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Knitting terms and stitches explained, what knitting abbreviations and terms mean and how to carry them out


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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.