Working out Knitting Abbreviations

Knitting abbreviations can make a pattern seem like another language to those who want to know how to start knitting. At first it is always best to begin with easy patterns first as these will also have the basic short cuts and then when confidence has grown more complicated patterns can be attempted.

Whatever pattern you choose it will have printed on it all the abbreviations and the size of knitting needles that will be need to make that item no matter what kind of knitting stitch is used.

Having some paper and pen is also a good idea so you can keep tally of the number of rows you have done. There are also lots of knitting equipment and a knitting row counter can be used as well.


Basic Knitting Abbreviations

k- This means that a knit stitch is to be done. If the pattern only needs a certain number of stitches knitted then a number would appear after the K such as K2 or K7

p- This means that a purl stitch is needed and again if only a certain number of stitches are needed then a number would appear after the P such as P3 or P6.

RS- Right side of knitting. If it is referring to the needle then it would be RH for right needle or LH or left needle.

WS - Wrong side of knitting.

garter - Garter stitch where every row is knit.

st st - Stocking Stitch which is one row knit and then one row purl.

m.st- Moss Stitch. First row will be Knit 1, Purl 1 to the end, the second row would alternate by starting Purl 1, Knit 1 to the end, then the third row would be the same as the first and so on.

rib - Rib Stitch usually done by making alternate knit one, purl one stitches Also a number would be shown if only a small number of stitches to be done.  If a broader rib is required then the pattern would state how many knit and purl stitches to be done for example K3P3 rib.

s.l. - Slip the stitch and can be followed by a number to show how many to slip and not knit onto the needle.

p.s.s.o - Pass slipped stitch over. This is part of decreasing or making a pattern where a stitch is slipped and not knitted onto the needle and then brought over the next knitted stitch.

y.fwd - Yarn forward. This is where the yarn or wool in brought to the front on the knitting as if a purl stitch was going to be done.

t.b.l - Through back of loop. The stitch is knitted or purled through the back loop and not the front one.

k2.tog - Knit 2 together. Can be part of a pattern or decreasing and two stitches are knitted at the same time.


Word Abbreviations

Patterns also use shortened versions of words that are easily worked out. I have given a few examples:

dec - Decrease the number of stitches and may be followed by a number.

beg - Beginning

rept  or rep - Repeat a certain section of the pattern which may be shown with an asterisk * or brackets ().

inc - Increase the number of stitches and may be followed by a number.

tog - together

There are many shopping outlets that will stock knitting supplies such as The Range, Hobbycraft and Homecraft.

Enjoy working out all your knitting abbreviations

Return from Knitting Abbreviations to Knitting Basics

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