The DIY Knitting Glossary

A cheat-sheet of knitting terms to help the beginning knitter keep things straight.
Related To:
kg210-seg2-2ndw-tail2

kg210-seg2-2ndw-tail2

Tail

There's more to knitting than just picking up some needles and a ball of yarn: you actually have to use your little gray cells. After you've been knitting for a while, terms and abbreviations become second nature, but when you're just starting out, sometimes those letters just don't make sense. So the DIYnetwork.com editors have compiled a cheat-sheet to help you mind your Ps and Ks.

Knitting Abbreviations

* repeat the instructions immediately following the * (asterisk) the first time, plus the number of times specified

[ ] repeat the instructions within the bracket the number of times specified

alt alternate

BO bind(ing) off (also known as cast[ing] off)

CC contrasting color

CO cast(ing) on

cont continue

dec decrease or decreasing

DP double-pointed

dpns double-pointed needles

foll following

in inch(es)

inc increase or increasing

K or k knit

K2 tog knit 2 stitches together

MC main color

P or p purl

P2 tog purl 2 stitches together

patt pattern

PSSO pass slipped stitch over

SKP slip 1 stitch, knit 1 stitch, pass slipped stitch over knit

sl slip slip one stitch

sl st slip stitch

ssk slip 1 knitwise, slip 1 knitwise, knit these 2 stitches together to form a decrease

st(s) stitch(es)

St st stockinette stitch

rep repeat

rem remain(ing)

RS right side

WS wrong side

wyib with yarn in back

wyif with yarn in front

Yf yarn forward

yo yarn over

Knitting Terms

Below are some common (and some not-so-common) terms that are used in various projects.

Aran knitting: A technique of working combinations of stitches and patterns in a solid color (usually white), takes its name from the Aran Islands off the west coast of Ireland.

Continental method: Also known as picking, a knitting method in which the yarn is held in the left hand.

Felting: A process by which knitted wool is soaked in hot water to shrink and tighten the fibers and create a dense fabric.

Gauge: The number of stitches per inch horizontally and vertically when using the recommended yarn weight and stitch pattern

Intarsia (in-tar-zha): The integration of isolated blocks of color into a project; from the Italian intarsio, or inlaying.

Stitch key: The explanation of the symbols on a chart, similar to a map legend.

Stockinette or stocking stitch: A pattern consisting of alternating rows of knit (plain) and purl stitches; one of the foundations of knitting.

Tail: The loose end of the yarn.

Throwing: Knitting technique in which the yarn is held in the right hand; also known as thrown or English method.

Working yarn: The part of the yarn being worked with.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Basic Knitting: Practice Knitting with a Simple Scarf

Knitting newbies, find time during your lunch hour to make this easy-to-achieve scarf.

Yarn Bomb It!

Whether you're a skilled knitter, crafter or just a kid at camp, use yarn to transform an array of objects.

Arm Knit a Quick Cowl

Try your arms at one of this fall’s most popular DIY trends, arm knitting.

Recycled-Plastic Carryall

Recycle plastic shopping bags by knitting them into a carryall.

DIY Sparklers Craft

Learn how to create these fun, whimsical—and safe—sparklers for this year's Fourth of July celebrations.

DIY Pet Silhouettes

Learn how easy it is to create beautiful embroidered personalized silhouettes of your pets.

Woven Woolen Rug

This lovely rug is made from leftover chunky wool.

Whip Up Some DIY Slime

Treat your Halloween party guests to their very own slime-making fest.

DIY Crystal Pendant Necklace

Grow your own crystals to make this stylish pendant necklace.

DIY Cold Relief Bath Soak

Battle the common cold with this easy at-home remedy.

On TV

Garage Gold

7:30am | 6:30c

I Want That

8am | 7c

The Vanilla Ice Project

11:30am | 10:30c

The Vanilla Ice Project

12:30pm | 11:30c

Pool Kings

2pm | 1c

Pool Kings

2:30pm | 1:30c

Pool Kings

3pm | 2c

Pool Kings

3:30pm | 2:30c

Pool Kings

4pm | 3c

Pool Kings

4:30pm | 3:30c

Pool Kings

5pm | 4c

Pool Kings

5:30pm | 4:30c

Pool Kings

6pm | 5c

Pool Kings

6:30pm | 5:30c

Pool Kings

7pm | 6c

Pool Kings

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Tiny Luxury

8pm | 7c

Tiny Luxury

8:30pm | 7:30c

Tiny Luxury

9pm | 8c

Tiny Luxury

9:30pm | 8:30c

Tiny Luxury

10pm | 9c

Tiny Luxury

10:30pm | 9:30c

Tiny Luxury

11pm | 10c

Tiny Luxury

11:30pm | 10:30c

Tiny Luxury

12am | 11c

Tiny Luxury

12:30am | 11:30c

Tiny Luxury

1am | 12c

Tiny Luxury

1:30am | 12:30c

Tiny Luxury

2am | 1c

Tiny Luxury

2:30am | 1:30c

Tiny Luxury

3am | 2c

Tiny Luxury

3:30am | 2:30c

Get Social With Us

We love to DIY. You love to DIY. Let's get together.