Terms & Abbreviations

When you first start working with knitting patterns, you’ll notice that they seem to be written in a completely different language. What, after all, does “*K1, p1; rep from *” mean? All of these seemingly cryptic strings of letters, numbers and symbols are part of a system of knitting terminology that help save space in patterns and make instructions less tedious to read. Here we list and describe the most common terms you’ll run across.

Knitting Abbreviations

 
  • A
  • alt—alternate; alternately
  • approx—approximately
  •  
  • B
  • BC—back cross; back cable (See cable.)
  • beg—begin; begins; beginning
  • BO—bind off
  • BO—bobble (See MB.)
  •  
  • C
  • C—cable; cross. A cable (also called a cross) is formed by using an extra needle, usually a cable needle or double-pointed needle, to hold stitches to be crossed either to the front (which crosses them to the left), or to the back (which crosses them to the right). The cable crossing is worked on the right side of the work. The extra needle should be thinner than those you are working with to avoid stretching the stitches. After you have worked the cable, be sure to pull the yarn firmly before working the next stitch to prevent gaps in your work.
  • CC—contrasting color. When two colors are used, the contrasting color is the yarn that is used as an accent.
  • ch—chain
  • cm—centimeter(s)
  • cn—cable needle
  • CO—cast on
  • cont—continue; continuing
  • cross 2 L—cross two stitches to the left (See cable.)
  • cross 2 R—cross two stitches to the right (See cable.)
  •  
  • D
  • dc—double crochet
  • dec—decrease; decreasing
  • decs—decreases
  • DK—double knitting
  • dp; dpn—double-pointed needle
  • dtr—double treble
  •  
  • E
  • EON—end of needle
  •  
  • F
  • FC—front cross (See cable.)
  • foll—follow; follows; following
  •  
  • G
  • g; gr—gram
  • grp; grps—group; groups
  • g st—garter stitch
  •  
  • H
  • hdc—half double crochet
  • hk—hook
  •  
  • I
  • in; ins—inch; inches
  • inc—increase; increasing
  • incl—including
  • incs—increases
  •  
  • K
  • k—knit
  • k-b; k 1 b—knit stitch in row below (Infrequently used for knit through back loop—see tbl.)
  • kfb—knit into the front and back of a stitch
  • k tbl—knit through back loop
  • k2tog—knit two together
  • kwise—knitwise
  •  
  • L
  • LC—left cross (See cable.)
  • LH—left-hand
  • lp; lps—loop; loops
  • LT—left twist. A left twist is formed by crossing one stitch over another.
  •  
  • M
  • m—meter(s)
  • MB—make bobble. A bobble is a three-dimensional stitch made by working multiple increases in one stitch, sometimes working a few rows, and then decreasing back to one stitch.
  • MC—main color. When two or more colors are used, the main color is the yarn that is dominant.
  • mm—millimeter(s)
  • m1—make one
  •  
  • N
  • no—number
  •  
  • O
  • oz—ounce
  •  
  • P
  • p—purl
  • pat; pats—pattern; patterns
  • p-b—purl stitch in the row below
  • pfb—purl into the front and back of a stitch
  • pm—place marker
  • pnso—pass next stitch over
  • psso—pass slip stitch over
  • p tbl—purl through back loop
  • p2tog—purl two together
  • pwise—purlwise
  •  
  • R
  • RC—right cross (See cable.)
  • rem—remain; remaining
  • rep—repeat
  • rev St st—reverse stockinette stitch
  • RH—right-hand
  • rib—ribbing
  • rnd; rnds—round; rounds
  • RS—right side
  • RT—right twist. A right twist is formed by crossing one stitch over another.
  •  
  • S
  • sc—single crochet
  • S2KP—slip two tog, knit one, pass two slip stitches over
  • sk—skip
  • SKP—slip one, knit one, pass slip stitch over
  • SK2P—slip one, knit two tog, pass slip stitch over
  • sl—slip
  • sl st—slip stitch
  • sp; sps—space; spaces
  • ssk—slip the next two stitches knitwise, one at a time, to RH needle, knit these two slipped stitches tog
  • st; sts—stitch; stitches
  • St st—stockinette stitch
  •  
  • T
  • tbl—through back loop
  • tch; t-ch—turning chain
  • tog—together
  • tr—treble
  • trtr—triple treble
  •  
  • W
  • WS—wrong side
  • won—wool over needle
  • wrn—wool round needle
  • wyib—with yarn in back
  • wyif—with yarn in front
  •  
  • Y
  • yb (or ybk)—yarn to the back
  • yf (or yfwd)—yarn to the front (or forward)
  • yfon—yarn forward and over needle (See yarn overs.)
  • yfrn—yarn forward and round needle (See yarn overs.)
  • yo—yarn over. A yarn over is a decorative increase made by wrapping the yarn around the needle. There are various ways to make a yarn over depending on where it is placed.
  • yo twice; yo2—yarn over two times
  • yon—yarn over needle (See yarn overs.)
  • yrn—yarn round needle (See yarn overs.)