Knitting and Crochet Abbreviations

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)

dtr = double treble crochet stitch

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

More Knitting and Crochet Resources

  • What’s the difference between knitting and crochet?
  • Knitting and crochet stitches
  • A complete beginner’s guide to knitting needles
  • Learn all about crochet hooks
  • Yarn for knitting and crochet
  • Ideas for how to organize yarn
  • How to save money on knitting and crochet
  • Knitting and crochet techniques
  • Knitting and crocheting for guys
  • Best gifts for crocheters and knitters
  • Tunisian crochet
  • Afghan stitch crochet
  • Knit and crochet scarf patterns

This page was last updated on 5-16-2021.