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Knitting Abbreviations

Some of the simple knitting stitches can be found on another page on this site;  this page covers a few of the most common abbreviations used in knitting patterns.

TOGETHER (Tog.)

When this is carried out on a Knit row, you place the point of the right hand needle through the next two stitches on the left hand needle from left to right.  Place yarn under right hand needle, over the top and pull the yarn through both stitches at once. Drop both stitches off the left hand needle. This makes one stitch out of two.  Sometimes more than two stitches are knitted together at the same time, the number is indicated in the pattern e.g. K2tog.  (Knit two together) or K3tog (Knit three together).

This action can also be done on a Purl row.  Place the point of the right hand needle through the front of the first and second stitches on the left hand needle.  Put yarn over the top of the point on the right hand needle and pull yarn through both stitches at one.  Drop both stitches off left hand needle.  This makes one stitch out of two.  More than two stitches can be worked together, as mentioned above.

DECREASE (Dec.)

This reduces the amount of stitches in a row and is used to shape garments.  The two most commonly used are by knitting stitches together (Tog.) or by slipping one stitch, knitting the next and passing the slipped stitch over (p.s.s.o.)

SLIP (Sl.)

A stitch is transferred from the left hand needle to the right hand needle without the use of the yarn.  Put the point of the right hand needle into the front of the next stitch on the left hand needle from right to left and slip it straight onto the right hand needle.

PASS SLIPPED STITCH OVER (p.s.s.o.)

Transfer the next stitch from the left hand needle to the right hand needle by putting point of right hand needle from left to right, through front of next stitch on left hand needle and slip onto right hand needle.  Knit next stitch by putting point of right hand needle through next stitch on left hand needle, yarn under and over point of right hand needle and pull yarn through.  Slip stitch off left hand needle.  The slipped stitch and knitted stitch are now on the right hand needle.   Pick up the slipped stitch with the point of the left hand needle and slip it over the knitted stitch and off the tip of the right hand needle. 

The whole abbreviation for this action is -  sl.1, k1, p.s.s.o.

THROUGH BACK OF LOOP (Tbl.)

This is when you knit or purl into the back of the loop of the stitch on the left hand needle. Place the point of the right hand needle from right to left,  through the loop on the left hand needle. Place yarn under and over the right hand needle, pull yarn through and slip loop off left hand needle.  This actually twists the stitch.

YARN FORWARD (yfwd)

This term is usually used when the yarn is sitting at the back of the work (when a stitch has been KNITTED) but must be brought to the front before working the next stitch.  This is done by bringing the yard from back to front under the right hand needle.  This is often used in lacy patterns.

YARN BACK (yb)

This term is used when the yarn is at the front of the work (after a PURL stitch has been performed) but has to be put to the back before the next action is performed.  Take the yarn from front to back between the two needles.

YARN FRONT (yf)

This is used when the yarn is already at the front of the work but would normally be taken to the back before performing the next stitch.  e.g. if a Purl stitch has just been done and the next stitch is to be knitted.  By leaving the yarn at the front but knitting the next stitch a loop or hole will be made.

YARN ROUND NEEDLE (yrn)

Before performing the next stitch the yarn is wound around the point of the right hand needle. This creates a hole and an extra stitch.  If the stitches are being knitted the yarn starts and finishes at the back, however, if the stitches are Purl the yarn starts and finishes at the front of the work.

ALTERNATE (Alt.)

This means every other row.  e.g. if you are shaping a garment by decreasing, this is usually carried out on alternate rows so the instructions may be something like " Dec. 2 stitches at the beginning of the next 12 alt. rows."

MAKE ONE (m1)

This is another term for increasing the number of stitches (as increase), it can be done in several ways and the method required will normally be described in the pattern concerned.

If a lacy pattern is being worked " m1" is usually done by leaving the yarn in front on a Knit stitch (thus creating a hole and an extra stitch) and this is followed by knitting tog. or psso in order to keep the final number of stitches the same.

Sometimes the term "m1" is used when increasing the number of stitches in order to shape a garment.  This is usually carried out by knitting or purling twice into the same stitch or alternatively, by picking up the loop between the two stitches and knitting or purling into this loop (as explained under INCREASE).

List of abbreviations can be found here and more explanations here.

 

 

 

 

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