Knitting Glossary

The following are abbreviations commonly used in the knitting community. These are the U.S. terms for these stitches. In the U.K. different names are used for some stitches.

Abbreviation Definition
Single quotes are used to abbreviate the word inch or inches. 4” is equal to 4 inches.
* When you encounter a single asterisk, you will repeat the directions that follow the * as is indicated at the end of the line of instructions.
* * When you encounter a set of asterisk’s surrounding a portion of instructions, you will repeat the instructions between the * * as many times as is indicated directly after them.
( ) When you encounter parentheses, you will repeat the instructions between the ( ) as many times as is indicated directly after them.
[ ] When you encounter brackets, you will repeat the instructions between the [ ] as many times as is indicated directly after them.
alt An abbreviation for alternate.
approx An abbreviation for approximately.
beg An abbreviation for begin or beginning.
bet An abbreviation for between.
BO An abbreviation for bind off.
CC An abbreviation for contrast color.
cm An abbreviation for centimeter or centimeters.
cn An abbreviation for cable needle.
CO An abbreviation for cast on.
cont An abbreviation for continue.
dec An abbreviation for decrease or decreases. For instructions, visit the Decrease category.
dpn and dpns Abbreviations for double point(ed) needle or needles.
fl An abbreviation for front loop or front loops.
foll An abbreviation for follow, follows, or following.
frogging The act of unraveling or tearing out knitting.
Garter Stitch Fabric is created when you knit every single row. The result is a ridged surface.
inst An abbreviation for instruction or instructions.
K or k Common abbreviations for knit. See our Learn to Knit: Knit Stitch guide to learn more.
k2tog An abbreviation for knit two together. See our Three Common Decreases guide to learn more.
ktbl An abbreviation for knit through back loop. For this instruction, you will pass your right needle through the back side of the next stitch from right to left. You will then complete the knit stitch as usual.
kwise An abbreviation for knitwise.This is less of a technique and more of a direction. It just indicates the side from which you will hold your needle ready to attack. The front of your fabric is the side where any action will happen knitwise. If your instructions (or the voices in your head) tell you to do something knitwise, then you will insert your right needle tip into the next stitch as if you were going to complete a knit stitch.
LH An abbreviation for left hand or lefthand.
lp and lps Abbreviations for loop or loops.
m An abbreviation for meter.
M1 and m1 Abbreviations for make one stitch. For more information visit the Increase topic.
MC An abbreviation for main color.
mm An abbreviation for millimeter.
ndl and ndl(s) Abbreviations for needle or needles.
oz An abbreviation for ounce.
P up An abbreviation for pick up and purl.
P and p Abbreviations for purl.
p2tog An abbreviation for purl two together. It involves purling two stitches together as though they were one stitch. Completing a p2tog creates a decrease in your knitting because where once there were two stitches; there is now only one stitch. See our Three Common Decreases guide to learn more.
pat and patt Abbreviations for pattern.
pm An abbreviation for place marker.
pop An abbreviation for popcorn.
pr An abbreviation for previous row or previous round.
prev An abbreviation for previous.
psso An abbreviation for pass slipped stitch over. This action is usually taken after you have slipped a stitch and then worked one or more stitches following that slipped stitch. You will then pass the slipped stitch(es) over the stitch(es) to the left and off of the tip of the right needle. Passing slipped stitches over creates a left slanting decrease in your work.As an example, we will consider the following sample instructions: sl st, k1, psso.

After you have slipped one stitch from the left needle to the right needle and knit one stitch to follow it, you will be ready to pass the slipped stitch over. Simply insert your left needle tip into the slipped stitch from left to right.
ptbl An abbreviation for purl through back loop. For this instruction, you will pass your right needle through the back side of the next stitch from left to right. You will then complete the purl stitch as usual.
pwise An abbreviation for purlwise. This is less of a technique and more of a direction. It just indicates the side from which you will hold your needle ready to attack. In this case, you will be approaching from back to front, as you do when purling a stitch.

The back side of your fabric is the side where any action will happen purlwise. If your instructions (or the voices in your head) tell you to do something purlwise, then you will simply insert your right needle tip into the next stitch as if you were going to complete a purl stitch.
R and r Abbreviations for row.
rem An abbreviation for remain or remaining.
rep An abbreviation for repeat.
Rev st st An abbreviation for reverse stockinette stitch. Reverse stockinette fabric is created by beginning with a purl row and then alternating knit and purl rows.
RH An abbreviation for right hand or righthand.
rnd and rnds Abbreviations for round and rounds.
RS An abbreviation for right side. This indicates the side of your knitting that will face outward when the project is complete.
sk An abbreviation for skip.
sk2p An abbreviation for slip, k2tog, psso.
skp An abbreviation for slip, knit, pass slipped stitch over.
sl An abbreviation for slip.
sl st An abbreviation for slip(ped) stitch. Slipping a stitch means to move it from the left needle to the right without working it. A stitch may be slipped knitwise or purlwise. If the directions do not specify, the default direction is purlwise.

Insert right needle through next stitch as if to purl. Slip stitch off of left needle.
sl1k An abbreviation for slip one knitwise. This means you will insert your right needle into the next stitch as if to knit it, but then you will slip it off of the left needle without working it at all.
sl1p An abbreviation for slip one purlwise. This means you will insert your right needle into the next stitch as if to purl it, but then you will slip it off of the left needle without working it at all.
ssk An abbreviation for slip, slip, knit.
sssk An abbreviation for slip, slip, slip, knit. This is executed in the same way as the ssk. The only difference is that you slip a third stitch before you complete the knit. Completing a sssk creates a double decrease that leans to the left.
St st An abbreviation for Stockinette stitch.
st and sts Abbreviations for stitch and stitches.
tbl An abbreviation for through back loop. See ktbl or ptbl for more information.
tfl An abbreviation for through front loop.
tog An abbreviation for together.
WE An abbreviation for work even.
WS An abbreviation for wrong side. This is standard terminology for the side of the project that will face inward or may not be seen. On a sweater, it would be the interior. On a bedspread, it would be the side that faces down towards the bed.
wyib An abbreviation for with yarn in back. When you see this direction, you will want to have your working yarn hanging down the backside of your knitting, as it does when you are making knit stitches.
wyif An abbreviation for with yarn in front. When you see this direction, you will want to have your working yarn hanging down the front of your knitting, as it does when you are making purl stitches.
ybk An abbreviation for yarn back. When you see this instruction, you will want to bring your working yarn from the front of the work to the back, making sure that it passes under the needle tips. See wyib for an illustration.
yd and yds common abbreviations for yard and yards. When a pattern calls for approx 5 yds of waste yarn, it means you will need approximately five yards of waste yarn to complete the instructions.
yfwd An abbreviation for yarn forward. When you see this instruction, you will want to bring your working yarn from the back of the work to the front, making sure that it passes under the needle tips. It’s as simple as that! See wyif for an illustration.
yo An abbreviation for yarn over. To complete a yarn over, you will bring your yarn from back to front (if it was initially in the back) or from front to back (if it was initially in the front) under the needle tips. After doing so, you will continue to knit as the pattern indicates. If you were working knit stitches, for example, you will see that when you bring your yarn to the front and complete the next knit stitch, an extra strand of yarn will now lie over the needle. This is the result of the yarn over.
yon An abbreviation for yarn over needle. This is conducted by passing the yarn from the back of the work to the front (or from the front to the back) and laying it across the top of the needle as opposed to between/under the needle tips as in a yarn forward.
yrn An abbreviation for yarn around needle. This is completed the same way as a yarn over (yo).
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