Standard Knitting and Crochet Abbreviations, Plus Some Popular Abbreviations From Vintage Knitting and Crochet Patterns
If you want to work from a knitting or crochet pattern, it’s important to understand the abbreviations given in the pattern. It’s my hope that, after you’re finished checking out this page, you’ll have a thorough understanding of knitting and crochet abbreviations.
Reason for Using Knitting and Crochet Abbreviations in Patterns:
Abbreviations aren’t meant to confuse you, or to challenge your intellectual abilities — although it might seem like that until you get used to using them. The main objective is simple: abbreviations save space. Without them, your crochet or knitting patterns would take up twice, three times, ten times or maybe even dozens of times more space than they do. Knitting and crochet books, magazines and patterns would be more expensive, possibly even prohibitively expensive. They would also be much more cumbersome than they are. So, we use abbreviations out of necessity, not because we like writing in secret codes that only other crafters can understand.
Where to Find Knitting and Crochet Abbreviations
Further down this page, you’ll find a list of standard knitting and crochet abbreviations, with a few not-standard abbreviations included and explained as well.
If you buy a pattern, a book or a magazine, most of the time, you’ll find that abbreviations are included somewhere in the text — in the front of the book, the back of the book, or perhaps along with each pattern. However, there are cases when the abbreviations get lost or damaged, so this list is handy to have. There are also cases when you print a pattern you found on the Internet, and the abbreviations somehow don’t get included.
alt = alternate
approx = approximately
beg = begin; beginning
bet = between
BL = back loop(s) is the standard abbreviation. However, in some vintage publications, “bl” could possibly be the abbreviation for either “block” or “bobble.”
BLO = back loop only, back loops only
BO = bind off
bo = bobble
BP = back post
BPdc = back post double crochet
BPsc = back post single crochet
BPtr = back post treble crochet
CA = color A
CB = color B
cbl = vintage abbreviation for a cable, or sometimes a cable stitch, which would be further explained in the pattern.
CC = contrasting color
ch(s) = chain stitch(es)
ch-1 sp = chain-1 space, usually referring to a space that was created when you worked a chain stitch in the previous row or round.
ch-2 sp = chain-2 space, usually referring to a space that was created when you worked 2 chain stitches in the previous row or round. You might also find ch-3 sp, ch-4 sp, etc. used in this way.
ch-sp = chain space
CL = cluster
cm = centimeter(s)
cn = cable needle
CO = cast on
cont = continue
c t = cross treble
dc = double crochet
dc2tog = decrease by double crocheting 2 stitches together
dec = decrease, decreases, decreasing. In some patterns, “dec” could also stand for the month of December.
dpn = double pointed needle(s)
f = fan
FL = front loops
FLO = front loop only, front loops only
foll = follow, follows, following
FP = front post
FPdc = front post double crochet
FPsc = front post single crochet
FPtr = front post treble crochet
g = gram
grp(s) = groups
Half DC = half double crochet. This is how the stitch is abbreviated in many vintage pattern books, but it is not the standard abbreviation that contemporary designers currently use.
hdc = half double crochet; this is the standard abbreviation to use if you are designing a crochet pattern for future use.
inc = increase, increases, increasing
incl = include, including, inclusive, This abbreviation is often found in vintage patterns.
K or k = knit
k2tog = decrease by knitting 2 stitches together
kwise = knitwise
Kn = knot stitch
La = lacet; this is a crochet stitch pattern that frequently appears in filet crochet patterns, particularly vintage patterns. There are different ways to work lacets, so if you are working from a pattern its’ best to refer to your pattern instructions. Otherwise, click here for lacet instructions.
LH = left hand
lp(s) = loop(s)
m = meter(s)
M1 = make 1 stitch
M1-ps = make 1 purl stitch
MC = main color
mm = millimeter(s)
O = over, as in “yarn over” or “thread over”. The lone “O” abbreviation is more often found in vintage publications than it is in current ones; nowadays it is more common to abbreviate a yarn over as “YO”.
oz = ounce(s)
p = picot (in crochet) or purl (in knitting)
p2tog = decrease by working 2 purl stitches together
pat(s) or patt = pattern, patterns
pc = popcorn
pc st = popcorn stitch
pm = place marker
pop = popcorn; this abbreviation is found in vintage sources, and it is not the standard abbreviation nowadays.
prev = previous
psso = pass slipped stitch over
pwise = purlwise
rem = remain, remaining
rep = repeat(s)
rev St st = reverse stocking stitch
RH = right hand
rnd(s) = round(s)
RS = right side
sc = single crochet. In contemporary crochet patterns, “sc” is the standard abbreviation for single crochet. In some vintage publications, like the vintage Richardsons crochet books, single crochet is abbreviated “s c” or “s. c.” (with a space between letters) and “sc” is the abbreviation for “scallop.”
sc2tog = work a decrease by single crocheting 2 stitches together
sk = skip
skp = slip, knit, pass stitch over to decrease one stitch
sk2p = slip 1, knit 2 together, pass stitch over the knit 2 together to decrease by two stitches
sl = slip
sl1k = slip 1 knitwise
sl1p = slip 1 purlwise
sl st(s) = slip stich(es)
sp(s) = space(s)
ss = slip stitch (a knitting abbreviation in Canada)
S st = star stitch; a vintage abbreviation
St st = stockinette stitch (stocking stitch in the UK)
st(s) = stitch(es)
tch or t-ch = turning chain
tbl = through back loop
tfl = through front loop
tog = together
Tr C = treble crochet; this abbreviation was often used in vintage crochet patterns, but it is not the standard abbreviation nowadays.
tr = treble crochet; This is the standard abbreviation for contemporary use.
tri = triangle
trtr = triple treble crochet
WS = wrong side
wyib = with yarn in back
wyib = with yarn in front
yd(s) = yard(s)
yo = yarn over
yoh = yarn over hook
- Crocheted and Knitted Afghans Book 100, 1937, the Spool Cotton Co.
- Bags and Hats Crocheted With Raphael Brand Gimp book, 1939, Fraser Manufacturing Co.
- Alice Brooks Design leaflet #7267, dated 1946
- Afghans: Traditional and Modern by Bonita Bray, Crown Publishers
- Back issues of Vogue Knitting magazine
- Standard Crochet Abbreviations at the Craft Yarn Council Website
- Standard Knitting Abbreviations at the Craft Yarn Council Website
- Richardson’s Crocheted Edgings and Insertions, Book No 3, Published by the Richardson Silk Company in 1916
- Novelty Crochet Patterns, Book No 7, Published by Novelty Art Studios in 1916