KNITOPAEDIA (The Language of Knitting)

For Example: Just click on the letter “P” below to link you to the “P” area of the knitopaedia to find out what purl means and then look for purl under the “P”s.


Knitopaedia is a free online dictionary for words, phrases and abbreviations that are related to the fine art of knitting. Knitopaedia attempts to provide “knitting” definitions in simple, easy to understand language, avoiding complicated wording when possible so that the web site page is easily understood and accessible to users with a wide range of knitting knowledge and skill. A full-time experienced editor gathers information from her own personal experience and library, leading trade publications, accredited arts institutions, professional online needle arts publications, related white papers and other professionals working in the field. More extensive information than was included in the definition may be included by a link to our archives or another source where a greater depth of instruction may be warranted. Multiple sources will be used to generate a definition in order to obtain as accurate a definition or explanation of a terminology as is possible. The definitions on Knitopaedia may evolve and change being updated to reflect changing trends in the art. New knitting terms are added on a daily basis, as a result of our own research or from the suggestion of a reader. Knitting abbreviations and terms can vary from author to author and from country to country. Knitting instructions are usually done in abbreviations. The terminology following is an aid to knitters. Interpretation is the responsibility of the reader.

link to top


alt: Abbreviation for -alternate, alternately

approx: Abbreviation for- approximately

link to top


b: Abbreviation for -back

BC: Abbreviation for- back cross

beg, beg’g: Abbreviation for – begin, beginning

B.O. or BO: Abbreviation for- bind off

link to top


CC: Abbreviation for -contrast colour

ch: Abbreviation for -chain

cm: Abbreviation for -centimeter(s)

cn: Abbreviation for -cable needle

C.O. or CO: Abbreviation for- cast on

cont: Abbreviation for- continue, continuing

link to top


dec(s)(ing): Abbreviation for- decrease(s) (ing)

dec L: Abbreviation for-decrease left

dec R: Abbreviation for- decrease right

dpn or d.p. or dp: Abbreviation for- double-pointed needle(s)

link to top


est: Abbreviation for- established

link to top


FC.: Abbreviation for- front cross

foll or foll’g: Abbreviation for- follow, following

link to top


g: Abbreviation for-gram(s)

link to top


link to top


inc(s)(ing): Abbreviation forincrease(s)(ing)

in(s): Abbreviation for- inch(es)

incl: Abbreviation for- inclusive

inc L: Abbreviation for- increase to the left

inc R: Abbreviation for- increase to the right

link to top


link to top


K or k: Abbreviation for- knit

kb: Abbreviation for- knit into the back of the stitch

kf&b or kfb: Abbreviation for -knit into front and back of st (increase)

k2tog: Abbreviation for -knit 2 sts tog (decrease)

k3tog: Abbreviation for -knit 3sts tog (decrease)

link to top


LH: Abbreviation for-left hand or left-hand needle


M: Abbreviation for -marker

m: Abbreviation for- make

m: Abbreviation for -metre(s)

mm: Abbreviation for -millimeter(s)

M 1: Abbreviation for- make one stitch Make one stitch by picking up the horizontal loop lying before the next st and work into the back of it.

M C: Abbreviation for- main colour

Meas: Abbreviation for- measures


No: Abbreviation for -number


o or yo: Abbreviation for- yarn over

oz: Abbreviation for- ounce(s)

link to top


P: Abbreviation for- purl

p2tog: Abbreviation for -purl 2 stitches together (decrease)

patt or pat: Abbreviation for- pattern

Pb: Abbreviation for-purl into the back of stitch

pfb: Abbreviation for -purl into the front and the back of the stitch (increase)

pm: Abbreviation for -place marker here

pnso or p.n.s.o.: Abbreviation for- pass or pull next stitch over

psso or p.s.s.o.: Abbreviation for- pass slip stitch over

p2sso: Abbreviation for- pass 2 slip stitches over

p.u.: Abbreviation for- pick up

pu 1: Abbreviation for- pick up one stitch



RS(R): Abbreviation for- right side (row)

reg: Abbreviation for -regular

rem: Abbreviation for- remain, remaining

rep: Abbreviation for- repeat * or**: Abbreviation for- repeat the directions in the same order following the asterisk * * or ( ): Abbreviation for- repeat directions found between asterisks or parentheses

rev: Abbreviation for-reverse

RH: Abbreviation for- right-hand needle

Ridge: A ridge is made by knitting 2 rows of knit stitch. Work one row across the needle in knitting and one row back in knitting

rnd: Abbreviation for- round

Row: A row is done when you work once across the needle.


sep: Abbreviation for- separately

skp: Abbreviation for -slip one stitch, knit the next stitch, pass slipped stitch over the knit st (decrease)

sp: Abbreviation for- single-pointed

sp: Abbreviation for -space

sl or s: Abbreviation for- slip

Slip a stitch: This indicates that a stitch is slipped from the left-hand needle to the right-hand needle
To slip a stitch knitwise (sl 1 knitwise)

Insert the right-hand needle into the front of the next stitch on the left-hand needle from left to right, then slip the stitch from the left-hand needle onto the right-hand needle without knitting it.

To slip a stitch purlwise (sl 1 purlwise)

Insert the right-hand needle into the front of the next stitch on the left-hand needle from right to left then slip the stitch from the left-hand needle onto the right-hand needle without knitting it.

ssk: Abbreviation for- slip, slip, knit
Slip 2 stitches knitwise one at a time, then slip the left needle through the front of the two stitches and knit both together. (decrease)

sssk: Abbreviation for -Slip 3 stitches knitwise one at a time, then slip the left needle through the front of the 3 stitches and knit them together.  (decrease)

st(s): Abbreviation for- stitch(es)

St st: Abbreviation for- stocking stitch or stockinette stitch

link to top


tbl: Abbreviation for -through back of loop

tog: Abbreviation for- together

tw: Abbreviation for- twist




w.f.: Abbreviation for -wool forward

WS(R): Abbreviation for- wrong side (row)

wyif: Abbreviation for- with yarn in front



Yarn in Front: Bring the yarn from the back of the work to the front between your 2 needles.

yo or o: Abbreviation for- yarn over

yh or wyib: Abbreviation for- yarn to back of work

yf or wyif: Abbreviation for- yarn to front of work


link to top