Common Knit and Crochet Abbreviations



Some people are daunted from even starting to knit or crochet when they see a pattern:  they often look like another language: sk 2 ch sc in next sp.  Like any written language, if you have a good dictionary you are often 80% there, and patterns don't have crazy verb tenses, just abbreviations!  Any knit or crochet book worth it's salt will have a list of abbreviations and what they mean somewhere in the book, but I thought I'd compile a list of the most commonly used ones here:  we don't always have the book with us, or perhaps only the pattern, the book will assume you know, or have typos (ie the editor left out some of the abbreviations).  Below are some of the most frequently used abbreviations to help you decipher your patterns, I will continue to update this page with more abbreviations, and pictures as I can: feel free to add more ideas.  I will keep the lists alphabetical for easy reference.  Some patterns will have specific versions of common abbreviations, always consult their key if they offer one.


check here first: crochet and knit speak are often similar if not the same, especially if it doesn't have to do specifically with the knit or crochet action!


alt      alternate

approx      approximate(ly)

beg      begin, beginning

cm      centimeter(s)

cont      continue

dec      decrease (there are different ways to do this, especially knit or crochet, see if your                                    pattern suggests a way

foll      following

in/ins      inch(es)

inc      increase: different patterns have different guidelines as to how to do this

mm    milimeter(s)

pm      place marker

r      row

rem      remaining

rep/rept      repeat

rs      right side

sk      skip

st(s)  stitch(es)

tog      together

ws  wrong side

yo      yarn over: wrap the yarn once around the working needle or hook


(for basics of knit and purl stitches, as well as equipment and supplies, see "Basics of knitting" post)

bo     bind off (cast off):  how to end a piece.  Unless otherwise noted, knit two, pull 1st stitch (to right) over 2nd, knit one more, pull one to right over left, etc.

cn     cable needle: cable abbreviations will get their own section below

cont      continue

dpn     double pointed needle

fwd      forward

g st      garter stitch: knit every row

incl      including

k      knit

k2tog      knit two stitches together: put the right needle through the front of two loops, and treat them as one loop

lp      loop

m      make a stitch; somewhat like an increase, though often used to imply crating a stitch a different way

p      purl

pfb      purl into the front and the back of the stitch (a form of increase)

pnso      pass next stitch over

psso      pass slipped stitch over: usually similar to the bind off, the stitch to the right is passed over the one on the left at the end of the right (working) needle

ptbl      purl through the back loop (stitches are usually worked through the front)

p2tog      purl 2 stitches together: put right needle through 2 front loops and treat them as one

rev      reverse

rnd      round

skpo      slip one, knit one, pass slipped stitch over

sl      slip (move from one needle to another without working)

ssk      slip two stitches in a row knitwise (as if you were going to knit them), insert left hand needle back in front, knit

ssp      slip two stitches knitwise (as if you were going to knit them), slip back on left needle, and purl them together

st st      stockinette stitch (knit right side, purl wrong side)

tbl      through back of loop

wyb      with yarn in back

wyf      with yarn in front


Cable abbreviations:

this needs it's own section, coming soon!





warning: for many international patterns, especially with thread crochet, abbreviations may mean different things, usually to convert from international to US abbreviations minus one (eg chain1= sc, single crochet =dc in international abbreviations).  Below are common US abbreviations.

Remember, see "yo" above for yarn over!

ch      chain(s): yarn over (hook) and pull through loop on hook (see "yo" above for yarn over)

ch sp      chain space

cl      cluster:  this can be specific to the pattern, but usually means *yarn over, go into stitch or space indicated, yarn over, pull up one loop, yarn over, pull through two loops, repeat from * twice more, yarn over and pull through all four loops on hook

dc      double crochet: yarn over, insert hook where indicated, yarn over, pull up yarn, yarn over, pull through two loops, yarn over, pull through two loops

dtr      double triple

gr      group

hdc      half double crochet: follow instructions for double crochet, but once you pull up the yarn, yarn overand pull through all three loops.

p, pic      picot: varies by pattern, most often chain 5 (# of chains varies by pattern) and single crochet into base chain (5th from hook)

quadtr      quadruple triple

quintr      qintuple triple

sc      single crochet: fundamental stitch.  Insert hook in chain or stitch indicated, yarn over, pull yarn up, yarn over and pull through two loops on hook

sh      shell:  varies by pattern, often means 5 double crochet into same stitch or space

ss      slip stitch (see also sl in knitting)

stch      starting chain

tch      turning chain

tr      triple crochet:  Yarn over twice, insert hook in space, chain, or stitch indicated, yarn over, pull up yarn, *yarn over, pull through two loops, repeat from * until only one  loop remains on hook

ttr      triple triple