Knitting Terms & Abbreviations

[ ] Work instructions within brackets as many times as directed
( ) Work instructions within parentheses in the place directed
* Repeat instructions following the asterisk as directed
* to ** Repeat instructions between the * and ** as directed
alt alternate
approx approximate
beg beginning/begin
bet between
BO bind off
CO cast on
cont continue
dec decrease/decreases/decreasing
dpn double-pointed needles
foll follow/follows/following
g st garter stitch
inc increase/increases/increasing
K knit
k1,p1 knit 1, purl 1
k2tog knit 2 together
kwise knitwise
LH left-hand
m1 make 1 stitch
m1 p-st make 1 purl stitch
P purl
p2tog purl 2 stitches together
pm place marker
prev previous
psso pass slipped stitch over
pwise purlwise
rem remain/remaining
rep repeat(s)
rev St st reverse stockinette stitch
RH right-hand
rnd(s) round(s)
RS right side
sk skip
skp slip, knit, pass slipped stitch over-1 stitch decreased
sk2p slip 1, knit 2 together, pass slipped stitch over the knit 2 together -- 2 stitches decreased
sl slip
sl1k slip 1 knitwise
sl1p slip 1 purlwise
sl st slip stitch
ssk slip, slip, knit these 2 stitches together -- a decrease
sssk slip, slip, slip, knit these 3 stitches together -- a 2-stitch decrease
st(s) stitch(es)
St st stockinette stitch
tbl through back loop
tog together
WS wrong side
wyib with yarn in back
wyif with yarn in front
yfwd yarn forward
yo yarn over
yon yarn over needle

Slip Stitch (sl st):
Sometimes instructions tell you to slip a stitch. This means you'll move a stitch to the right needle without knitting or purling. The instructions may indicate whether to slip it as if to knit or purl. To slip as if to knit, keep the yarn behind your work and insert the right needle into the next stitch on the left needle as if to knit it. However, instead of wrapping the yarn around the needle, simply slide the stitch off the left needle and onto the right.

Cast on: Your first stitch requires you to “cast on” your stitches on your needles and form a foundation row. This is perhaps one of the most difficult steps in knitting. It is very helpful to get someone to demonstrate this for you or to do it along side you.

Bind off:
The process at the end of your project of removing your stitches off of your needle without unraveling by lifting the first stitch over the second is referred to as “binding off.”

Knit stitch:
The knit stitch is the most basic stitch. It has a loop structure that forms a flat vertical fabric face.

Purl stitch:
The purl stitch is the reverse of the knit stitch. It has a loop structure that is a horizontal semicircle.

The number of stitches or rows per inch is referred to as the gauge.

Reducing the number of stitches in a row is termed decreasing.

Adding the number of stitches in a row is termed increasing.
Slip stitch: Stitching from the left hand needle to the right hand needle as if to purl stitch is the slip stitch.

Work even:
To work even is to continue in a specified pattern without increasing or decreasing.

Knit wise
: Inserting the needle into the stitch as if you were going to knit is referred to as knit wise.

Place markers:
A place marker is a piece of contrasting yarn or a purchased stitch marker onto the needle.

Skipping refers to the specified number of stitches of the previous row to work into the next stitch.

Slip Stitch:
The slip stitch is to pass a stitch from the left-hand needle to the right hand needle as to purl stitch without working it.

Yarn Over : To make a yarn over, just wrap the yarn around the right-hand needle from back to front counterclockwise before knitting the next stitch. Then just work the next stitch as normal. When you get to the yarn over on the next row, treat it as a regular stitch. Is a simple way to increase stitches. Using a yarn over makes a hole in the knitting and is popularly combined with a decrease such as knit two together to keep the number of stitches the same across the row.
Also Known As: YO, yo, yarn forward, yf, yfwd, yfon (yarn forward over needle), yfrn (yarn forward 'round needle)

I've finished the first row, What's next?
All you have to do is flip the work over. The side that you just had in front of you becomes the back temporarily. Move your right needle to your left hand and you'll see you're right where you started again.

Work the stitches as they appear: Sometimes this direction is phrased in a different manner, which also means the same thing: "knit the knits and purl the purls".
You need to know that a knit stitch is the reverse of a purl stitch, and vice versa. When executing the "as they appear" instruction, it only matters what the stitch appears to be from the side you are currently working on, and not what it was originally worked as.
For that you need to know how to recognize a purl stitch and a knit stitch when you see them.
If you end a row with a knit stitch, when you turn the work around, that stitch will look like a purl from the side you are now on.
If you end a row with a purl stitch, when you turn the work around, that stitch will look like a knit from the side you are now on.
This type of instruction commonly occurs in ribbing, in cabled patterns, and sometimes in simple laces.

The difference between the knit and purl stitches

The first row and all the other odd-numbered rows (1, 3, 5, 7..) are designated the right side of the work (unless the pattern or technique designates that the first row is the wrong side).
The second row and all the other even-numbered rows (2, 4, 6, 8..) are designated the wrong side of the work (unless the pattern or technique designates that the first row is the wrong side).

Reading knitting charts:

Charts use a square to represent each stitch and a symbol inside the square to indicate how to work the stitch. Though there is no universally used set of symbols, each pattern that uses a chart will give you a key to reading it. Always begin by finding the key to the chart. Generally, if the first row is a right-side row, charts start in the bottom right-hand corner and read to the left. (If the first row is a wrong-side row, the first row of the chart reads from left to right.) If there is patterning on the wrong-side row, the second row is read from left to right. If the wrong-side row is a plain purl row or a knit row, the wrong-side row will not be charted and all the rows will be read from the right to the left.

The most important thing to remember about charts is that they represent the pattern of the knitted fabric as you're looking at it — the right side of the fabric. This means that on wrong side rows (from left to right) you must purl any stitch that has a knit symbol and knit any stitch that has a purl symbol. This isn't difficult once you get the hang of it. The pattern key will remind you. Of course, if you're knitting in the round, you can follow the chart without worrying about whether you have the wrong side or right side of the fabric facing.