Easier decreases for tight knitters

If you knit loosely, you only need to read this post if you might help someone out who knits tightly or if you want a hint for making knitting through the back loop easier. If you’re a tight knitter like me, you might have worked this out already. In any case, it seemed worth mentioning.

Tight stitches are usually fine to knit individually, but as soon as a “knit 2 together”, or worse, a “knit 3 together” comes along, it can be hard to get the needle to go in all the way. Decreases which involve slipping and passing slipped stitches over are not so hard because the yarn gets loosened up, but k2tog can be a struggle.

Well, somewhere along the line, I picked up a trick that helps me. (I’ve also loosened up a little over time, but still need this trick occasionally.)

Easier decreases for tight knittersStart by inserting the active needle purlwise into the first stitch on the inactive needle.

Leaving it inserted in the stitch, slide the needle up over the top of the inactive needle and around to the back as if to knit through the back loop. (Stopping here is a trick that makes knitting through the back loop easier.)

Easier decreases for tight knittersThe first stitch on the needle is now slightly looser because some of the slack from the previously-worked yarn has been pulled up.

Easier decreases for tight knitters

Flick the active needle forward and under the inactive needle as if to purl two together, and then stop moving it. (Unless knitting three together, in which case slide it around the needle one more time, ending as if to purl three together.)

Easier decreases for tight knitters

Press index finger against the back of the stitches to be knit together—this will make the stitches stay loose for the rest of the decrease.

Remove the active needle from the stitches, bring it around to the front, and knit 2 (or 3) together.

If knitting 4 together (it comes up occasionally), there’s a slightly more tedious method that is nonetheless better than struggling with trying to force the needle through:

Knit the first stitch, slip it back to the inactive needle, pass each of the next 3 unworked stitches over it, and then slip it to the active needle again.