Decreases are backwards, but it's worth learning because combination knitting is so fast. When the pattern calls for a SSK, you knit two together. And when it calls for K2tog, you SSK. The purl stitch is much faster than the Continental purl stitch. There is a chart out there showing what to do.
Thanx. Agree about the purl stitch which I often use when wanting to change the stress in my hands. Will have to try the SSK and K2tog in combination style. Will also try to find the chart you mention. I think I once had that in my files--several computer crashes ago.