I typically don’t like how my SSK stitches look and I found this video from Knit Purl Hunter that provides a neat trick for making them look more straight and neat. I may try this on my next project.
Another trick I personally have used is to slip the first stitch as if to knit but slip the second stitch as if to purl and then put your left needle through those two stitches and knit as you normally would to complete the stitches.
A typical top-down sock pattern will have you decrease every other row until you are back down to the same number of stitches you have for the top (instep) of the sock. I wanted to share my tips for knowing when to decrease because I don’t like stopping at the end of each row to make a tally mark on paper or use a row counter. Yes, this is a form of laziness but I knit faster this way!
The pattern I’m following is http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/simple-skyp-socks and you work from the center bottom of the sock across the gusset and at the end of the gusset you do a K2tog, K. You can see that the three stitches at the end of my needle are straight up and not leaning. This means that I need to decrease this round.
Straight up stitches so K2tog, K
Once I’ve done the instep stitches I’m back to the other side of the sock and need to do a K, SSK. Again, you can see the stitches are straight up. Of course, I know that I did the decrease on the other side, but there are times that life gets in the way of my knitting and I put my work down only to pick it back up (even a few minutes later!) and I may not remember I need to decrease. That’s why I like being able to visually look at the stitches to know when I’m supposed to decrease or just work a knit row.
You need to do a K, SSK
So now you’ve completed your decrease row and the next row is all knit stitches. Your gusset stitches will now have a lean to the right so you know you have to work all knits here.
Work knit stitches
Work around the instep stitches and on the other side of the gusset you can see the stitches lean to the left. This means that you did the decrease on the previous row so here you just knit across!
Work knit stitches
I hope this post helps you with your decreases in the gusset of your sock. Please let me know if you like how I explained this with step by step instructions and pictures or if you would rather have a video.