How to decrease in knitting, and in life too.

If there is one thing I have learned from moving to a lovely new home, it's that, we really need to decrease here. 

All that stuff is just heavy, it's heavy when you carry it up the stairs, and it is heavy on your mind later when you are trying to move around it. 

I have compiled some easy steps to take, if you are feeling inundated with stuff. 

but first- the knitting decreases

  1. K2tog- arguably the most common of decreases. this stitch you enter your needle in two stitches instead of one, and knit them together. this decrease leans a little to the right. 
  2. SSK -slip slip knit, this is accomplished by slipping two stitches to your right needle and then inserting your left needle and knitting them right in the middle of the air together. this decrease leans a little to the left. (and is easier than you think)
  3. sl1 k1 psso- Slip one, knit one, pass one over. do exactly that and you have got it. the passing one over, is dragging the first stitch you slipped over the stitch you knit. (also left leaning)
  4. ssp- slip slip purl, the same as slip slip knit, but you have to wait till the wrong side to do it. 
  5. you could also do a double decrease with a sl 2 k1 psso, and feed two birds with one scone.
  6.  a little decorative one for fun would be the k2tog, yo, k2tog. which will only decrease one stitch, but will look so sweet, and lean right. 
  7. the opposite to that would be pairing a left leaning decrease like ssk, yo, ssk,

I really thought there were more right leaning decreases, but why would you want to use one when you can do something as easy as k2tog?


Now, as for decreasing in your life, I highly recommend this practice. It has been a total breath of fresh air for me, and I find, knitting project in my lap, looking around the living room is so much more pleasant when I don't have to think of all the objects I should probably be cleaning. 

  1. does it have dust covering it? not like a light layer, an afghan of dust- just get rid of it. are you really going to dust it?
  2. "but- I love it" do you, do you really? friends don't let friends look ashy. 
  3. maybe you really do love it, maybe it is a family heirloom then, put it in a box, and store it somewhere else, you can pass it on to your niece later. If you really do love it, you will remember it being in that box, but if you don't think about it for 1 year, just throw it out. If you truly love it, you will love seeing it again when you unpack the box later. bonus. dust that thing.
  4. "what is this" sniff it, is it cardamom? cinnamon? do you dare taste it? hmm throw it out. 
  5. Yarn stash. organize, cotton, alpaca, wool, acrylic... we all know you have some. organize by color if you like, spend lots of quality time with your yarn. 
  6. get sidetracked, cast on a new project.
  7. back to organizing the yarn, look at that acrylic again... do you know a kid you can teach to knit or something? if not, just donate it to goodwill, I mean really- when are YOU going to wear it?
  8. books- how many times have you read them? are they liable to be chewed on by mice? has that one been on your list for a long time? are you really ever going to get to it? read it now or donate it. 
  9. how many cups do you REALLY need?
  10. the yarn stash stuffed under the bed- now that your OTHER stash is all organized, hopefully you can fit it in there, right?
  11. when is the last time you wore that? if you don't wear it in the appropriate season next time it comes around, bye-bye
  12. does it match something else in your closet and you absolutely need it? no? peace.
  13.  does it have a hole in it? is it stained? if the answer is yes, please, just. get rid of it, I only have time for the most quality of clothing. 
  14. is it wool? good, did you accidentally felt it.... damn, you should probably keep that, someone wants that. kids maybe? store it somewhere mouse proof. 
  15. how many blenders, crockpots, pie tins, and baking dishes are really necessary? if you are the one making six pies at Christmas, or have more than 6 children, maybe you should keep them around... but if not... 
  16. Record collection? cool. keep the classical,  big band, blues and jazz. you probably don't need TWO copies of frank Sinatra's Cycles. 
  17. Clean out the junk drawer, it's called junk for a reason. 
  18. back to the yarn stash, keep the emergency acrylic- you know just in case. 

Follow these easy steps, ask yourself, does it serve a purpose? does it bring me joy? do I like dusting?




Lauren McElroyComment