Patterns & Abbreviations Guide

The first time you look at a crochet or knitting pattern, you’ll probably think you’re looking at a foreign language, because patterns traditionally are written using abbreviations. Most magazines or books will have a key explaining these abbreviations, but following is a helpful reference list.

Abbreviations

  • approx…approximate(ly)
  • beg…begin(ning)
  • BLO…back loop only
  • BO…bind off
  • ch(s)…chain(s)
  • CC…contrasting color
  • CO…cast on
  • dc…double crochet
  • dec…decrease(ing) 
  • DP or dpn…double pointed needle(s)
  • g or gr…grams
  • hdc…half double crochet
  • inc…increase(-ing)
  • in(s) or “…inch(es)
  • k…knit k 2 tog…knit 2 stitches together
  • LH…left hand needle
  • lp(s)…loop(s)
  • MC…main color
  • M1…make one
  • oz…ounce(s)
  • patt(s)…pattern(s)
  • prev…previous
  • psso…pass slipped stitch over
  • p…purl
  • p-wise…purl-wise, or as though to purl
  • rem…remain(ing)
  • rep…repeat(ing)
  • RH…right hand needle
  • rnd(s)…round(s)
  • RS…right side
  • sc…single crochet
  • sk…skip

  • sl…slip
  • sl st(s)…slip stitches
  • sl 1, k 1, psso or SKP…slip 1 stitch as if to knit, knit 1 stitch, and pass the slipped stitch over the knit stitch, and over the end of the needle, or slip, knit, pass
  • sp(s)…space(s)
  • SP or spn…single-pointed needles
  • SSK…Slip, slip, knit. Slip first st as if to knit. Slip next st as if to knit. Put the tip of the left hand needle through the front of these two sts from left to right and knit them together.
  • st(s)…stitches(es)
  • St st…stockinette stitch
  • tog…together
  • tr…triple crochet(s)
  • WS…wrong side
  • YB or ytb…yarn to back of work
  • YF or ytf…yarn to front of work
  • yo…yarn over
  • YRN…yarn round needle 
  • *…An asterisk is used to mark the beginning of a portion of instructions which will be worked more than once; thus, “rep between * * three times: means after working the instructions once, repeat the instructions between the asterisks 3 more times (4 times in all). 
  • ( )…Parentheses are used to enclose instructions which should be worked the exact number of times specified immediately following the parentheses, such as: (k1, p1) twice. They are also used to list the garment sizes and to provide additional information to clarify instructions. 
  • [ ]…Brackets can be used in the same way as parentheses, but are usually used in combination with them to further clarify instructions.