Last week I took a survey on Quizilla to find out what kind of knitter I am. Many of you may have already taken this quiz. If so, then you saw that one of the choices for the question about how you, personally, follow pattern instructions was as follows:
SSK is the traditional right leaning decrease, and it matches the k2tog which produces a left leaning decrease.
As a freelance writer and proofreader, my immediate impulse upon reading this statement was to look for a way to contact the person who wrote it, since they’d clearly made a huge mistake. K2tog, or knit two together, is a right leaning decrease, and is in fact the only right-leaning decrease. Every other decrease, including slip-slip-knit (SSK) leans to the left.
I mentioned this to my wife (who henceforth shall be known as Z), from whom I’d received the link to the survey. A fellow proofreading freak, our evening dinner conversations often consist of the grammar, punctuation, and factual errors to which we’ve been subjected throughout the day. She informed me that I was the one who was mistaken, and that SSK always leans to the right, with k2tog going the other way.
Crazy? Well, Z is a left-handed knitter. She’s forced to reverse many knitting pattern instructions, and has to put up with knitting books like Gertrude Taylor’s America’s Knitting Book, which contains this lovely little ditty:
If you are left-handed, you should not knit from left to right. Left-handed people write in the same direction as right-handed people do, so too, you should knit in the same direction as all knitters do, so that others will be able to help you.
This is ridiculous, of course, but apparently Z and I have been working our decreases in the opposite direction the whole time we’ve known each other. Who knew? So, I ask you: which way do your decreases go? Are you left-handed? If so, do you knit left-handed? What are the right-handed ways in which knitting instructions drive you nuts?
Oh, by the way, according to that survey, I’m a knitting purist. Whatever.