How to Work Knit Two Together (K2tog)

The First Knitting Decrease You Need to Learn

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Performing a knit two together. © Sarah E. White, licensed to About.com, Inc.

A basic stitch in knitting, K2Tog (or knit two together) means exactly what it sounds like: knit two stitches together. It's used often in knitting patterns and is one of the most common ways to decrease the number of stitches on your needle.

As you begin your journey in the world of knitting, K2Tog is a stitch that you will definitely need to know.

What is the K2Tog Stitch?

Knit two together is the most basic method of decreasing stitches.

It makes a decrease that slants slightly to the right and is often abbreviated as K2Tog or k2tog in patterns.

  • To 'knit two together' is just like making a regular knit stitch, but you work through two stitches instead of just one.
  • You can do the same thing with purl stitches, which is known as purl two together (P2Tog).

On occasion, you may find patterns that ask you to knit three stitches together. It will be noted as K3Tog in the pattern and it is worked the same as a K2Tog, except you will grab three stitches instead of two.

  • This is common for very tight decreases in more intricate pattern designs.
  • Take care that your first stitch doesn't slip off the needle as this stitch can be a quite tight while working it.

K2Tog vs. SSK

You've already learned that K2Tog is a right-slanted decrease and there is a left-slanted decrease that is used as well. This is known as slip, slip, knit (SSK). The two are often used with one another to form a slant in the desired direction within the pattern.

For example, decreases on a sweater front may call for K2Tog on the right side of the row and SSK on the left side. They may also be paired together for lace or other intricate patterns.

If your pattern does not tell you which decrease to use, but simply says to decrease, you can choose between K2Tog and SSK.

However, there are some important things that you must consider because of the slant direction of each stitch: Which Increase or Decrease Should I Use?

Popular Patterns That Use K2Tog

In order to give you a sense of how K2Tog works in patterns, you might want to work a simple project or swatch with one of these stitch patterns. They are perfect examples of the decrease in action and a great way to learn how the stitch looks.

  • Bias Garter Stitch - This very simple pattern pairs a series of K2Tog with KFB (knit front and back) in opposite rows. It's a simple way to create a knitted shape that slants in one direction (called a bias).
  • Flemish Block Lace - Lace patterns often include K2Tog because it helps with the delicate shaping. This popular lace pattern pairs the K2Tog with opposing SSK stitches so you can really get a feel for the slant each stitch creates.
  • Vine Lace - Another simple and lovely lace pattern, the vine lace also pairs the two decreases. It's an easy 4-row repeat, which makes this a nice practice lace that can quickly become a stunning scarf.
  • Mock Cable - Most cable patterns do not use K2Tog, but a few do. This mock cable doesn't require a cable needle rather, as the name suggests, it imitates the look through some crafty maneuvering of the K2Tog stitch.