Combined / Combination Knitting

April 2, 2008

I just realized yesterday, to my despair, that I knit the combined way.

There is a continental way and an English way, but nooo….I have to do it the combined way…

Why to my despair!? you might ask…After all, this way is faster, yes. Too bad all instructions out there are for the other techniques as are all patterns I have…

So, I need to translate every pattern for machine knitting and switch stitches for hand knitting. When knitting is supposed to be something relaxing and simple, it is anything but, at least during the learning process.

I’m trying to figure out how I’m supposed to do a k2tog and a ssk the combined way.

YO seams to be so easy for everyone, that nobody really explains it.

I’m a beginner at hand knitting, I have only made simple stockinette stitches and always under my mom’s supervision during my school years. It seams that with machine knitting I do not bother that much with right slant or left slant decreases, as I find it easier to just move one stitch over the other, and I never twist the stitches, but I’m a beginner at machine knitting too…

For me, the biggest issue with the combined method is decreasing – to the right or left. Here’s some info I find useful:

  3. a quote from a forum:
  4. “here’s a memory trick–a number 2 has a /in it..
    and a k2tog results in a decrease that leans to right / just like the number 2

    and a SSK or S1, k1, psso –has an S and inside the S is a \ left leaning slant.

    so.. if you the pattern calls for a K2tog the pattern is calling for a / Right leaning decrease

    and if the pattern calls for a SSK or S1,K1, psso, the pattern is calling for a \ left leaning decrease.”

    So it is clearly that I need to reverse k2tog with ssk and the other way around, since all patterns are written for European and Western way…


From the video above, to do a right slanting decrease (a k2tog standard) with the combined knitting method,

  • you slip the two stitches to the right needle one by one,
  • then place them back onto the left needle turning them so that their leading edge is to the front (by inserting the left needle point around the front loop into the loop from right to left – twisting the loop).
  • After reorienting the stitches you do a standard knit two together (by inserting the right needle, around the front loops, through the second stitch and then the first stitch and draw the yarn through, placing it on the right needle).

So in other words, to my understanding:A K2TOG in combined knitting becomes a slip, slip, twist, twist and then knit through front loops together, inserting needle into the second loop first.

A ssk is just a knit the combined way, through both stitches.

Next, I will have to figure out how to do the eyelets. I have tried yesterday and if I purl the combined knitting way the loop that was produced by a YO in the previous row, I do not end up having a hole…

Anyone knows any other/better/right way of interpreting the patterns for combined knitting, please let me know.

P.S. I’m trying to make the Silk Slip from Knitting Lingerie Style…

10 Responses to “Combined / Combination Knitting”

  1. dawn Says:

    I knit combined too. It makes sense…the purls are exactly opposite of the knits that way. After awhile I don’t have to think much about how to switch the k2tog and ssk. (although your way of remembering is pure genius….I wish I’d read it about 3 years ago!) I call k2tog-converted to combination knitting “flip, flip, knit” b/c that’s what it seems like you do when you slip and turnb them.

    Your work is beautiful, I’ve been lurking!

  2. Grace Says:

    I knit combined when knitting back and forth (instead of in the round).

    I just remember that the stitch I want to disappear goes behind the one that I want to keep. So, from the right side, ssk becomes knit the next 2 stitches together.

    As Dawn noted, k2tog becomes flip, flip, knit.
    I try to remember on the row before the decrease to purl western-style, just the 2 stitches for the k2tog. Try it. It is fast!

  3. Grace Says:

    Also see Annie Modesitt’s site about combination knitting:

  4. Mirela Says:

    Thank you!
    I gave it another try last night, like in the video and flip flip knit works.
    Grace, I can’t wait to put my hands back on the knit work and try out your purl in the row before, I’m sure it will be faster.

    I’ll post a photo tonight with what I have done so far 🙂

    Dawn, Grace, I lurk around your blogs too and really like your work!

  5. Vivian Says:

    Just found this website and am delighted. I am in desperate need of combination instruction for knitting the “diamond” shape in eyelet.
    Any solutions. Thanks

  6. mirela Says:

    Well I didn’t do anything special for the diamond shape, where the eyelets are, simply knit two together on one side and SSK or S1, k1, psso on the eyelet on the other side. I did the red top with diamond eyelets on the machine, so there i moved stitches to the right and to the left…but I’m not sure how that’s translated…

  7. Mirela Says:

    ssk – psso European style:

  8. Laura Says:

    I’m coming late to this post, but I wanted to provide another POSSIBLE solution for the left-slanting decrease.

    Here are my directions:
    To decrease from two stitches to one: Flip 2 stitches around (through back loops) one at a time and move them to right needle. Then, stick left needle through back of slipped stitches from left to right. Wrap the yarn between the two needles and then away from you over the left needle. Slide this yarn under the slipped stitches and then slide the two stitches (formerly known as “slipped stitches”) off the right needle. Lastly, pass the new stitch from the left needle to the right one.

    If anyone tries this, please let me know if it works the way it should. And thanks!

  9. M. Neel Says:

    Glad I found your site! I’ve been knitting the SSK just by knitting two together though the front. It seemed sensible as our stitches are already twisted until the next row untwists them. I do get a left leaning desrease, but I’ll try flipping them first and see if I like it better. Someone else try my way and let me know what you think, please.

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