Knitting Abbreviations Explained
Many beginner knitters have trouble understanding the abbreviations, and for good reason. Sometimes they may as well be Chinese. However, it makes much sense if you learn them in groups. See below.
Here are a book and a course with knitting abbreviations explained.
Here is a good course from Craftsy:
Learning in groups examples:
Which side you’re on when you’re knitting = WS and RS “wrong side” and “right side” of your knitting.
The type of stitch in which you’re working – k means knit and p means purl.
The scope of the stitch – tog indicates that you should knit two stitches together, Therefore “k2tog” shows that you should knit two stitches together as if they are one stitch. psso means “pass slipped stitch over”. pnso means “pass the next stitch over”.
The orientation of the stitch – tbl stands for “through back of loop” and shows that you should knit the stitches through the back of the loop. E.g, “p2tog tbl” shows that you should purl two stitches together through the back of the loop. pwise and kwise = “purlwise” and “knitwise”, and usually refers to a slip stitch.
The insertion point of the stitch – k1b and k-b means “knit into the row below”. Also, p1b and p-b mean “purl into the row below”. P1 tbl; p tbl; or P1b: all mean purl through the back of the loop.
short combinations of stitches – MB = “make bobble”. ssk = “slip, slip, knit”, that is, decrease by “slip two stitches knitwise not together but individually, then you should knit them together through the back of the loop”. skp is also a decrease, that mean “slip, knit, pass the slip stitch over the stitch you’ve just knitted”.
repetition of certain stitches = TM knit to marker – if you repeat a pattern of stitches, it is usually between asterisks, for example *k2, p4,* means you have to knit those over and over again until the end of the row. alt = “alternately”.
position of yarn – wyif and wyib = “with yarn in front” and “with yarn in back”. It is mostly used with slipped stitches.
The beginning and ending of your work – CO and BO = “cast on” and “bind off”
general pattern stitches – St st, g st and rev St st = “stockinette stitch”, “garter stitch” and “reverse stockinette stitch”
cable instructions – LT and RT = “left twist” and “right twist” FC and LC = “front cross” or “left cross” BC and RC = “back cross” or “right cross”
color changes – MC means “main color”; CC means “contrasting color”.
Decreases – k2tog indicates that you should knit two stitches together as if they were one, used for making a decrease in a row.
Increases – m1 = “make one stitch”. kfb or pfb = “knit or purl into the front and back of a stitch”.
positional abbreviations – rem = “remaining”. foll = “following”. beg = “beginning”. cont = “continue”. incl = “including”.
Full List of knitting abbreviations[i]
- ( ): work instructions between parentheses, in the place directed
- [ ]: work instructions between brackets, as many times as directed
- * : repeat instructions following the single asterisk as directed
- * * : repeat instructions between the asterisks as directed
- alt: Alternate.
- approx: Approximately.
- BC: Back cross.
- beg: Beginning.
- bet: Between.
- BO: Bind off.
- CA: Colour A.
- CB: Colour B.
- CC: Contrasting colour.
- cdd: Centre double decrease. Slip 2 stitches together, knit one stitch, pass the slipped stitches over (together).
- ch: Chain using crochet hook.
- cn: Cable needle.
- CO: Cast on.
- cont: Continue.
- C 2 L: Cross two stitches to the left.
- C 2 R: Cross two stitches to the right.
- C2PL: Cross two, purl left.
- C2PR: Cross two, purl right.
- dec(s): Decreases.
- DK: Double knitting weight yarn.
- dpn (or dp): Double pointed needles.
- EON: End of needle.
- EOR: End of row.
- FC: Front cross.
- fl: Front loops.
- foll: Following.
- g (or gr): Gramme.
- grp(s): Groups.
- g st: Garter stitch, knit every row.
- incl: Including.
- inc(s): Increases.
- hk: Hook.
- k: Knit.
- K1b: Knit one through the back loop.
- k1 f&b (or kfb): Knit one stitch in the front, then another through the back. Also known as a Bar Increase.
- K1 tbl: Knit one through the back loop.
- k2tog: Knit two stitches together.
- k2tog tbl: Knit two stitches together, through the back loop.
- k-b: Knit through the back loop.
- k tbl: Knit one through the back loop.
- kfb: Knit into the front and back of a stitch, an increase.
- kll: Knit left loop; an increase.
- krl: Knit right loop; an increase.
- k-wise: Knit wise.
- LC: Left cross (in knitting cables).
- LH: Left hand.
- lp(s): Loop(s).
- LT: Left twist, to cross stitches and twist two strands of yarn.
- M1: Make one stitch, an increase.
- M1A: Make one away, an increase.
- M1B: Make one back, an increase.
- M1F: Make one front, an increase.
- M1L: Make one left, an increase.
- M1R: Make one right, an increase.
- M1T: Make one towards, an increase.
- MB: Make bobble.
- MB#2: Make bobble number 2.
- MC: Main colour.
- mm: Millimetre.
- no: Number.
- oz: Ounces.
- p: Purl.
- p1 f&b: Purl into the front and back of a stitch, an increase (also called pfb)
- p2tog: Purl two stitches together.
- p2tog tbl: Purl two together through the back loops.
- pat(s) (or patt(s)): Patterns.
- pfb: Purl into the front and back of a stitch, an increase.
- pm: Place marker.
- pnso: Pass next stitch over.
- pop: Popcorn stitch.
- prev: Previous.
- psso: Pass slipped stitch over (as in slip 1, knit 1, then pass the slipped stitch over the knit stitch)
- pu: Pick up stitches.
- p-wise: Purl-wise.
- RC: Right cross (as in: cross 2 R).
- rem: Remaining.
- rep: Repeats.
- rev St st: Reverse stocking (stockinette) stitch.
- RH: Right hand.
- Rib: Ribbing.
- rnd(s): Round(s). In circular knitting, rows are called “rounds”.
- RS: Right side, meaning the right side of the fabric (the side meant to be shown on the outside).
- RT: Right twist, to twist two strands of yarn and cross stitches.
- sk: Skip.
- sk2p: Slip1, knit 2 tog, pass slipped stitch over (a double decrease).
- SKP (or skpo): Slip, knit, pass slipped stitch over the knit stitch (the same as sl1, k1, psso).
- sl (or s): Slip a stitch.
- sl st: Slip stitches.
- sp(s): Space(s).
- ss: Slip stitch(es), Canada.
- ssk: Slip a stitch, slip the next stitch, knit the slipped stitches together; a decrease.
- ssk (improved): slip one stitch, slip the next stitch purl-wise, knit slipped stitches together.
- ssp: Slip a stitch, slip the next stitch, purl. A decrease.
- sssk: Slip, slip, slip, knit 3 slipped stitches together. A double decrease.
- st(s): Stitch(es)
- St st: Stocking (stockinette) stitch.
- T2L: Twist two to the left.
- T2R: Twist two to the right.
- tbl: Through the back loop.
- tog: Together.
- won: Wool over needle.
- wrn: Wool around needle.
- WS: Wrong side, or reverse side, meaning the side of the fabric meant to be worn on the inside.
- wyib: With yarn in back.
- wyif: With yarn in front.
- yb (or ybk): Yarn back.
- yd(s): Yards.
- yfon: Yarn forward and over needle.
- yfrn: Yarn forward and around needle.
- yfwd (or yf): Yarn forward.
- yo: Yarn over and wrap the yarn around the right needle.
With this list you will be able to read patterns. Start with an afghan.