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If you’re a knitter, you’ve probably come across the k2tog decrease at some point. It’s a simple way to decrease the number of stitches on your needle, and it produces a nice, neat right-leaning stitch. But if you’ve never done it before, it can be a little confusing.
Not to worry! In this blog post, we’ll show you how to do the k2tog decrease.
K2tog, or “knit two together”, is a common knitting decrease that you’ll see in all sorts of knitting patterns. It’s one of the easiest knitting decreases to work, and with a little practice, you’ll be able to do it without any trouble. Read on for a step-by-step guide to doing the k2tog decrease.
New to knitting? You might want to read our How to Knit: Complete Guide for Beginners first.
How to K2tog
Let’s get started! Here’s a quick overview of the k2tog technique, in case all you need is a little reminder.
K2tog: Insert your right needle into the next two stitches on your left needle as if you were going to knit them together. Wrap your yarn around the right needle, and knit the two stitches together.
If you need more details, don’t worry – scroll down for step-by-step pictures in the next section.
When to Use K2tog
You can use the k2tog stitch any time you need to decrease the number of stitches in a row. For example, use decreases like k2tog to reduce the number of stitches at the crown of a hat, the tip of a mitten, and the toe of a sock.
And, since k2tog is a right-leaning decrease, it’s most often used on the left side of garments. When worked this way, the decrease looks like it’s slanting in toward the center of the work.
Abbreviations in Knitting Patterns
In knitting patterns, “knit two together” is most often abbreviated as k2tog. But you’ll sometimes see it capitalized K2TOG or written “knit 2 together”. You can always check your specific pattern’s Notes or Abbreviations section to see how the pattern designer indicates this stitch.
Step-by-Step K2tog Instructions
Working a k2tog is almost the same as working a regular knit stitch. The difference is that you’ll be knitting two stitches together simultaneously.
In the photo tutorial below, I’ll show you how to knit two together.
Step 1: Insert the right-hand needle from left to right (knitwise) through the front loops of the two stitches at the tips of the left-hand needle, as if you were going to knit them both.
Step 2: Wrap the yarn counter-clockwise around the tip of the right needle, and draw the yarn through both of the stitches on the left-hand needle. Then, slip the two stitches off the left needle. That’s all there is to it – the k2tog is complete.
Let’s look at the result:
- The left stitch lies on top.
- The right stitch is hidden underneath.
- The decrease slants up and to the right.
Instead of two stitches, there is one stitch on the right needle.
Tips for Working K2Tog
Knitting two stitches together at the same time can be a little tricky, at least at first. If you are a tight knitter, it can be hard to get the needle through both stitches. Here are a few tips to help.
- Use pointy needles. A needle with a sharp, tapered tip will be easier to insert through both stitches on the left needle.
- Use metal needles. Metal needles are slightly easier to use, because they’re a little more slippery than plastic or bamboo needles.
- Relax your grip. Try not to hold the yarn too tightly as you work.
- Work with just the tips of your needles. After you work the decrease, you can move it to the full width of your right needle to ensure the completed stitch is the right size.
Alternatives to the K2Tog
K2tog is by far the most popular right-leaning decrease. But it’s not the only one out there! Here are a few other right-leaning decreases that you might come across:
Knit Return Pass Return (KRPR) is another right-leaning decrease. To make it,
- Step 1: Knit one stitch.
- Step 2: Return the stitch you just knit to the left-hand needle.
- Step 3: Pass the second stitch from the tip on the left needle over the stitch just knitted and passed.
- Step 4: Slip the stitch back to the right-hand needle purlwise.
Purl Two Together (or p2tog) can look like a right-leaning decrease when worked on the wrong-side of your work, and viewed from the right-side.
FAQs about K2tog
Here are some commonly asked questions about the K2tog knitting technique.
Is k2tog the same as SSK?
Nope, a K2tog and an SSK are two different knitting decrease techniques. K2tog is a right-leaning decrease, while SSK is a left-leaning decrease. For more information about how to work an SSK, read How to SSK (Slip Slip Knit) in Knitting.
Is k2tog worked through the front loops or back loops?
Work the k2tog through the front loops of the two stitches on the left-hand needle.
“Knit two together through the back loops” (k2tog tbl) is an entirely different decrease technique, that actually slants to the left.
How do I k2tog in the round?
Working a k2tog in the round is the same as working in flat rows. You can follow the above instructions without modification.
How do I make a k2tog easier?
If you have trouble getting the needle through both stitches when working a k2tog, try using pointier needles, or working on the tips of your needles.
Can I substitute a different decrease for a k2tog?
Yes, several other decreases can be used in place of a k2tog.
The KRPR is a right-leaning decrease that is similar to the k2tog. You can also try purling two together (p2tog) on the wrong side of the work.
Have any other questions about K2tog? Leave a comment below, and we’ll do our best to answer them.
More Beginner Knitting Tutorials
To learn more about how to knit, check out these related articles.
- How to Knit: Complete Guide for Beginners
- How to Knit Garter Stitch for Beginners
- How to Knit Stockinette Stitch for Beginners
- How to SSK (Slip Slip Knit) in Knitting
- How to Kitchener Stitch (Grafting) in Knitting
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- knitting needles
- Insert the right-hand needle from left to right (knitwise) through the front loops of the two stitches at the tips of the left-hand needle, as if you were going to knit them both.
- Wrap the yarn counter-clockwise around the tip of the right needle, and draw the yarn through both of the stitches on the left-hand needle. Then, slip the two stitches off the left needle.
- The k2tog is complete.
Sarah Stearns has helped millions of makers find their next craft project with free patterns and step-by-step tutorials on her blog, sarahmaker.com. Read more.
With over a decade of experience in knitting and crochet, she has been featured in prominent publications like The New York Times, Scientific American, Good Housekeeping, Vox, Apartment Therapy, and Lifehacker.