Barbara Walker is my most referenced knitting guru. Her first three stitch treasuries are full of valuable technical information and tutorials as well as hundreds of stitch patterns. Her book Knitting From the Top Down is a wealth of information on how to do just that - including set in sleeves from the shoulder down. But I've digressed. Let me start this post again.
I have tense shoulders and a bloody middle finger on my left hand from making Vilai k3togs with a 2.25mm needle.
In Barbara Walker's Third Treasury (the yellow one) there is the most handy chart where she gives alternatives for stitches as well as telling what will match them when knitting on the reverse side of the fabric or converting stitch patterns from in-the-round to back-and-forth or converting back-and-forth stitch patterns to in-the-round. I'm not sure how any knitter who likes to improvise can function without this reference.
After knitting a swatch to see if I could tell the difference between k3tog and the alternative, I've decided I like the looks of the alternative better and may never knit a k3tog again.
The swatch was knit with DK weight Cotlin and #5 needles. It's probably important to note that I knit Continental. Your results may vary.
This is a k3tog. It was difficult to get the stitch through all three loops. The top loop is small and doesn't completely cover the other two loops.
This is the alternative right leaning double decrease. It looks neater and is much easier to execute.
1) Knit 2 together
2) Slip resulting stitch back to left needle
3) Slip next stitch on left needle over the knit 2 together
4) Move the resulting right leaning double decrease to the right hand needle
This is a sssk, a left leaning double decrease.
I have no problem knitting sssk, but will switch to the alternative to be consistent.
The alternative to sssk:
1) Slip 1 as if to knit
2) Slip, slip, knit
3) Pass slipped stitch over
The Sock Innovation KAL forbids any pattern modifications except converting to toeup, heel, toe, and modifications for fit.
Although I haven't asked, I'm thinking using the alternative stitches will disqualify a sock from the KAL. Fine with me. My priority is my knitting pleasure so from now on I'll mostly be one of those several thousand lurkers on the KAL forum.