Select Page

Common Knitting Abbreviations

by | Dec 17, 2018 | General Knitting

I’ve collected a list of common knitting abbreviations. These are standard abbreviations unless otherwise noted. If you have found an abbreviation not listed here, please leave a comment below and I will be happy to add it.

Note: Capitalization in knitting abbreviations is is random. Some pattern designers will always capitalized knitting abbreviations, while others prefer them lower case, or only capitalize some. There is no meaning to an abbreviation being lower or upper case.

Abbreviations

A

alt – alternate

approx – approximately

B

BO – bind off

byo – backwards yarn over

C

C1 or C2 – Color one or Color two. In color work patterns, you will assign each ball of yarn a color number. In the pattern each color will be referred to by a number rather than a name to account for the fact that you may be using different colors than the original design used.

CC – contrasting color

CDD – center double decrease. Slip two stitches knitwise, knit one, slip both slipped stitches over the knit stitch

cn – cable needle

CO – cast on

cont – continue

D

dec – decrease

dpn – double pointed needles

F

FO – Finished object, this term is used to describe projects that you have finished completely

K

k – knit

k1b – knit one below

kfb – knit front back, knit 1 into the front of the stitch then knit into the back of the same stitch

k2tog – knit two together

kwise – knitwise, meaning you insert the needle as if to knit

M

m – marker

m1 or m1k – make one stitch. This is typically a generic increase, unless the pattern defines the make one as a specific increase. Make one can be thought of as a “knitters choice” increase stitch.

M1R – make one right (If you have trouble keeping M1R and M1L straight, Knit Picks has a cute reminder tool that you can keep in your knitting bag)

M1L – make one left

MC – main color

P

– purl

pfb – purl front back

pm – place marker

p2tog – purl two together

pu or puw – pick up wrap and work with stitch

psso – pass slipped stitch over the last stitch worked

p2sso – pass two slipped stitches over the last stitch worked

pwise – purlwise, meaning you insert the needle as if to purl

R

rem – remaining

rev St st – reverse stockinette stitch, or when the “wrong” side of stockinette is facing the right side

rnd – round

S

SKP – slip 1 stitch knitwise, knit 1, pass slipped stitch over

SK2P– skip 1 stitch knit wise, knit to together, pass slipped stitch over the last stitch worked

SL or SL1 – slip stitch, if there is a number following it slip that number of stitches, for example SL2 means slip 2 stitches, if not specified typically stitches are slipped purlwise

SL1K – slip one knitwise, or if the number is different than one, slip that number of stitches

SL1P – slip one purlwise, or if the number is different than one, slip that number of stitches

sl st – slip stitch

SM  – slip marker

SSK – slip two stitches knitwise, knit the two stitches together through the back loop

ssp – slip 2 stitches knit wise, purl stitches together through the back loop

SSSK – slip three stitches knit wise, knit the three stitches together through the back loop

SSSP – slip three stitches knit wise, purl the three stitches together through the back loop

st – stitch

St st – stockinette stitch

T

TBL – through the back loop

TFL – through the front loop

W

WIP – work in progress, this term is used to describe a project that you have started, but not finished

WS – wrong side of the work (hint, it can be helpful to put a locking stitch marker or safety pin or scrap of yarn on the front of the work to make it clear what is the wrong side)

w&t – wrap and turn

wyib – with yarn held in back of work

wyif – with yarn held in front of work

Y

yo – yarn over, single stitch increase

Symbols

– repeat the instructions following the single asterisk

** – repeat the instructions between the asterisk as many times as directed in the pattern, if no additional instructions are given, typically this means until the end of the round or row

{ } OR ( ) OR [ ] – repeat the instructions between the asterisk as many times as directed in the pattern, if no additional instructions are given, typically this means until the end of the round or row

Missing Knitting Abbreviations?

Did you find knitting abbreviations that aren’t on this list? Please leave me a comment below and I will add it to the list.

Get a Free Cowl Pattern

DESIGNED SPECIFICALLY FOR BEGINNERS

Learn how to read a pattern, knit something you can wear, and get the satisfaction of a fast knit project. Sign up for the Bright Mountain Knits email list to get your pattern now.

Disclaimer: This content contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission to fund my yarn-buying habit if you use these links to make a purchase. You will not be charged extra, and you’ll keep me supplied in fiber, which will fuel new knitting patterns. Thank you for supporting me! I promise to only provide links to products that I love and use myself.

Want 50% off your first pattern? Click here to sign up for our email list for an exclusive coupon code. Dismiss