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

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.
  • Discussion
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    One Response to “Here’s a Guide to All the Knitting Abbreviations You Might See”
    1. Sharon Schaller
      Sharon Schaller

      I have one of your patterns I got on your website with yarn I ordered. There are abbreviations in the pattern I don’t know what they mean. I found pm above, but I don’t know what sm means. Could you please help?

      Reply