100+ Knitting Abbreviations With Glossary

Updated January 11, 2022
yarn and needles knitting abbreviation
    yarn and needles knitting abbreviation
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There’s nothing better than curling up with some knitting needles and soft thread! Whether you’re a beginner or a knitting natural, learning the lingo of knitting will help you to keep up to pace with the current knitting designs. Check out this list of common knitting abbreviations to help you through your next throw, sweater, or pair of socks.

Knitting Abbreviations: A–F

When you’re reading a new pattern, the lists of abbreviations and stitches can be daunting. This first set of abbreviations teaches you about basics like casting on, binding off, and contrasting colors.

  • alt – alternate
  • approx – approximately
  • beg – beginning
  • bet – between
  • BO – bind off
  • byo – backward yarn over
  • CA – color A
  • CB – color B
  • CC – contrasting color
  • cdd – centered double decrease
  • ch – chain
  • cn – cable needle
  • CO – cast on
  • cont – continue
  • cross 2 L – cross two stitches to the left
  • cross 2 R – cross two stitches to the right
  • dec – decrease
  • DK – double knitting weight yarn
  • dpn – double pointed needles
  • EON – end of needle
  • EOR – end of row
  • FC – front cross
  • fl – front loop
  • foll – follow

Knitting Abbreviations: G–L

Ready for the next steps in your creation? Learn how to identify garter stitches, knitwise directions, and left-needs instructions in the next set of abbreviations.

  • g st – garter stitch
  • grp – group
  • inc – increase
  • k – knit
  • k tbl – knit stitch through back loop
  • k1B – knit stitch in row below
  • kfb – knit 1 into front and back of stitch
  • kll – knit left loop
  • krl – knit right loop
  • k2tog – knit two stitches together
  • k2tog tbl – knit two stitches together, through the back loops
  • ksp – knit 1 stitch; slip the stitch; pass second stitch over first stitch; return stitch to right needle
  • kwise – knitwise
  • LC – left cross
  • LH – left hand
  • lp – loop
  • LT – left twist

Knitting Abbreviations: M–R

This section introduces purlwise directions and how to pass over specific needles. If you’re ready for a challenge, try to make one left or right purlwise as well.

  • m – marker
  • M1 – make one
  • M1A – make one away
  • M1L – make one left
  • M1p – make one purlwise
  • M1lp – make one left purlwise
  • M1rp – make one right purlwise
  • M1R – make one right
  • M1T – make one towards
  • MB – make bobble
  • MC – main color
  • p – purl
  • p tbl – pull through back loop
  • p–b – purl stitch in the row below
  • p–wise – purl wise
  • p1 f&b or pfb – purl the front of the stitch, then purl the back of the same stitch
  • p2tog – pull together
  • p2tog tbl – pull two together through the back loops
  • patt – pattern
  • pm – place marker
  • pnso – pass next stitch over
  • pop – popcorn stitch
  • prev – previous
  • psso – pass the slipped stitch over
  • p2sso – pass 2 slipped stitches over
  • pu – pick up stitches
  • pwise – purlwise
  • RC – right cross
  • rem – remaining
  • rep – repeat
  • RH – right hand
  • rib – ribbing
  • rnd – round
  • RS – right side
  • RT – right twist

Knitting Abbreviations: S–Z

You’ll learn a lot about slip stitches, skipping stitches, and yarn over needle instructions with the final section of knitting pattern abbreviations. Feel free to reference the list as necessary when working through your next pattern!

  • sk –skip
  • sk2p – slip one, knot two, pass slipped stitch over
  • SKP – slit, knit, pass
  • sl – slip a stitch
  • sl st – slip stitches
  • sl1k – slip a stitch knitwise
  • sl1p – slip a stitch purlwise
  • sm – slip marker
  • sp – space
  • ss – slip stitch
  • ssk – slip, slip, knit slipped stitches together
  • ssp – slip, slip, purl
  • SSPP2 – slip 2 stitches knitwise; return the stitches to left needle and slip them through back loops; purl 1, pass 2 slipped stitches over purl stitch; centered double decrease
  • sssk – slip, slip, slip, knit three slipped stitches together
  • st – stitch
  • st st – stockinette stitch
  • tbl – through back loop
  • tfl – through front loop
  • tog – together
  • won – wool over needle
  • wrn – wool round needle
  • WS – wrong side
  • w&t – wrap and turn
  • wyib – with yarn in back
  • wyif – with yard in front
  • yb – yarn to the back
  • yf – yarn forward
  • yfon – yarn forward and over needle
  • yfrn – yard forward and round needle
  • yfwd – yarn forward
  • yo – yarn over
  • yo2 – yarn over twice
  • yon – yarn over needle
  • yrn – yarn round needle

Other Symbols

Beyond the huge list of knitting pattern abbreviations, you may also encounter other symbols in your knitting journeys. A few of the most common include the following:

  • [] – repeat instructions between brackets as much as required
  • () – repeat instructions in parentheses as required
  • * – repeat instructions following the asterisk as needed
  • ** – repeat instructions between asterisks as needed

Glossary of Knitting Terms

Have you ever encountered a knitting term that you didn’t know? Brush up on your knitting knowledge with a list of common terms that you may encounter in a pattern. These terms include:

  • Bind Off: When you’re ready to finish the last row, knit two stitches to bind off. Then, slip the first stitch over the second. Repeat until there is only one stitch left. Cut off the remaining yarn and tuck it into the last stitch.
  • Cast On: Casting on means to create the first stitch of your piece. You make a loop over the left-hand needle and put the right-hand needle through the loop. Then, pass the yarn over and under the right-hand needle and through the loop to the left-hand needle.
  • Crochet: Although crochet also uses yarn, crocheters use a hooked needle to create more tightly–crafted designs.
  • Gauge: The gauge indicates how many stitches and rows there are per inch.
  • Eyelet: This is a decorative edging for knitting projects with small holes.
  • Knitting Needles: The three types of knitting needles include pin-style needles, double-pointed needles, and circular needles.
  • Knit Stitch: With this most basic knitting stitch, place the left-hand needle in front of the right-hand needle to transfer a stitch.
  • Moss Stitch: This is when you switch between a knit stitch and a purl stitch in a row.
  • Popcorn Stitch: This refers to a bobble on the surface of a knitted project.
  • Purl Stitch: With this backward stitch, you place the right-hand needle in front of the left-hand needle.
  • Rib Stitch: With a rib stitch, you alternate stitches between rows to create a contrast.
  • Skein: This is a collapsible coil of yarn.
  • Slip Stitch: Transfer the stitch between needles without adding yarn in a slip stitch.
  • Slip Knot: This is an adjustable loop used for casting on.

More Crafting Resources

Knitting isn’t the only way to make a beautiful piece of textile art. Crochet is a different way to use your crafting skills and learn new techniques at the same time. Check out a list of common crochet abbreviations that can guide you through your next project.