Decreasing stitches? What's that all about?

This sounds like a weird thing to want to do. Why would you want to decrease the number of stitches on your needles when you’ve just spent all this time getting them on there?

There is a method to my madness and I promise you I’m not leading you astray. You will sometimes see in patterns that you need to decrease. This means that they are asking you to reduce the number of stitches on your needle because you are starting to shape the item you are making.

Cone head?

Imagine if you are knitting a hat. Unless you want it to be a rectangle folded in half or have a square shaped head you will want to shape your knitting into a sort of cone shape to cater for your head not being a cube. We use this skill in a lot of our kits and it’s a good one to get to know and luckily for you it’s easy peasy!

Watch our video and learn how to decrease! 


Getting started...

To decrease stitches you will basically knit/purl two (or more!) stitches together. Sounds a bit crazy but it’s easy to do and once you’ve mastered it you’ll be all over decreasing!

Remember to follow the instructions in your pattern as to where in a row you are decreasing as there might be one decrease or multiple decreases. You want to get them in the right place as doing them in the wrong place could have interesting consequences for the shape of your knitting!

In shorthand in the pattern you will likely see something that looks like k2tog (knit 2 stitches together) or p2tog (purl 2 stitches together). If you see this abbreviation you know you’re making something with some shape to it!

 Top Tips

  • Follow the pattern but don’t freak out if you mess up – chances are only you will notice!
  • At the end of a row in a pattern you will often see the number of stitches you should have left on your needle after you’ve done a decrease row (you usually find it at the end of the instruction in brackets). We recommend checking that your stitch count matches so you know you’ve done it correctly!
  • Get making all manner of shaped knitted garments!!

Get social with us

Remember we're always here to help if you have any questions and we love to see what you make so why not follow us on Instagram or Facebook and share some pics with us!  Use the hashtags #knitkitco and #anyonecanknit so we can see them!

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Ever wondered about knitting? Does it seem too complicated for you?  Our kits are designed for people like you. Gorge designs, lovely yarn, step by step, easy to understand patterns and support.  A kit is a perfect way to start your knitting journey.


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