111 Knitting Abbreviations Every Knitter Should Know

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Article by Emma Lane

Knitting abbreviations are used in knitting patterns to save space when printing and to make patterns easier to read. But if you don’t know what an abbreviation means, it’s like you’re reading an unfamiliar language.

While many knitting abbreviations make sense to people who been knitting for a while, they can be confusing and frustrating to new knitters. And when long-time knitters come across an unfamiliar abbreviation, they can be just as confused and have no idea how to do the next stitch in the pattern.

knitting abbreviations and meanings

Common Knitting Abbreviations

Here are 111 common abbreviations you will find in knitting patterns. Whether you’re looking for knitting abbreviations for ssk, pm, kfb, tbl, sm, psso, yo, or rs, you’re sure to find what you need and a little more.

  1. alt – alternate
  2. approx – approximately
  3. beg – beginning
  4. bet – between
  5. bo – bind off
  6. cable – move number of stitch(es) as indicated in the pattern to the cable needle, hold cable needle in the front of or back of work as indicated in pattern and work next set of stitches per pattern, then work stitch(es) off of cable needle
  7. cc – contrasting color
  8. ch – chain
  9. cm – centimeter
  10. cn – cable needle
  11. cont – continue
  12. cross – move number of stitch(es) as indicated in the pattern to the cable needle, hold cable needle in the front of back of work as indicated in pattern and work next set of stitches per pattern, then work stitch(es) off of cable needle
  13. dc – double crochet
  14. dec – decrease
  15. dec(d) – decreased
  16. dec(s) – decrease(s)
  17. dp – double pointed needles
  18. dpn – double pointed needles
  19. foll – follow, follows, following
  20. g st – garter stitch
  21. hdc – half double crochet
  22. in – inch
  23. inc(d) – increased
  24. inc(s) – increase(s), increasing
  25. incl – including
  26. k – knit
  27. k1-b – knit 1 stitch in row below
  28. k1b-tbl – knit 1 stitch through the back loop
  29. k1-f/b – knit the next stitch but do not remove the stitch from the left needle, then knit through the back loop of the same stitch and remove the stitch from the needle
  30. k1tbl – knit 1 stitch through the back loop
  31. k2tog – knit 2 stitches together
  32. k3tog – knit 3 stitches together
  33. kfb – knit the next stitch but do not remove the stitch from the left needle, then knit through the back loop of the same stitch and remove the stitch from the needle
  34. kfbf – knit the next stitch but do not remove the stitch from the left needle, then knit through the back loop of the same stitch and remove the stitch from the needle
  35. kkyopsso – knit 2 stitches, make a yarn over, pass the two knit stitches over the yarn over
  36. k-p-k – knit the next stitch but do not remove the stitch from the left needle, purl through the back loop of the same stitch, knit into the same stitch and remove the stitch from the needle
  37. krb – knit in the row below
  38. k-yo-k – knit the next stitch but do not remove the stitch from the left needle, make a yarn over, then knit into the stitch again and remove the stitch from the needle
  39. lh – left hand
  40. lp(s) – loop(s)
  41. lt – left twist
  42. m – marker
  43. m1 – make 1 by inserting the left needle from front to back lifting a strand of yarn between the stitches on each needle then knit the strand through the back loop
  44. m1L – make 1 by inserting the left needle from front to back lifting a strand of yarn between the stitches on each needle then knit the strand through the back loop
  45. m1p – make 1 by inserting the left needle from back to front lifting a strand of yarn between the stitches on each needle then purl strand through the front loop
  46. m1pR – make 1 by inserting the left needle from back to front lifting a strand of yarn between the stitches on each needle then purl strand through the front loop
  47. m1R – make 1 by inserting the left needle from front to back lifting a strand of yarn between the stitches on each needle then knit the strand
  48. mb – make bobble
  49. mc – main color
  50. mk – make knit
  51. p – purl
  52. p1-b – purl 1 stitch in row below
  53. p2sso – pass 2 slipped stitches over number of stitches indicated in the pattern
  54. p2tog – purl 2 stitches together
  55. p3tog – purl 3 stitches together
  56. pat(s) – pattern(s)
  57. pfb – purl into the front of the stitch but do not remove the stitch from the left needle, then purl through the back loop of the same stitch and remove the stitch from the needle
  58. pm – place marker
  59. psso – pass slipped stitches over number of stitches indicated in the pattern
  60. rem – remaining
  61. rep – repeat
  62. rev – reverse
  63. rev st st – reverse stockinette stitch
  64. rh – right hand
  65. rnd – round
  66. rpt – repeat
  67. rs – right side
  68. rt – right twist
  69. s2kp2 – slip 1 stitch knitwise, slip 1 stitch knitwise, knit 1, pass 2 slipped stiches over knitted stitch
  70. sc – single crochet
  71. sk – skip
  72. sk2p – slip 1 stitch knitwise, knit 2 stitches together, pass slipped stich over
  73. sk2psso – slip 1 stitch knitwise, knit 2 stitches together, pass slipped stitch over
  74. skp – slip 1 stitch knitwise, knit 1 stitch, pass slipped stitch over
  75. sl – slip
  76. sl st – slip stitch
  77. sl1k – slip 1 stitch knitwise
  78. sl1p – slip 1 stitch purlwise
  79. sm – slip marker
  80. sp(s) – space(s)
  81. ss – slip stitch
  82. ssk – slip 1 stitch knitwise, slip 1 stitch knitwise, place left needle through front of 2 stitches, knit 2 stitches together through back loop
  83. ssp – slip 1 stitch knitwise, slip 1 stitch knitwise, pass the 2 stitches back to the left needle, purl the 2 stitches together through the back loops
  84. sssk – slip 1 stitch knitwise, slip 1 stitch knitwise, slip 1 stitch knitwise, knit the 3 stitches together
  85. sssp – slip 1 stitch knitwise, slip 1 stitch knitwise, slip 1 stitch knitwise, pass the 3 stitches back to the left needle, purl the 3 stitches through the back loops
  86. st – stitch
  87. st st – stockinette stitch
  88. tbl – through the back loop
  89. t-ch – turning chain
  90. tog – together
  91. tr – treble crochet stitch
  92. w&t – wrap and turn
  93. wb – move yarn between the needles to the back of the work
  94. wf – move yarn between the needles to the front of the work
  95. wl bk – move yarn between the needles to the back of the work
  96. wl fwd – move yarn between the needles to the front of the work
  97. wrn – wrap yarn around needle
  98. ws – wrong side
  99. wyib – with yarn in back
  100. wyif – with yarn in front
  101. yb – yarn in back
  102. yd – yard
  103. yf – yarn in front
  104. yfon – yarn forward and over needle
  105. yfrn – yarn forward and round needle
  106. yfwd – move yarn between the needles to the front of the work
  107. yo – yarn over
  108. yo twice – yarn over twice
  109. yo2 – yarn over twice
  110. yon – yarn over needle
  111. yrn – yarn round needle

What Does it Mean When Knitting Instructions are in Brackets?

When knitting instructions are in brackets, it means that you should work the instructions within the brackets as many times as directed.

What do Asterisks ** Mean in Knitting Instructions?

When knitting instructions are in asterisks, it means you should work the stitches between the asterisks as many times as directed.

Why are Crochet Abbreviations Used in Knitting Patterns?

Some knitting patterns call for crochet edgings and will use crochet abbreviations in the instructions for the edging.

Also, some methods for the provisional cast-on use a crochet chain as part of the cast-on. A chain is crocheted, with the cast-on stitches knitted directly into the crochet chain. The crochet chain keeps the knitting stitches “live” until they are ready to be worked later in the pattern.

What Does K1 Mean in Knitting?

K1 means knit one. The abbreviation k means knit. Numbers after the letter k represent how many stitches to knit. Thus, k1 means knit one, k2 means knit two, and so on.

What Does P2 Mean in Knitting?

Just as k2 means knit 2, p2 means purl 2. The abbreviation p means purl. Numbers after the p tell you how many stitches to purl. Thus p1 means purl 1, p2 means purl 2, and so on.

I hope these knitting abbreviations and meanings make your knitting patterns easy to understand.

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