by Laura Chau March 11, 2020 2 min read

Knitting colourwork hats are a great way to get into the groove of stranded knitting! When working from the bottom up, you can begin on 16” or 20” circular needles, making it easy to settle into your tension and see progress.

Our second Colourwork Club pattern, Bellfield, features a beautiful snowflake pattern on the crown, with decreases neatly incorporated. Here’s our step-by-step photo tutorial on working decreases in stranded colourwork.

K2tog - right leaning decrease

Stranded knitting with one colour in each hand, ready to work a k2tog.
Here the stitch before the decrease is worked in the pattern colour, and the k2tog is worked with the background colour (grey).

Stranded knitting with one colour in each hand. Knit two together with background colour.
Insert the right needle tip into the fronts of 2 stitches on the left needle from left to right, and knit them together using the background colour.

ssk - left leaning decrease

Stranded knitting with one colour in each hand. The next two stitches will be worked as ssk.

There are 2 stitches worked in the pattern colour before the decrease, so we’ll need to draw the yarn across the back before working the ssk.

Completed ssk in background colour.
Slip 2 sts individually knit wise, insert the left needle tip into the fronts of these 2 stitches, and knit them together through the back loop. Make sure to spread out the stitches slightly on the right needle before finishing the decrease, so the float isn’t too tight.

Centered double decrease (CDD)

Stranded knitting with one colour in each hand. The next three stitches will be worked as a centered double decrease.
This double decrease (also known as s2kp) is nicely centered, with the middle stitch ending up on top.

Slip the first 2 stitches together as if to knit two together.
Slip the first 2 stitches as if to k2tog.

Knit the third stitch in the colour indicated.
Knit the third stitch in the colour indicated.

Completed centered double decrease.
Pass the 2 slipped stitches over the knit stitch. 3 stitches have been decreased to 1.

After a few decrease rounds, you'll need to switch to double pointed needles or magic loop to complete the decreases - more on working colourwork over small circumferences next time!

Save this tutorial for later on pinterest!

A collage of the images in this tutorial to use for adding to pinterest

A Chinese-Canadian woman with glasses smiling at the camera.
Laura Chau

Laura is a Canadian knitter, designer, and editor.



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