my mind that is what a regular ssk is. I later found out that it was a technical issue, if you're using any of the Sock Report patterns on an iPad, the interactive parts to the instructions don't show up in some apps. They work fine in GoodReader. I didn't realise until researching this blog that there was an interactive description of the techniques for these stitches; so the information is all there.

I tried to do a bit of research myself but information seemed to be a little sparse.

These are the versions of ssk tbl that I found.
  • Slip one purlwise, then next stitch knitwise and knit them together through the back loop;or
  • Slip both stitches knitwise one at a time, then back on the left needle and k2tog.
So I contacted the designer. It's not something I've done before and was exceedingly pleased with the super fast and clear response. I got an email back within half an hour! I was guided towards this video, which sorted me out nicely.

I'm going to describe them as left leaning twisted decrease and right leaning twisted decrease because otherwise I found it all a bit confusing - with people using different terms.

This is what I ended up doing:

Left leaning twisted decrease -  slip one purlwise, slip one knitwise, move both stitches back to the left hand needle and k2tog.
Right leaning twisted decrease - slip one knitwise, slip one purlwise and knit together through the back loops

Here is a close up of where I've used the twisted decreases, as you can see it allows you to use a decrease and move the twisted stitch without cables and still keep the column of twisted stitches going. 

The socks are now finished and already had a trip out. Oh and the other nice thing is the photo was requested to go on the pattern page on Ravelry, which is always lovely.


  1. They are beautiful!! I want to be a speedy knitter!!!

  2. Thanks for this info, was really most helpful!! Your socks are beautiful, & I have queued this to do in the near future!! With your tips of course!!

  3. Thank you, Joanne. I'm not making these socks, but found your article when I seatched for a twisted decrease. The green wool with the twisted stitch design is striking.