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How to Decrease in Knitting In Just 3 Easy Steps!

Hey, there beginning knitters!

I am back today to share with you a tutorial on how to decrease in knitting.  This is the follow up to my previous post, How to Increase a Stitch in Knitting.


How to Decrease in Knitting Tutorial by


Now, before we move on, let’s refresh on what increasing and decreasing mean in knitting and why they are important.

Simply put, making an increase in knitting means adding a stitch.  Whereas, making a decrease means removing or subtracting a stitch from your project as you knit.


Why Are Knitting Increases and Decreases Important?

Okay, so you are probably at the point in your knitting journey where you have mastered the knit and purl stitches.  You can make scarves, blankets, and rectangular shawls.

That’s awesome!

But what if you are ready to start knitting bags, sweaters, mittens, or even socks?

That’s where increasing and decreasing come into play.  These techniques allow you to change the shape of your projects.

To go from flat to contoured.


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1. How to Increase a Stitch in Knitting /  2. Absolute Best Way to Make Pom Poms! / 3.  How to Change Colors in Knitting


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How to Decrease in Knitting

Since I addressed the easiest way to add a stitch in knitting in my last post.  Today I want to focus on the easiest way to remove a stitch in knitting. And just like it’s counterpart, it takes only a few simple steps.

In fact, in this case, it’s only three steps total.  Yes, you read that right.  Only three steps!

Granted, there are actually lots of methods used to make knitting decreases, but I want to share with you the one known as the “knit two together”.

This is because, well, like I said, I think it’s the easiest way and that makes it perfect for beginners!


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The “Knit Two Together” Tutorial

The “knit two together” technique is abbreviated k2tog in patterns and it basically involves treating two stitches like they are one.

This is very similar to the bar increase method for adding a stitch in knitting, where one stitch is used to make two stitches, thereby increasing the stitch count.

Except, in this case, you are removing a stitch (or loop) from your needle.  Thereby reducing the number of stitches in a row by one stitch.  This decreases the width of the project, thus altering its shape.

NOTE:  It is best to perform the k2tog with stitches in the middle of your knitting project.  This is because the stitches at the edges of your knitting can get a little smushed and become a bit “wonky”.  However, for ease of demonstration, this tutorial shows the steps of the “knit two together” method using the first stitch of the project.

The steps required are exactly the same whether you perform them in the middle of your project or at the end.  It just so happens that the stitches in the middle tend to be nicer and prettier so it is often better to increase using those stitches.



Please note that I am starting this tutorial with six stitches in the top row of my knitting needle.  See photo below.

How to Decrease in Knitting Tutorial by

Now I will decrease those stitches by one.

Step One

Insert the right-handed needle into the first two stitches just like you would if you were going to make the knit stitch.

How to Decrease in Knitting Tutorial by

Step Two

Wrap the yarn around the needle as usual.

How to Decrease in Knitting Tutorial by

Step Three

Pull the Yarn through both stitches and slip both stitches off the needle together, letting them drop.

How to Decrease in Knitting Tutorial by

You have now completed one knitting decrease.

How to Decrease in Knitting Tutorial by

As you can see, there are now only 5 stitches in the top row of my knitting project.


K2tog Tips & Important Information


Now, remember earlier when I told you that there are actually numerous methods for making a decrease in knitting?  Well, it’s important to know that each type of knitting decrease creates its own “look”.

In the case of “knit two together”, a tight, right slanting decrease gets created.

This means that you need to pay attention to whether you are decreasing on a purl stitch or a knit stitch.  This is because you want to make sure that you are using a decrease method that creates the correct stitch to blend in with your pattern or the overall stitching in your project.

For instance, if you are decreasing on a purl stitch instead of a knit stitch, you may want to p2tog (“purl two together”). This creates a left slanting decrease.

The p2tog is done exactly like the k2tog, except you purl the two top stitches as one instead of knit.


Seriously?  Could it get any easier?

Armed with the knowledge of how to remove a stitch in knitting and/or add a stitch you now how the power to give your knitted projects shape!

You can now create a sweater or hat that’s tailored to fit you exactly!  You can literally knit gloves that fit you like a glove.

Pun totally intended… he he he


What Will You Make Now That You Know How Decrease in Knitting?


Until next time…  Happy Knitting!

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