American Knitting Terminology

September 2, 2007

If you search Google for free sock knitting patterns, you’ll find there are literally thousands of them out there, mostly from knitters in the USA. There is one abbreviation I have come across in a large number of these patterns, and that is “SSK”, which apparently stands for “Slip, Slip, Knit”.

That really didn’t mean anything to me, and probably doesn’t mean anything to the average British knitter either. So what is it? It’s the equivalent of the standard, “K2tog tbl” or “knit 2 together through the back of the loops”.

So why “Slip, Slip, Knit”? Well, apparently you slip one stitch knitwise, the next stitch purlwise, you insert the left needle in the front of the loops of the slipped stitches on the right needle and knit them all together. Effectively you’re still knitting through the backs of the loops, but you’re coming at it from a different direction. It does look a little different to the plain K2tog tbl as the stitches lie flatter, and they more closely resemble a normal “knit 2 together” in reverse.

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