Thank you for the comments yesterday. My problem is solved, and then some. First this:
Wilderness Scarves in Tahki Spencer yarn, shot by yours truly a few months ago for their new lookbook, Knit Country. Pattern here or on Ravelry here . Location and styling (and fab vintage coat) credit to Karin Strom. This bulky felted wool tape style yarn looked like it'd be fun to knit quickly--and these scarves are definitely fun to wear . what? wouldn't you try on the samples at a photo shoot???)
But back to the SSK and K2tog question, in which I wondered how others recall which way the SSK leans and which way the K2tog.
So many excellent answers ! Thank you! It's a wealth of ideas and I'm thrilled. The three I am pretty sure I can retain:
Manise said "Lean to the right- k2tog -right leaning
Skip to the left- ssk- left leaning"
A clue in the spelling/words. I can do that!
Helen said "...your needle is pointing in the direction of the slant. Towards the right with k2tog and left with ssk"
Mechanical reasoning--duh! This is the way I think, and I'm astounded I never quite, ummm, noticed.
Susan from Katonah really tickled me with her method when she said "The upright on a 2 leans right, as does a k2tog. The upright on an S
leans left, as does a ssk. Thats my trick. I write 2s and Ss in the air
and mutter. I suspect it scares people in coffee shops."
I love it-- typography to the rescue! I can totally do this. I hope to be frightening people in coffee shops soon, right with her.
And most interestingly, Denise from Lost City Knits mentioned this, a question I was thinking but didn't even get around to to posting outloud
"And if you want to use the same stitches that Shetlanders use (SSK was
invented by Barbara G Walker and is therefore fairly new) instead of the
SSK use a knit 2 together through the back loop or a slip, knit, psso."
I grew up knitting without an SSK--it was always one of the methods Denise mentioned. When I encountered the SSK in the last decade, I just thought maybe my family didn't knit that way, so had never passed it on. Case closed!
PS I am still using an old Blogger platform that doesn't allow me to hit reply to most comments, any address or link is removed --so please don't think I'm rude. I appreciate all your comments :-)