Abbreviations

What is a Abbreviation?

When you begin knitting the shorthand used in patterns can be very intimidating! To the uninitiated a knitting pattern often feels like trying to read a foreign language!

So the question is why?

When patterns were first being printed writing them out longhand takes a lot more paper. This means that abbreviations were introduced to fit more information into less space. As you get used to reading patterns you very quickly learn the most common shorthand terms. As your experience grows you begin to appreciate the shorthand as it makes it much faster to read through patterns and if you're printing it out it means less wastage and extra pages! So if you're a newer knitter this page should help you navigate this new world of knitting shorthand and before you know it you'll be reading patterns like a pro!

If you would like some help in working some of the techniques mentioned make sure you check out my tutorial page.

Common Abbreviations:

  • *_;         repeat directions from * as indicated
  • [ ]           repeat directions within brackets as indicated
  • ”             inch(es)
  • approx           approximately
  • BO           bind off (cast off)
  • BOR        beginning of round
  • CC           contrast colour
  • cdd                 slip 2 stitches as if going to knit them together, knit one, then pass the 2 slipped stitches over the stitch knitted
  • cn            cable needle
  • CO           cast on
  • cm           centimetre(s)
  • circ          circular needle
  • dec('d)    decrease(d)
  • dpns        double-pointed needles
  • est’d      established
  • g              grams
  • inc('d)      increase(d)
  • k               knit
  • k2tog       knit 2 stitches together  (right-slanting decrease)
  • k2togtbl   knit 2 stitches together through the back loops
  • k3tog       knit 3 stitches together (right-slanting decrease)
  • kfb         knit into front and back of stitch
  • LC            left cross
  • MC        main colour
  • M1(P)      make 1 knit (purl): Insert left needle, from back to front, under strand of yarn which runs between next stitch on left needle and last stitch on right needle; knit (purl) this stitch through front loop.
  • M1L    make 1 Left: Insert left needle, from front to back, under strand of yarn which runs between next stitch on left needle and last stitch on right needle; knit this stitch through back loop.
  • M1R        make 1 Right: Insert left needle, from back to front, under strand of yarn which runs between next stitch on left needle and last stitch on right needle; knit this stitch through front loop.
  • m             marker / metre(s) (only in yarn details)
  • meas       measures
  • mm          millimetres
  • oz            ounces
  • p            purl
  • p2tog    purl 2 stitches together
  • p3tog    purl 3 stitches together
  • p2togtbl    purl 2 stitches together through the back loop
  • patt(s)     pattern(s)
  • pfb         purl into front and back of stitch
  • pm         place marker
  • p-wise     purl wise
  • RC           right cross
  • rem       remaining
  • rep        repeat
  • rev         reverse
  • rev st st reverse stocking (stockinette) stitch
  • rep   repeat
  • RS           right side(s)
  • rnd(s)      round(s)
  • sl              slip
  • sl m         slip marker
  • ssk           slip 2 stitches individually as if to knit, then knit those 2 stitches together through the back loops (left-slanting decrease)
  • ssp        slip 2 sts, one at a time, as if to knit, then purl those 2 stitches together through the back loops
  • st(s)         stitch(es)
  • st st       stocking (stockinette) stitch
  • tbl          through back loop
  • wyib      with yarn in back
  • wyif          with yarn in front
  • WS          wrong side(s)
  • yd(s)        yard(s)
  • yo            yarnover
  • YO2         double yarnover: wrap yarn around needle twice