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Cheat Sheet

Knitting For Dummies

From Knitting For Dummies, 3rd Edition by Pam Allen, Shannon Okey, Tracy Barr, Marly Bird

Knitting is a popular craft that can result in functional and decorative art. To get to the point where you're knitting useful garments, you need to know some knitting terms and their abbreviations. You may have to put your math skills to work as well, converting inches to centimeters or vice versa.

Knitting Abbreviations

    Knitting patterns use a collection of standard abbreviations — most are fairly intuitive, but some can be confusing. Keep this list of knitting abbreviations and their meanings close by, so you can consult it as needed:

Abbreviation Meaning Abbreviation Meaning Abbreviation Meaning
approx approximately lp(s) loop(s) RS right side(s)
beg beginning m meter(s) sc single crochet
CC contrasting color m1 make 1 stitch (increase 1 stitch) sl slip, slipped, or slipping
ch chain MC main color sl st slip stitch
cm centimeter(s) mm millimeter(s) ssk slip, slip, knit the slipped stitches together
cn cable needle oz ounce(s) st(s) stitch(es)
cont continue or continuing p purl tbl through the back of the loop
dec(s) decrease(s), decreased, or decreasing pat(s) pattern(s) tog together
dpn(s) double-pointed needle(s) ptbl or p-b purl stitch through the back of the loop WS wrong side(s)
foll follows or following pm place marker wyib with yarn in back
g gram(s) psso pass slipped stitch over (used for decreasing) wyif with yarn in front
inc(s) increase(s), increased, or increasing pwise purlwise (as if to purl) yb yarn back
k knit rem(s) remain(s) or remaining yd yard(s)
k2tog knit 2 stitches together rep repeat yf yarn forward
ktbl or k-b knit stitch through the back of the loop RH right-hand yo yarn over
kwise knitwise (as if to knit) rnd(s) round(s) yrn yarn around needle
LH left-hand

Converting Metrics for Knitting

If you're a knitter, you know that sometimes you need to convert inches to centimeters or vice versa. Knitting conversions aren't hard to do, you just need to brush off your math skills. Here are a couple of tips to help you convert both centimeters and inches:

  • To convert centimeters to inches, divide the centimeter figure by 2.5; for example, 10 centimeters divided by 2.5 equals 4 inches.

  • To convert inches to centimeters, multiply the inch figure by 2.5; for example, 4 inches times 2.5 equals 10 centimeters.

Glossary of Knitting Techniques

Knitting is both simple and complicated at the same time — it's all in the technique. Knowing a variety of knitting techniques helps you create professional-looking items. Following is a handy list that explains many common knitting techniques. Practice can make you a master of all of them.

Bind off: Remove stitches from the needle to create a finished edge. Knit 2 stitches, * with tip of LH needle bring the stitch on the right (the first one knit) over the second stitch and off the needle. One stitch bound off. Knit 1 stitch. Rep from * to the end of the row. Place marker: Place a round marker (a purchased ring or strand of contrast yarn) on your needle to remind you of the beginning of a round, to indicate a pattern repeat, or for some other purpose your pattern tells you.
Cast on: Make a foundation row of stitches. Row 1 is worked from these stitches. Purl into the back of the stitch: Instead of entering the stitch with the RH needle in the usual way to purl, go into the back of the stitch, twisting it.
Decrease: Remove stitches using k2tog or ssk or psso. Purl into the stitch below: Insert the RH needle as if to purl into the stitch directly below the first stitch on the LH needle and purl it (wrap yarn and draw a loop through) as you normally would.
Increase: Add stitches to a row, often abbreviated as m1 (make 1). Purl 2 together: Insert the needle into 2 stitches instead of 1 and purl them together as 1 stitch. It decreases 1 stitch and slants to the right.
Knit into the back of the stitch: Instead of entering the stitch with the RH needle in the usual way to knit, go into the back of the stitch, twisting it. Purlwise: Insert the RH needle into the next stitch as if you're going to purl it.
Knit into the stitch below: Insert the RH needle as if to knit into the stitch directly below the first stitch on the LH needle and knit it (wrap yarn and draw a loop through) as you normally would. Slip stitch: With the RH needle, go into the first stitch on the LH needle as if to purl it and transfer it to the RH needle without working it.
Knit 2 together: Insert the RH needle through the first 2 stitches and knit them together as 1 stitch. It decreases 1 stitch and slants to the right. Slip 1, knit 1, pass slipped stitch over: Slip 1 stitch, knit the next stitch, and then bring the slipped stitch over the knitted stitch and off the needle. It decreases 1 stitch and slants to the left.
Knit 3 together: Insert the RH needle into the first 3 stitches and knit them together as 1 stitch. It decreases 2 stitches and slants to the right. Slip 1, knit 2 together, pass the slipped stitch over: Slip 1 stitch, knit the next 2 stitches together as 1 stitch, and then bring the slipped stitch over the knitted stitch and off the needle. It decreases 2 stitches and slants to the left.
Knitwise: Insert the RH needle into the next stitch as if you're going to knit it. Slip, slip, knit: Slip 2 stitches one at a time as if to knit, and then knit them together as 1 stitch through the back of the loops. It decreases 1 stitch and slants to the left.
No stitch: A chart symbol indicating that there's no stitch on your needle to match the square in the chart. When you get to a no-stitch square, skip it and work the next stitch as indicated in the next square of the chart. Work even: Continue in whatever pattern you're working without increasing or decreasing.
Pick up and knit (or purl): With a knitting needle and yarn, draw through a series of new loops to work from along the edge of a knitted piece. It's usually used for neck and cardigan bands. Yarn over: Make a new stitch by wrapping the yarn around the RH needle. The way to do this depends on the kind of stitches (knit or purl) on either side of the yarn over.
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