Knitting Nuances

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Match Your K3Tog & SSSK with the Showy Decrease



Showy Garter

The Intro to Showy Garter eBook and 5-part blog series are now complete and available in Ravelry. I’ve been working on them for months so it makes me very happy. There are a lot more Showy Garter projects still to be announced but we’re going to pause for some serious curves.




The next two patterns have incredible depth and curves and matching double decreases. That means it’s time to take another look at how Showy right and left leaning decreases match. The free  Manchester Scarf which was a result of our first look at matching decreases has been our most popular pattern on Ravelry to date with over 8,500 downloads.

We’ve built in links to all the past blog posts to help you navigate the ideas and projects that have already been announced. 

How the Single Showy Decrease Works

Doamond_Blog_ChartThe concept behind the Showy Decrease is very simple;  join a series of decreases together with a slip stitch on the following wrong side row or next round. This chart shows the single k2tog and ssk Showy Decrease.

As I’ve pointed out before, this concept is not more difficult to knit because it’s easy to see the double strands of the decrease on the wrong side row and even easier to spot the next decrease so there’s less counting on right sides too.

Double Decreases

Although not used as frequently, I do love Showy Double Decreases because they have even more height and really stand out on the knit fabric.


CDD Projects

We previously blogged about the Showy central double decrease (cdd).  The cdd is already smooth so the impact of the Showy Decrease is noticeable and cleaner but not Earth shattering. It was used in two pretty projects, the Tranquility Shawl and most recently the High Sierra Infinity scarf.

Now we’re going to add the right and left leaning double decrease to your bag of knitting tricks, and these do have a big impact.

Evaluating the Options

We’re diving into the weeds for the knitting geeks out there. If your head starts to explode, skip down to the swatch instructions.

When playing with Nuances there are usually more options than you’d think. That was certainly the case with the double right and left leaning Showy Decrease.  Let’s take a quick look at the Showy and Subtle Decrease and why they work. (Chart legend below).


The slip stitch in the Showy Decrease sits on top of its partner, giving the raised elongated stitch. This is most commonly used as a decorative element and paired with an increase. The slip stitch in the Subtle Decrease slides more easily behind its partner without the bump created by purling the stitch on the prior row. It’s more likely to be used as an actual decrease.

  • double_decsOption 1: My first instinct was to combine the two for the perfect k3tog Showy Decrease. Option 1 has 2 slip sts on the prior wrong side row, one for the Showy and one to let the last stitch slide behind like the Subtle. It worked nicely. But was it the best option?
  • Option 2: This idea is definitely easier. I’m a big fan of simplicity so the double slip stitches in Option 1 would need a much better result than this one.
  • Option 3: If you slip 1 knitwise, slip 1 purlwise when working the ssk, it sits better in the knit fabric. I wanted to try that here as well. (Don’t confuse these right side slip stitches meant to reorient the stitches with the Showy slip stitch which is done on the prior wrong side row.)  Should we slip the 3 knitwise or slip 2 knitwise and the last purlwise?

The Results

Want to know how it worked? This post is getting very long, so if you’re reading the email version, check out the rest including  swatch instructions on our blog site.

The Easy Decision: Use Option 2 for K3tog

Option 1 was simply not worth the possible confusion. The nice thing about the Showy Decrease is that even though you’re not just purling the entire wrong side row, the places you need to slip are pretty easy to see. Adding an extra slip stitch just messes that up.

The Harder Decision:

For the sssk, I did like the result when the last stitch is slipped purlwise. When you knit the 3 stitches through the back loop, the result twists that last stitch and holds the Showy Decrease in place a little better. That’s an easy modification so I don’t mind it.

However, it turns out that the same concept works for the k3tog too. If you slip 2 purlwise and the last stitch knitwise it also holds it in place better. But since there is no need to slip stitches to reorient them in a k3tog, is it worth the effort? Probably not, but I’ll share the informations and let each knitter decide.

k3tog_ssk_before_afterLet’s Compare 

Here’s a comparison of the Showy and standard decreases. It’s a little hard to see here but the Showy Decreases also stand up on the knit fabric more. You’ll see that in the larger pattern in the next blog post.


Swatch It Yourself

Want to test it out? Here’s a swatch for you. Note how the slip stitch on wrong side rows is the decrease from the row before. The triple strands are easy to spot. Cast on 27 sts with smooth yarn of your choice. A wool or wool blend works best. This swatch knit with worsted merino.


To our subscribers: This was a very long post. It was hard to decide whether to put it all together so it shows in your email notification or whether that would be overwhelming and hard to read. It’s our first time using the ‘read more’ option that links to the blog. If you have an opinion either way, let me know.

What do you think?

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This entry was posted on February 20, 2017 by in Nuances, Showy Decrease.

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