Most knitting patterns use a lot of abbreviations and phrases that only experienced knitters will know. As a beginner knitter, it can be extremely helpful to have a knitting glossary handy to help you read your first few patterns. You shouldn’t need to keep a glossary on hand for too long, since the abbreviations are pretty simple, but it is helpful while you get used to the common knitting terminology. There are countless abbreviations and knitting phrases used in knitting patterns, but as a beginner you will only need to know the most common ones.
Knitting Glossary of Common Abbreviations
While some knitting patterns include a knitting glossary for those new to reading patterns, not all designers think to include one. If you have avoided reading patterns because of the abbreviations in the past, you can now refer to this knitting glossary when you are confused and you’ll be able to complete basic patterns.
Here are some of the most common abbreviations you need to know to read a knitting pattern.
• CO: Cast on
• BO: Bind off
• Beg: Beginning
• CA: Color A
• CB: Color B
• CC: Contrasting color
• MC: Main color
• Ch: Chain (using crochet hook)
• CN: Cable needle
• Cont: Continue
• Dec: Decrease
• DPN’s: Double pointed Needles
• G st: Garter stitch
• Inc: Increases
• K: Knit
• K-wise: Knit wise. (Insert right hand needle into loop as if to knit)
• P-wise: Purl wise. (Insert right hand needle into loop as if to purl)
• RH: Right hand
• LH: Left hand
• K2Tog: Knit 2 together (Decrease)
• P2Tog: Purl 2 together (Decrease)
• M1: Make 1 (Popular increase)
• PM: Place marker
• Rep: Repeat
• Rib: Ribbed Stitch
• YO: Yarn over
• WS: Wrong side
• RS: Right Side
Common Knitting Phrases
Knitting patterns are full of phrases that common people wouldn’t understand. Even if you’ve taught yourself how to knit and never use patterns, you may not know what these phrases and abbreviations mean. Here are some of the most common knitting phrases explained.
• Knit-wise: when you are instructed to insert your needle knit-wise, this means to insert your right hand needle into the first loop on your left hand needle as if you were going to knit. This means that you insert your needle from front to back and left to right.
• Purl-wise: when you are instructed to insert your needle purl-wise, this means that you insert your right hand needle into the first loop on your left hand needle as if you were going to purl. This means that you insert your needle from back to front and right to left.
• Knit 2 Together: Knit 2 together is pretty self explanatory, in that you simply put your right hand needle knit-wise into the first 2 loops on your left hand needle at the same time and perform a knit stitch. This turns 2 stitches into 1.
• Purl 2 Together: Purl 2 together is also pretty self explanatory, in that you insert your right hand needle purl-wise into the first 2 loops on your left hand needle at the same time and perform a purl stitch, so that you turn 2 stitches into 1 purl stitch.
• Make 1: Make 1 is the act of creating a knit stitch where there was no stitch before. To make one, use your left hand needle and grab the bar in between the stitches from front to back. You can then knit with your right hand through the back loop.
This knitting glossary is a basic place to begin. It doesn’t contain every single abbreviation that can be found in knitting patterns; but it does include the most common ones to give you the basic knowledge needed to read your first patterns. Knowing the common knitting phrases and abbreviations can make reading knitting patterns much easier. If you’ve been intimidated to try out knitting patterns because of all of the abbreviations and strange phrases, you have nothing left to fear. By knowing what these abbreviations mean, you’ll be able to move forward with the confidence needed to complete even intricate tasks. If you simply refer to this knitting glossary whenever you come across a new term you’ll have no problems completing a pattern.