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Knitting Tutorial: The Center Double Decrease

Tutorial: The Center Double Decrease

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A single decrease turns two stitches into one: the two loops from the previous row sit one atop the other and one new loop comes out of the stack. If the top loop is from the left, there is a slightly rightward slant to the stack. If the top loop is from the right, there is a slightly leftward slant to the stack. A double decrease turns three stitches into one, and then there are even more options for stacking! In this tutorial we'll look at the center double decrease (CDD), the one that puts the middle stitch on top of the other two on the right side. Unlike its brethren that slant, this decrease is an extrovert that likes to pop right out of the fabric!

Knit CDD From the Right Side

The most basic center double decrease is made while knitting on the right side. Before pulling one new stitch through the three old ones, the stitches need to be slipped and turned so that the way they sit will combine with how they are worked together: no twisted stitches, middle stitch on top. Here's how to work it:

Slip 2 as if you were going to knit them together (i.e., k2tog) -- two stitches on the right needle. Notice that the stitch from the middle is now on the right. Knit 1 -- all three stitches on the right needle. Insert the left needle from left to right through the slipped stitches so that the tip is to the front of the work. Lift the two slipped stitches as one over the knit stitch as when binding off. Voila! The middle stitch is on top, nothing is twisted.

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Knit CDD From the Wrong Side

So, what if you want the extroverted ridge of a knit centered double decrease but, for whatever reason, need to work it from the other side of the fabric, while purling? In this case our goal is to put the middle stitch at the bottom of the stack so it will be on top on the right side of the fabric.

Slip 1 stitch knitwise; slip a second stitch knitwise -- two stitches on the right needle. Insert the left needle from right to left through the two slipped stitches and slip them to the left needle. Notice that the right stitch is now in the middle and the middle one is to the right. Bring the yarn to the front if it is not already there. Purl all three stitches together as usual. On the purl (wrong) side, the left stitch is on top, the right stitch in the middle, and the center stitch is at the bottom or on top on the right side.

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Purl CDD From the Right Side

What if you want to put the center stitch on top while purling on the right side? This one is a little tricky. It borrows from something discussed two updates back: purling through the back loop(s). Slip 2 as if to knit 2 together -- two stitches on the right needle and the stitches have swapped places. Slip 1 knitwise -- all three stitches on the right needle. Insert the left needle from left to right through the two slipped stitches so that the tip is to the front of the work and remove right needle -- all three stitches on the left needle. Bring yarn to front if it isn't already there; insert the right needle through all three stitches from left to right and back to front, wrap and pull new stitch through all three stitches. The middle purl stitch is on top.

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Purl CDD While Knitting on the Wrong Side

The final variation will put the purl stitch on top on the other side of the fabric, i.e., at the bottom of the stack. Slip 1 stitch knitwise; slip 2 stitches as if to knit 2 together -- three stitches on right needle, with the left and middle having swapped positions. Insert the left needle from left to right so that the tip is to the front and the right needle is to the back as when working through the back loop. Knit 3 stitches together. Flip it over. Ta-da! The center purl stitch is on top!

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Whether you are on the right side or wrong side, knitting or purling, you now know how to put the center double decrease exactly where you want it!

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