I’m about to release Spring Feverish 2! It’s been delayed a little, in part because I could not get the right drape; I knit about four samples before I had one that matched the original in terms of fabric. This pattern is pretty beginner-friendly, featuring very traditional wave lace and a relaxing garter-stitch background/finishing, but it does have one thing to watch out for, so I decided to do a quick Techniques post about that just in case. If you’ve already knit Feather, you’ll be fine–this faux-cable decrease is the same, but written differently–less efficiently, but more clearly, I hope, by making the difference between it and a s2kpo more obvious. I hope you will forgive the length of the shorthand.
s2tog tbl k1 psso!
This decrease functions just like a s2kpo, but instead of making the stitches line up neatly, it twists them and creates a faux-cable column. You can always use s2kpo if you like! And really, the only reason to work the long, alternative decrease is to get the look of the samples. But this decrease probably takes longer to read than it does to work.
This decrease is worked over 3 stitches.
s2tog tbl–slip two together through the back loop. At this point, these slipped stitches just rest on the RH needle.
k1–knit 1. In this case, the 1 is the next stitch.
psso–pass the pair of slipped stitches, together, over the knit stitch (k1).
If you don’t like to knit through the back loop, see below!
You can also, just to complicate things, work this as a sl1 sl1 k1 psso, by handling your slipped stitches separately: over three stitches, slip one and then slip one again, separately, as if to knit. Then continue as above: knit one, and pass the slipped stitches over (together). You’re still slipping two stitches, and they still twist at the angle you need to create the faux cable. This is as neat or neater than s2tog tbl.
In fact, the only real reason I’ve gone from using sskpo to using the overlong s2tog tbl psso notation is that the rather long second version is less easily confused with s2kpo.
Both are different from the more standard centered two-stitch decrease:
When you s2kpo (which is also worked over 3 stitches, and also makes a nice centered decrease), it goes like this:
s2–slip two together knitwise, as if you were working a k2tog and stopped halfway. These stitches also temporarily rest on the RH needle.
k–knit the next stitch.
po–pass the slipped stitches, together, over the knit stitch (k).
This creates a straight, slightly raised stockinette st line. In the photo below, the green Spring Feverish 2 kerchief is worked using s2kpo exclusively; in the pink Malabrigo Yarns Rastita sample, it’s s2tog tbl k1 psso, and you can see the faux-cable texture-rich line this creates.