Here's a Guide to All the Knitting Abbreviations You Might See

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When you first begin knitting, reading patterns and charts may be the most challenging aspect. After all, to a novice "K5 yo, k2tog, ssk, knit to end" looks like utter gibberish. But don't stress — keep this guide close and you'll be able to decode even the trickiest line.

Common Knitting Abbreviations

  • bo - bind off
  • co - cast on
  • dec - decrease
  • inc - increase
  • k2tog - knit two together
  • k - knit
  • kfb - knit in the front and back of the same stitch
  • kwise - knitwise
  • M1L - make a new stitch by lifting the yarn in the space between the stitches and knitting into the back loop
  • M1R - make a new stitch by lifting the yarn in the space between the stitches and knitting into the front loop
  • p2tog - purl two stitches together
  • p - purl
  • pfb - purl in the front and back of the same stitch
  • pwise - purlwise
  • sl st - slip stitch
  • ssk - slip two stitches on the right needle and knit them together
  • ssp - slip two stitches on the right needle and purl them together
  • st st - stockinette stitch
  • yo - yarn over

Less Common Knitting Abbreviations

  • dpn - double pointed needles
  • k2tog tbl - knit two together through the back loops
  • ktbl - knit through the back loop
  • p2tog tbl - purl two together through the back loops
  • pm - place marker
  • psso - pass the slip stitch over
  • ptbl - purl through the back loop
  • skpo - slip, knit, pass slipped stitch over the knitted one
  • wyib - with yarn in back
  • wyif - with yarn in front

Cable Knitting Abbreviations

  • c2b - slip stitch purlwise to a cable needle and hold that needle in the back of your work, knit the next stitch, then knit the stitch off of the cable needle.
  • c2f - slip stitch purlwise to a cable needle and hold that needle in front of your work, knit the next stitch, then knit the stitch off of the cable needle.


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Here's a Guide to All the Knitting Abbreviations You Might See