A Comprehensive Guide Of The Knitting Terms & Abbreviations From A – Z

Ever felt lost in a sea of knitting terms, like you’re trying to decode an ancient language? You’re not alone! As an expert crocheter, I’ve been tangled in the confusing web of abbreviations and terms. But fear not!

Knitting Terms & Abbreviations

The best way to navigate this intricate world is right at your fingertips. I’ve compiled one of the best, most comprehensive A-Z guides to knitting terms and abbreviations. It’s your golden ticket to unraveling the greatest advantages of knitting without the usual headaches.

Imagine effortlessly gliding through patterns, understanding every twist and turn. That’s the biggest advantage of this guide. With my easy-to-follow explanations, you’ll transform from puzzled to proficient. It’s one of the easiest and most effective ways to elevate your knitting game. Your best bet? Dive into this guide.

Among my top picks for knitting resources, this is an excellent option for beginners and seasoned knitters. With this guide, you’ll always feel safe. Let’s solve the problem of knitting jargon and make your crafting journey one of the simplest and most enjoyable!

Basic Knitting Abbreviations And Stitches

As I take you on this fabulous loop, a twist-and-turn adventure in knitting, remember: with a confident and clear mindset, you, too, will soon become an expert like me. Let’s delve into some essential knitting abbreviations and stitches in just a few short paragraphs.

Knit And Purl Stitches

In my journey, the pillars of knitting have always been the knit (k) and purl (p) stitches. With k and p, I’ve created various textures, patterns, and designs, making each project stand out. Mastering these two stitches is like unlocking a treasure trove in knitting. So, grab your trusty needles and conquer these stitches with confidence!

Stockinette And Garter Stitches

After you’ve mastered your k and p stitches, you’re ready to create two fundamental stitch patterns: stockinette stitch (st) and garter stitch (g). I often use alternating rows of knit and purl stitches in the st, resulting in a smooth, sleek fabric with a subtle curl. Meanwhile, the g stitch showcases a lovely horizontal texture created by knitting or purling every row. Each stitch has its unique charm, so explore them fearlessly and see what magic you can create!

Yarn Over And Increasing

For those eye-catching details in your projects, yarn over (y) and increasing (in) techniques are your best friends. The y technique, a personal favorite of mine, adds an extra loop onto your needle, creating a decorative hole in the fabric – a staple in lace patterns.

On the other hand, the in method, which involves adding new stitches to your work, allows your creation to grow in size and take on the desired shape. Embrace these techniques enthusiastically, and watch your knitting creations come to life in the most delightful ways!

Knitting abbreviations and stitches might seem like their own peculiar language at first. Still, with a touch of whimsy and a confident, knowledgeable approach – like the one I’ve nurtured over years of practice – you’ll master the knitting alphabet quickly.

Enjoy your knitting journey, and always remember: the true joy of knitting is in the fun and creativity of the process!

Common Knitting Terms

I’ve come to appreciate the importance of understanding standard knitting terms in my years of knitting. Let me share some essentials with you:

Cast On And Bind Off

At the beginning of your knitting adventure, you’ll encounter two vital terms: Cast On (CO) and Bind Off (BO). Cast On creates the foundation row of stitches on your needle. I’ve used various methods, like the long-tail cast-on and the knitted cast-on, each with unique advantages.

Meanwhile, Bind Off is how you conclude your knitting project, fastening the final row of stitches together. This process ensures your work doesn’t unravel, sealing your masterpiece beautifully.

Right Side And Wrong Side

As your project progresses, distinguishing between the Right Side (RS) and Wrong Side (WS) becomes crucial. The Right Side is what everyone will see, showcasing your pattern upon completion. In contrast, the Wrong Side faces inward, hidden in the final piece. Knowing which side you’re working on is vital to maintaining your pattern correctly.


A row in knitting is a series of stitches you work horizontally across your needles. The number of rows dictates the length or height of your finished piece. I’ve learned that diligently keeping track of completed rows is crucial when following a pattern.


In specific projects, you’ll come across a round – a sequence of stitches worked in a circular or spiral fashion. This term is typically used when knitting with circular or double-pointed needles. Round knitting creates seamless, tubular shapes like hats and socks.


Lastly, a marker (M) is an indispensable accessory in knitting. It helps you keep track of your stitches, rows, or rounds. Whether fixed or movable, Markers can be placed on your needles or directly in the stitches. I’ve found that using markers significantly organizes and enhances the knitting experience.

Knitting Abbreviations

Knitting Abbreviations ( A – H)

BObind off
CCcontrasting color
COcast on
dpndouble-pointed needles
follfollows, following
g stgarter stitch

Knitting Abbreviations ( I – P)

k2togknit two stitches together
LHleft hand
M1make one
MCmain color
p2togpurl two stitches together
pmplace marker
pssopass slipped stitch over

Knitting Abbreviations ( Q – V)

rev St streverse stockinette stitch
RHright hand
RSright side
sskslip, slip, knit
sspslip, slip, purl
st ststockinette stitch
tblthrough back loop
USUnited States (referring to needle sizes)

Knitting Abbreviations ( W – Z)

wyibwith yarn in back
wyifwith yarn in front
ybyarn back
yfyarn forward

Advanced Knitting Abbreviations And Techniques

As an expert knitter, I’m thrilled to guide you through the world of advanced knitting abbreviations and techniques. These terms are the key to perfecting your craft and creating stunning, intricate projects.

Dec and Inc: Shaping Your Piece

The terms dec (decrease) and inc (increase) are essential when shaping your piece. Dec means reducing the number of stitches on your needles, often done by knitting two stitches tog (together). In contrast, inc involves adding more stitches, which enhances the shape or pattern. It can be done using techniques like knitting into the front and back (KFB) or making one (M1).

Beg and Prev: Navigating Through Instructions

Understanding the terms beg (beginning) and prev (previous) is vital for smoothly navigating knitting instructions. Beg indicates where a specific row or round starts, while prev refers to the row or match just below the one you’re working on. In knitting, knowing precisely where you are in the pattern makes your journey delightful and clear.

Pat and Foll: Creating Patterns

It’s vital to grasp terms like pat (pattern) and foll (following) to create mesmerizing patterns. These are your guides to repeating a set of stitches or instructions throughout your project. For example, “pat twice” means you should complete the entire pattern sequence two times, and “foll row” indicates you should proceed to the subsequent row after completing a specific one.

No: Keeping Track

Finally, the simple abbreviation no (number) is handy. It helps you keep track of stitches and rows in your knitting. For example, a direction like “Dec 1st at the end of the next and every foll 6th row” means you should decrease one stitch at the end of the current row and then continue to decrease one stitch on every 6th row that follows.

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Why Are Knitting Terms Important?

Knitting terms and abbreviations are more than words; they’re the core of our knitting world. They enable us to decipher patterns, communicate with fellow knitters, and ensure our smooth and enjoyable knitting journey.

Whenever I come across a knitting pattern, I’m always struck by how it’s filled with abbreviations, symbols, and terms. They are the vital clues to creating the project you desire.

Understanding these knitting terms can transform your experience, making you both able and energized to tackle your pattern. Embracing these terms means you can approach each knitting task confidently and efficiently.

Another pivotal reason knitting terms are important is their role in fostering communication among knitters. In knitting groups, forums, and events, being fluent in knitting terminology allows you to actively participate in discussions, share ideas, and connect with others who share your passion for knitting. Knowing this language contributes to creating an inclusive and welcoming knitting community.

Increase And Decrease Stitches

As an expert knitter, I want to guide you through the essential techniques of increasing and decreasing stitches. These methods are crucial in adding depth and flair to your knitting projects.

Let’s start with increasing stitches. There are several methods, each adding a unique charm to your work. For example, M1R (make one right) and M1L (make one left) are fantastic for proportional increases. These might sound complex, but they’re easy to master and can add a sophisticated touch to your knitting.

PFB (purl front and back) is another delightful way to increase stitches, particularly useful when working in reverse stockinette stitch. This method helps maintain that lovely, bumpy texture. Similarly, KFB (knit front and back) is a versatile increase that works wonders in knitting, creating an attractive effect.

Now, let’s explore the decreasing side. P2TOG (purl two together) is a beautiful technique for reducing stitch count while maintaining the purl texture. It’s straightforward and adds a professional touch to your pieces.

Another decrease to know is SSK (slip, slip, knit), which creates a left-leaning decrease. This technique is not just functional; it adds a whimsical twist to your knitting and ensures a polished finish you’ll be proud of.

Knitting Image

Yarn And Needles

As an expert knitter, I’ve learned that choosing the suitable yarn and needles is crucial for the success of any knitting project. It’s all about considering factors like yarn weight, needle size, and the stitches you’ll be using.

You’ll find various types in the diverse yarn world, such as DK (double knitting weight) and fingering weight. Your choice should align with the pattern’s requirements or the desired outcome of your project.

The weight of the yarn plays a significant role in determining the stitches per inch and the overall texture of your work. I remember that lighter-weight yarns are ideal for delicate projects with fine details, while heavier-weight yarns are perfect for crafting cozy, warm creations.

Now, about needles. Choosing the right needle size is just as crucial as picking your yarn. The size of your needles will directly affect your gauge and tension, which are vital for achieving the look and feel you want in your knitting project. Needles are typically measured in millimeters (mm), so paying attention to the size specified in your pattern is essential.

And then there’s the art of working with slipped stitches. These intentional, unworked stitches can add a new dimension to your knitting, creating everything from decorative elements to structural details. With the right combination of needle size and yarn weight, you can masterfully incorporate slipped stitches to experiment with texture and patterns.

Additional Abbreviations And Terms

In my knitting journey, I’ve encountered numerous abbreviations and terms that initially seemed like a foreign language. But fear not; I’m here to help you decipher some mysterious symbols and boost your knitting confidence.

  • St Stitches And alt: St stands for stitches, the fundamental units of any knitting project. Alt refers to alternate, meaning you’ll switch between two types of stitches or rows throughout your pattern.
  • Bet And byo: Bet is shorthand for between, indicating the position of certain stitches. Meanwhile, BYO stands for “bring yarn over,” an essential technique for creating decorative holes or increasing stitches in your work.
  • Cn, cross, And g st: When you encounter cn, it represents a cable needle, essential for creating intricate cable designs. Cross refers to crossing stitches to create a twisted or textured effect. G st is shorthand for garter stitch, a simple yet versatile pattern.
  • K1b, m1p, m1rp, m1lp, And mb: K1b means “knit one below,” a technique for creating interesting textures. M1p, m1rp, and m1lp are variations of “make one purl,” “make one right purl,” and “make one left purl,” respectively, each describing different methods of increasing stitches. Mb stands for “make bobble,” a playful embellishment that adds texture to your projects.
  • Psso, rem, And rep: In patterns, psso stands for “pass slipped stitch over,” a technique often used in decreases. Rem implies “remaining,” and rep denotes “repeat.” These terms are vital for maintaining the order and structure of your pattern.
  • Rh, skip, sl1k, And sl1p: Rh refers to the right-hand needle. Skip is a sequence that includes “slip one, knit one, pass slipped stitch over.” Sl1k and sl1p are “slip one knitwise” and “slip one purlwise,” respectively, indicating how to transfer stitches from one needle to another.
  • Sl st, wyib, wyif, yb, if, And yo: These abbreviations can be tricky initially. Sl st means “slip stitch,” while wyib and wyif refer to “with yarn in the back” and “with yarn in front,” respectively. These are essential for managing your yarn position. Yb, if, and yo represent “yarn back,” “yarn forward,” and “yarn over,” all crucial techniques for manipulating your yarn throughout your projects.

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Knitting Symbol Chart

Standard Knitting Chart

In the fascinating knitting world, understanding the symbols used in patterns is essential. This chart introduces standard knitting symbols to follow any way confidently.

  • k: Knit stitch
  • p: Purl stitch
  • Inc: Increase one stitch
  • k2tog: Knit two stitches together
  • p2tog: Purl two stitches together
  • yo: Yarn over

Advanced Knitting Chart

As your skills progress, you may come across more advanced knitting symbols. Expand your knitting repertoire with these more complex techniques:

  • c4f: Slip the next two stitches onto a cable needle and hold at the front, knit two stitches, then knit the two stitches from the cable needle.
  • C4 b: Slip two stitches onto a cable needle and hold at the back, knit two stitches, then knit the two stitches from the cable needle.
  • M1: Make one stitch by picking up the bar between the stitches, then knitting it into the back of the loop.
  • Skip: Slip one stitch, knit the next, and pass the slip stitch over the knit stitch.

Common Measurement Terms

As an expert knitter, I’ve come to appreciate the importance of understanding various measurement terms that guide our knitting journey. My fellow knitting companion, let me help you get a handle on these standard measurement terms.

Firstly, let’s talk about gauge. Gauge is the number of stitches and rows over a specific area, usually measured in inches or centimeters. A consistent gauge is crucial to ensure your lovely knitted creations fit precisely as intended.

Next are stitches (sts), the foundation of all knitting projects. Following a pattern, you’ll find many stitch abbreviations like k for knit or p for purl. Sometimes, these stitches are accompanied by numbers, such as K1 and P1, indicating the number of stitches you should knit or purl.

Then, there’s the term “work even.” If you ever find this phrase in a pattern, it simply means to continue knitting in the established pattern without any shaping or additional stitches. It’s a relaxing part of the knitting process, where your hands can easily rhythmically dance across the needles.

In some patterns, you might be instructed to “hold the yarn together.” It means you’ll be knitting with multiple strands of yarn simultaneously. It’s a fantastic technique to create a luxurious, cozy thickness in your fabric, ideal for those warm, snug items we cherish on chilly evenings.

Lastly, “blocking” is the magical finishing touch to your knitted pieces. Blocking is the revered process of shaping and setting your knitting using water or steam. This spa-like treatment for your creation transforms your work into a true masterpiece.

Understanding these terms and techniques enhances your knitting experience, allowing you to craft confidently and precisely. Embrace these concepts, and watch as your knitting journey flourishes into something special.

Common Stitches For Knitting

As an expert knitter, I cherish sharing the foundational stitches of our craft. Mastering these is like unlocking the door to a wondrous kingdom of knitting.

Knit Stitch (k): This is the most fundamental stitch in knitting. When you master this traditional stitch, it feels like you’ve unlocked a secret. To execute it, insert the right needle into the loop on the left needle, wrap the yarn around it, and then pull through the loop. The result is simply wondrous.

Purl Stitch (p): The purl stitch perfectly complements the knit stitch. It creates a fascinating texture on the opposite side of your knitting, perfect for those intriguing designs. To perform this mystical stitch, insert the right needle into the loop from the opposite direction, purlwise, wrap the yarn around, and pull through. It’s like uncovering a hidden dimension in your fabric.

Garter Stitch: As you delve deeper into knitting, you’ll encounter the garter stitch. This magical creation is surprisingly simple. By alternating rows of knit and purl stitches, you create a fabric with a soft, undulating, comforting, and versatile texture.

Stockinette Stitch: This stitch is a classic in our knitting world. To create this versatile, wearable texture, you alternate knitting one row of knit and one row of purl stitches. The result is a fabric with a smooth surface on one side and a bumpy texture on the other, ideal for a myriad of charming projects.

And now, for those all-important abbreviations that are like the signposts on your knitting journey:

  • K1: Knit one stitch
  • P1: Purl one stitch
  • K2tog: Knit two stitches together, a technique for decreasing
  • SSK: Slip, slip, knit, another method for decreasing
  • Inc: Increase, which means adding stitches to expand your work

These are just a few common stitches and abbreviations that will guide you on your knitting adventures. Embrace these fundamental techniques, and you’ll unlock endless possibilities for future projects!

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US & UK Term Difference Chart

It may sound daunting in the magical knitting world where both US and UK terms coexist. Fear not, dear knitter, for we shall unravel this mystery concisely and whimsically. Let’s dive into a delightful comparison of some commonly used knitting terms and abbreviations.

Casting on: This term remains the same in the US and the UK. However, be aware that there might be differences in the techniques used to cast on.

Binding off (US) vs. Casting off (UK): These terms refer to the same process of finishing your knitting work by securing the final loops of yarn. No matter which side of the pond you’re on, you’ll achieve the same result.

To further illuminate the differences, here’s a neat little chart for your knitting pleasure:

US TermUK Term
Knit (K)Knit (K)
Purl (P)Purl (P)
Yarn over (YO)Yarn forward (YF)
Slip stitch (sl st)Slip stitch (sl st)
Stockinette stitchStocking stitch

Remember, knitting patterns from different countries might have quirks, so it’s always good to familiarize yourself with the nuances. This way, you’ll continue to expand your crafting expertise and make splendid, knitted creations.

Understanding Knitting Pattern Abbreviations And Symbols

As an expert knitter, I understand if you initially feel a bit bewildered. But fear not, for I am here to guide you through this enchanted realm with confidence and a dash of whimsy!

As you embark on your quest to master knitting patterns, you’ll encounter many characters, such as the bold knit stitch (k) and the wise purl stitch (p). These stitches work together, skillfully creating various textures. You’ll meet the humble garter stitch and the smooth stockinette stitch, each with unique charm and personality.

But don’t worry, dear knitter; the story doesn’t end there. You’ll also meet the incredible yarn over (yo), a magical maneuver that creates a new stitch while imparting an airy quality to your fabric. And then there are the daring decreases, like k2tog (knit two together) and ssk (slip, slip, knit), as well as mighty increases, such as kfb (knit front and back). These techniques are essential for shaping your knitting creations into true works of art.

When deciphering knitting patterns, you may encounter mystical symbols of enigmatic cables. For these, you’ll need the trusty cable needle at your side. Remember, with practice comes skill and understanding.

Some patterns will present you with magical charts filled with strange symbols. These are your maps to navigate the intricate world of knitting.

Cherish these charts, dear knitter, as they guide you clearly on your path to knitting triumph. Keep exploring, keep knitting, and soon you’ll be weaving spells with your needles and yarn!

Knitting Terms & Abbreviations

Key Takeaways

As an expert knitter, I can confidently say that understanding knitting terms and abbreviations is like learning the secret language of our craft. Let’s dive into this world of knitting terminology.

When you embark on your knitting journey, mastering these abbreviations will transform reading patterns from a puzzling chore into a delightful breeze. From the basic knit (K) and purl (P) stitches to more complex techniques like increases (M1) and decreases (K2TOG), these abbreviations are the building blocks of knitting.

A treasure trove of these terms can be found in resources like Treasurie’s A-Z Glossary. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned knitter needing a quick refresher, it is an invaluable tool. Here are some key abbreviations to familiarize yourself with:

  • K: knit
  • P: purl
  • M1: make one (increase one stitch)
  • K2TOG: knit two stitches together (decrease one stitch)

As you delve deeper into patterns, you’ll encounter terms that take time to notice. But fear not! Here’s a brief explanation of a few:

  • K1B: knit one stitch in the row below
  • KTBL: knit through the back loop
  • LLI: left lifted increase

Knitting patterns often include instructions for specific techniques, such as:

  • Cables are abbreviated as C, followed by the number of stitches. These create textured, raised patterns.
  • Lace is typically indicated by YO (yarn over) and various types of decreases like SSK (slip, slip, knit) and P2TOG (purl two together).
  • Colorwork, often represented by different letters or symbols on a chart, guides you in adding multiple colors to your project.

Embrace these terms and techniques, and you’ll find they open up a whole new world of creativity in your knitting. Happy knitting!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Difference Between Casting On And Binding Off?

Casting on adds new stitches to your needle at the beginning of a knitting project. It provides a foundation for your work. Binding off, on the other hand, is securing your stitches at the end of the project, ensuring they won’t unravel.

How Do You Measure Gauge In Knitting?

To measure gauge in knitting, knit a swatch using the recommended stitch pattern for your project. Afterward, count the number of stitches and rows within a 4-inch square area. It helps you determine if your knitting tension matches the pattern or if adjustments must be made.

What Does Ssk Stand For In Knitting Abbreviations?

SSK stands for “slip, slip, knit” – a left-leaning decrease technique in knitting. It involves slipping two stitches from the left-hand needle to the right-hand needle and then knitting them together through the back loops.

What Is The Meaning Of Tw In Knitting Terms?

TW stands for “twist,” which refers to crossing stitches to create a decorative cable-like effect in knitting patterns. Depending on the specific twist technique involved, it requires rearranging the stitch order using a cable needle or other methods.

How To Understand Symbols In Knitting Patterns?

Symbols in knitting patterns help illustrate specific stitches or techniques required for a project. To understand them, consult a chart key or pattern glossary explaining each symbol’s meaning. Familiarize yourself with these symbols to easily follow and execute knitting patterns.

What Is The Purpose Of Skp In Knitting?

SKP is a knitting abbreviation for “slip, knit, pass” – a technique used to create a left-leaning decrease. You’ll slip one stitch, knit the next stitch, and then pass the slipped stitch over the knit stitch. It reduces the number of stitches on your needle, shaping your knitting projects as needed.

Amanda Brown