Knitting's Top *10* Abbreviations!
By Alice Seidel

Doesn't it seem that everywhere you look, there is another Top Ten list?

Just turn on your TV, and there goes Jennifer Aniston, or Brad Pitt, and, even people like Marilyn Monroe, still seen posing on the red carpet, always being talked about as in the Top Ten!

Food shows, home shows, boat shows, MTV, Letterman, you name it, everyone has a Top Ten list!

So, for the record, let there be a Top Ten for knitting, too!

Knitting has scads of abbreviations, so many in fact, you can lose yourself in the art of initialism.

Some abbreviations are used so seldom as to be almost unknown, "won", for instance, means "wool over needle", which I have never seen before!

Any time you are working with a knitting pattern, these abbreviations are sure to be there. Now, you will know what they mean!

So, take heart! The most important ones are as follows:

(and for good reason, as you will shortly find out --)

#10 -- sl - means "slip". As in slip the next stitch from the left needle to the right. You do not see this abbreviation too much, but, if you are working in a lacy pattern, it will be there. Also, any time a pattern calls for variations, "sl" can be one of the abbreviations used.

#9 -- beg - means "beginning". Usually when determining length, you will see this used. Most patterns have you measuring length from the beginning, but, some patterns measure from other areas such as ribbing, or shoulder, or neck.

#8 -- RS - and no those aren't my husband's initials, (well, not in this guise, anyway). RS = right side. It is extremely vital to always be aware of what side you are knitting on; especially when cable stitches or other specialty stitches are being used.

#7 -- St st - now, doesn't that look redundant! Actually, it stands for Stockinette stitch, which is the signature stitch of knitting! When you knit one row, then purl the next, and do those two rows over and over, you are knitting the Stockinette stitch.

#6 -- K2tog - means "knit 2 together." You may be decreasing stitches on a row, or making "holes", so to speak; whatever it is, k2tog will help get the job done. Holes, in knitting, make your work take on an openwork look, or a lace design.

#5 -- YO - means to "yarn over." Again, when knitting lacy patterns which call for an openwork design, the YO is front- page stuff! In fact, YO is the very essence of openwork design.

#4 -- BO - means to "bind off." Once in a while you will see it as "cast off"; they both mean the same thing. When you are finished with your knitting, you will BO all the stitches on the needle and begin your finishing techniques.

#3 -- CO - means to "cast on." This is your foundation row, where you begin your knitting. Any time you begin a new segment to your knitting project, you will always start with CO.

#2 -- P - is for purl. The purl stitch is, of course, "knitted" into the front of your needle, and the yarn is also held to the front. Some beginners find the purl stitch a little harder to work than the knit stitch. With practice, the purl stitch is a breeze!

#1 -- K - is for knit. The knit stitch is what it's all about! A simple stitch into the back of the needle, combined with other stitch variations will make the most divine creations under the sun! Knitting every row gives you what is called the garter stitch, not be mistaken with that harmless, backyard snake!

So, there you have it!

These Top Ten knitting abbreviations only make up the most common, and popular abbreviations. Knitting has lots more where they come from!

Until next time, ready, set, knit!!

Copyright 2006 Alice Seidel


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