68 Knitting Abbreviations Every Knitter Needs to Know

These are the most important knitting abbreviations you can’t knit without

I’ve heard from many knitters who find themselves knitting only the simplest projects because they have trouble reading patterns.

I’m fairly adept at reading most patterns. However, every now and then I come across a pattern that feels more like a calculus equation than a knitting pattern! I’m convinced that a big reason for this is knitting abbreviations and symbols.

While many pattern writers are good about explaining the abbreviations they use, many others assume you know. The good news is that these abbreviations are fairly standard. All you really need is a good guide!

That’s where the guide below comes in! Now, this guide is by no means complete; you can find literally hundreds of abbreviations and symbols in the knitting world.

But the ones below are the ones you’re most likely to encounter in a knitting pattern.

Guide to the Most Common Knitting Abbreviations & Symbols

– inch(es)

( ) – work instructions within parentheses as written

* – repeat instructions following the single asterisk as written (Example: K2, *p3, k1, repeat from * to end)

** – repeat instructions following the asterisks as written (see above example but replace * with **)

[ ] – work instructions within brackets however many times (Example: [k2, p2] 3 times)

alt – alternate

beg – begin/beginning

bet – between

BO – bind off

CA – color A (main color)

CB – color B (secondary color)

CC – contrasting color

cm – centimeter(s)

cn – cable needle

CO – cast on

cont – continue

dec – decrease/decreases/decreasing

DPN – double pointed needle(s)

foll – follow/follows/following

g – gram

inc – increase/increases/increasing

k or K – knit

k1, s1, psso – knit one, slip one, pass slipped stitch over (decreases 1 stitch)

k2tog – knit 2 stitches together (decreases 1 stitch)

k2tog tbl – knit 2 stitches together through the back of the loop (decreases 1 stitch)

kfb – knit into front and back of a stitch (increases 1 stitch)

kwise – knitwise (or “as if to knit”)

LH – left hand

lp(s) – loop(s)

M1 p st – make one purl stitch (increases 1 stitch)

M1 – make one stitch (usually a knit stitch if not specified – increases 1 stitch)

MC – main color

mm – millimeter(s)

oz – ounce(s)

p or P – purl

p2tog – purl 2 stitches together (decreases 1 stitch)

pat(s) or patt – pattern(s)

pfb – purl into front and back of a stitch (increases 1 stitch)

pm – place marker

psso – pass slipped stitch over

pwise – purlwise (or “as if to purl”)

rem – remain/remaining

rep – repeat(s)

rev St st – reverse stockinette stitch (meaning the purl side is the right side)

RH – right hand

rnd(s) – round(s)

RS – right side

sk – skip

sk2p – slip 1, knit 2 together, pass slip stitch over the knit 2 together stitch (decreases 2 stitches)

Skp – slip, knit, pass stitch over (decreases 1 stitch)

sl st – slip stitch(es)

sl – slip

sl1k – slip 1 knitwise

sl1p – slip 1 purlwise

ssk – slip, slip, knit these 2 stitches together (decreases 1 stitch)

sssk – slip, slip, slip, knit 3 stitches together (decreases 2 stitches)

St st – stockinette stitch/stocking stitch (meaning the knit side is the right side)

st(s) – stitch(es)

tbl – through back loop

tog – together

WS – wrong side

wyib – with yarn in back

wyif – with yarn in front

yd(s) – yard(s)

yfwd – yarn forward

yo – yarn over (increases 1 stitch)

yon – yarn over needle

yrn – yarn around needle

Did I leave any abbreviations out? Let me know in the comments!

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