Common Abbreviations in Knitting Directions

Pattern instructions can be confusing, especially for the new knitter. I have compiled a list of some of the most common abbreviations used in hand knitting instructions and patterns and what they really mean to the knitter. 

Abbreviation What it means
approx Approximately
beg Beginning (ex: meas from beg = measure length from beginning edge of knitted piece, usually from the cast-on edge)
bo Bind off
cab Cable
ch Chain
co Cast on
cont Continue
dec Decrease
dpn Double pointed needle
eor Every other row
inc Increase
ssk Slip, slip, knit
sl, k, psso or SKP Slip 1, Knit 1, Pass the slipped on over the knit one
k Knit
p Purl
k2tog Knit 2 stitches together
k3tog Knit 3 stitches together
p2tog Purl 2 stitches together
yo  Yarn Over the needle *please note: there are two versions of a yo and in American instructions they expect you to know which one to use.
yo yarn over (before a knit stitch) yarn goes over the needle and to the back
yo and around needle yarn over (before a purl stitch) yarn goes over the needle, around the back side, down under the needle to come forward. It goes completely around the needle and is in place to make a purl stitch.
kwise Knit wise
pwise Purl wise
psso Pass slipped stitch over
tbl Through back loop
ws Wrong side
rs Right side
wyib With yarn in back
wyif With yarn in front
pm Place marker
cn Cable needle
M1 Make one stitch
lc Left cross
rc Right cross
sl Slip 1 stitch
rep repeat

Relax, have fun, and just keep knitting!

The more you knit, the better it will be and the more confident you will become.

For information about casting on click here


Print pagePDF page

Share your thoughts...

*