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KNITTING ABBREVIATIONS

What do they mean and how they are carried out.

There are many different terms and abbreviations used in knitting patterns.  Even if you know what the abbreviation stands for this does not mean you would be aware of the procedure needed to carry out the instructions so I am trying to address that problem with this page.

Many years ago abbreviations used in knitting patterns seemed to be universal, however, I notice that these days there is a wide variety in the terms used. Here are a few of the most commonly used which I hope will enable you to get started.

KNIT (K)

This is the most common stitch used in knitting.  It is normally followed by a number, such as 5, 6 etc. which indicates the number of stitches you have to knit.  e.g. K5 = Knit 5 stitches.

The stitches are on the left hand needle.

  • You place the point of your right hand need through the loop from left to right.
  • Wind the wool (which is coming from the right hand needle) under the point of the right hand needle and back across the front.
  • Pull the loop through.
  • You now have a loop of wool on the right hand needle and part of a loop on the left hand needle.
  • Slip the stitch off the LEFT hand needle.
  • You have now knitted one stitch.

PURL (P)

The stitches are on the left hand needle.

  • Place the point of your right hand needle from right to left through the front of the stitch on your left hand needle.
  • Wind the wool from top to bottom under the point of the right hand needle.
  • Pull the wool through the stitch.
  • You now have a loop of wool on your right hand needle.
  • Slip the stitch off the LEFT hand needle.
  • You have now purled one stitch.

MOSS STITCH (M.St.)

This is a pattern created by alternately working one knit stitch and one purl stitch on every row. The Purl stitch is worked over the Knitted stitch on the subsequent row.

ROW

This is when all stitches have been worked and thereby transferred from the left hand needle to the right hand needle.

When a row has been completed the right hand needle is placed back in the left hand and another row can then be started.  

GARTER STITCH (G. St.)

A pattern created by knitting every stitch on every row

REPEAT (Rep.)

Repeat the same action as just undertaken.  N.B. If instructions are given in brackets the whole operation contained within the brackets should be repeated.

STOCKING STITCH (St. St.)

A pattern created by knitting all the stitches on one row and then purling all the stitches on the next row.

INCREASE (Inc.)

There are several ways of increasing the number of stitches on the needle, the two most common being:-

  • Knit or purl twice into the same stitch (front and back) thereby creating two stitches out of one.
     
  • Alternatively, you pick up the strand of yard between two stitches with the point of your right hand needle and place it on the left hand needle.  Then knit into the back of this new loop, creating an additional stitch. 

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

 

 

 

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