Knitting Library

Index
General
Abbreviations & Notations Glossary Holding Needle
Needle Size Yarn Weight  

Basic Stitches
Bind Off (bo) Cast On (co) Garter Stitch
Knit (k) Purl (p) Slip Stitch (sl)
Stockinette Stitch (st st)    

Increasing
Increasing, Make a stitch, Method-1 Increasing, Make a stitch, Method-2 Increasing, Make a stitch, Method-3
Increasing, Yarn Over (yo)    

Decreasing
Decreasing, K2tog Decreasing, P2tog Decreasing, SKP
Decreasing, SSK    

Seaming
Seaming, Back Stitch Seaming, Garter Stitch Edges Seaming, Kitchener Stitch
Seaming, Mattress Stitch Seaming, 3-Needle Bind Off  

Circular Knitting
Circular Needles Double Pointed Needles  

Other Techniques
Pick-up & Knit Short Rows  


Abbreviations & Notations

Abbreviation Meaning
approx approximate(ly)
beg begin(ning)
bet between
bo bind off
CC contrasting color
cm centimeters
cn cable needle
co cast on
col color
con continue
dbl double
dec(s) decrease(s)
diam diameter
dp or dpn double pointed needle(s)
g or gr grams
inc(s) increase(s)
in(s) or " inch(es)
k knit
k2tog knit 2 stitches together
k-wise knit-wise or as though to knit
lh left hand needle
lp(s) loop(s)
m1 make one
m meter(s)
mm milimeter(s)
MC main color
oz ounce(s)
p purl
p2tog purl 2 stitches together
p-wise purl-wise or as though to purl
pm place marker
prev previous
psso pass slipped stitch over
rem remain(ing)
rep repeat(ing)
rh right hand needle
rnd(s) round(s)
rs "right" side
sk skip
sl slip
skp (sl1, k1, psso) slip 1 stitch, knit 1 stitch, and pass the slipped stitch over the knit stitch.
ssk (sl1, sl1, k2tog) Slip first st. Slip next st. Knit these 2 stitches together from left to right.
st(s) stitch(es)
st st stockinette stitch
tbl through the back loop
ws "wrong" side
wyib with yarn in back
wyif with yarn in front
yd(s) yard(s)
yo yarn over
Notation Meaning
* Is used to mark the beginning of a portion of instructions which will be worked more than once; thus, rep from * means, repeat pattern from * as many times as it takes to the end of the row.
() Are used to enclose instructions which should be worked the exact number of times specified immediately following the parentheses, such as: (k1 , p1) twice. They are also used to list the garment sizes and to provide additional information to clarify instructions.
[] Can be used in the same way as parentheses, but are usually used in combination with them to further clarify instructions.



Glossary

Blocking
The process of steaming or wetting the finished project to even out the stitches and give the fabric its permanent look.

Gauge
Gauge is the number of stitches and rows in a 4"x4" (10cm x 10cm) piece.
For more detail check
Gauge Swatch.

Marker
A small ring or a knotted loop of contrasting color yarn that is put on the needle to divide a number of stitches.

Multiple
The number of stitches that together create one repeat of a pattern.

Repeat
A group of stitches (multiple) that together form one occurrence of a pattern.


Swatch
Sample of stitches worked with your intended yarn and needle, typically a bit larger than 4"x4" (10cm x 10cm). It is used for measuring the gauge.
For more detail check Gauge Swatch.

Work even
To continue to work in the pattern as established, without any increases or decreases.


Needle Size

Following is the Knitting Needle size table for American and Metric systems. For Metric, the numbers are in Millimeter.


Metric 2 2.25 2.75 3.25 3.5 3.75 4 4.5 5 5.5 6 6.5 8 9 10 10.5 12.75 15 19 25
American 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 10 11 13 15 16 17 19 35 50



Yarn Weight

The term weight refers to the thickness of yarn. Yarn is sold in several different thicknesses or weights. Each weight has a different use and a different needle size should be used for it.

Baby weight (Fingering yarn)
Best for baby items, summer wear and socks. Use knitting needles ranging from 0-3 (2-3.25 mm) for best results. You should have 28 stitches or more to 4" (10 cm).

Sport weight yarn
About twice as thick as baby yarn. It is used for children's clothing and light weight garments. Use knitting needles ranging from 4-6 (3.5-4 mm) for best results. You should have about 20 to 24 stitches to 4" (10 cm).

DK or Double Knitting yarn
Slightly heavier than sport weight and yet lighter than worsted weight yarn. It is appropriate to replace both sport and worsted weight yarn. Use knitting needles ranging from 4-6 (3.5-4 mm) for best results. You should have about 22 stitches to 4" (10 cm).

Worsted weight yarn
Twice as thick as sport weight. It is used for garments and Afghans alike. Use knitting needles ranging from 6-9 (4-5.5 mm) for best results. You should have about 16 to 20 stitches to 4" (10 cm).

Bulky (Chunky) yarn
Heavier than worsted weight. It is used for outdoor sweaters and works up fast. Use knitting needles ranging from 9-10 (5.5-6.5 mm) for best results. You should have about 14 to 15 stitches to 4" (10 cm).


Basic Stitches

Casting On (co)

1. Measure a length of yarn (in worsted weight yarn, 1" (2.5 cm) for each stitch). Make a pretzel shape with yarn.
2. Slip the needle into the pretzel.
3. Pull down both ends of yarn to tighten the knot.
4. Gently pull the two ends apart to tighten the loop. The first stitch is made.
5. Hold the needle as shown with the short end of yarn over the thumb and the long end over the index finger.
Both strands of yarn should rest in the palm of the hand, with the two last fingers holding them down.
6. Pull the needle downward, and then insert the point of the needle through the loop that is on your thumb.
7. Move the point of the needle over then around the right hand strand of yarn.
8. Bring the point of the needle back through the thumb loop and drop the thumb loop.
9. Pull on the short end of yarn with thumb. This will tighten the stitch. You now have another stitch on your needle.
Repeat steps 6-9 for the rest of the stitches.


Holding the yarn and needles

1. Hold the yarn with the cast on stitches in your left hand.
2. Wind the yarn that comes from the skein through your right hand fingers. Drape the yarn over index finger, under the middle and ring fingers and around your pinky.


Knit stitch (k)

1. Insert the right needle into the front of the stitch from right to left. The yarn should be in the back of your work.
2. Wrap the yarn around the right needle from back to front, so that it rests between the two needles.
3. Slide the right needle down.
4. Bring the point forward through the stitch, bringing the yarn with it.
5. Slip the old stitch off the left needle. Be careful to slip only the one stitch that was worked. Do not allow any others to slip off.
6. The new stitch is now on the right needle.
Repeat steps 1-6 for each stitch on the left needle. Notice that at the beginning and end of each stitch, the yarn is at the back of work, at the end of row, all the new stitches will be on the right needle and the left needle is empty.
To start the next row, switch the needle with the new stitches over to your left hand. Put the empty needle in your right hand. Work each stitch in the row as before.


Purl stitch (p)

1. Insert the right needle into the back of the stitch from right to left. The yarn should be in front of your work.
2. Wrap the yarn around the right needle.
3. Slide the right needle down, and then bring the tip from front to back through the stitch, bringing the yarn with it.
4. Slip the old stitch off the left needle. Be careful to slip only the one stitch that was worked. Do not allow any others to slip off.
Repeat steps 1-4 for each stitch on the left needle. Notice that at the beginning and end of each stitch, the yarn is at the front of work, at the end of row, all the new stitches will be on the right needle and the left needle is empty.
To start the next row, switch the needle with the new stitches over to your left hand. Put the empty needle in your right hand. Work each stitch in the row as before.


Garter Stitch

When you Knit every row, it is called Garter stitch. Both sides of your work look the same and you will have ridges all over the knit fabric. Each ridge represents 2 rows of knitting.
In Garter stitch, it is easier to count the number of ridges.
Purling every row will result in Garter stitch too.


Stockinette stitch (st st)

1. Knit across one row.

2. Purl across the next row.

Repeat steps 1-2 for pattern.
One side of work turns out smooth.
It is called the stockinette side.
The other side becomes bumpy.
It is called the reverse stockinette.


Slip stitch (sl)

To slip a stitch means to move it from left needle to the right needle without working it. Unless otherwise noted, always slip a stitch as if to purl and leave the yarn in the back.


Binding off (bo)

1. Knit the first two stitches.
2. Using the point of the left needle, lift the first stitch up and over the second stitch and off the end of the right needle. You just have bound off one stitch and there should be one stitch remaining on the right needle.
3. Now knit the next stitch off the left needle and repeat step 2 across row. Be careful to bind off loosely to keep the edge elastic. If you have problems doing so, use a larger size needle to bind off.
4. At the end of the row you will have one stitch remaining on your needle. Cut the yarn a few inches (centimeters) away from the stitch and pull the tail of the yarn through the last stitch.


Increasing

There are two approaches to increase within a knitted piece, Yarn Over (yo) and Make a stitch.

Increasing - Yarn Over (yo)
Yarn Over (yo) approach is to increase and create a lacy look with yarn-overs.
This approach is also useful when working on a lace project.
Yarn Over between knit stitches:

With the yarn at the back of work, bring the yarn forward between the two needles, over the right needle and back again. Knit your next stitch.
Yarn Over between purl stitches:

With the yarn at front of work, wrap the yarn around the right needle from top, then bring the yarn forward and purl the next stitch.
Yarn Over between knit to purl stitches:

With the yarn at the back of work, bring the yarn forward between the two needles, over the right needle and forward between the needles again. Purl your next stitch.
Yarn Over between purl to knit stitches:

With the yarn at front of work, take the yarn over the right needle to the back. Knit your next stitch.


Increasing - Make a stitch, M1 (make 1)
"Make a stitch" approach is to increase without a lacy effect.
There are three different methods to do it.

Increasing - Make a stitch - Method 1:
Knitting in front and back of the same stitch.
1. Insert needle into the front of the stitch. Knit the stitch but do not remove it from left needle.
2. Insert right needle into back of the same stitch and knit again.
3. Remove the stitch from left needle. One stitch is added.


Increasing - Make a stitch - Method 2:
Knitting between stitches.
1. Insert left needle under yarn between two stitches and knit. This will leave a small hole or eyelet that maybe used as a decorative element.
2. To prevent a hole, twist the yarn as it is pick up and knit it.


Increasing - Make a stitch - Method 3:
Knitting in the stitch below.
1. Insert right needle into side of loop just below the next stitch on left needle. Knit the loop, and then knit next stitch on left needle.


Decreasing

Decreasing - Knit 2 stitches together (k2tog)
1. Insert the right needle into two stitches at the same time.
2. Knit the two stitches as if they are one. This will result in a decrease of one stitch slanting to the right.


Decreasing - Purl 2 stitches together (p2tog)
1. Insert the right needle into next 2 stitches at once and purl them as if they are one.


Decreasing - Slip, Slip, Knit (ssk)
1. Slip the first stitch as if to knit. Then slip the next stitch as if to knit.
2. Insert the left needle into the front of both slipped stitches.
3. Knit both stitches together. This will result in a decrease of one stitch slanting to the left.


Decreasing - Slip, Knit, and Pass (skp)
1. Slip the first stitch as if to knit.
2. Knit the next stitch.
3. Pass the slipped stitch over the knitted one and off the right needle. This also, will result in a decrease slanting to the left.


Seaming

Seaming - Mattress stitch

This method is usually used for seaming knit garments. Although it leaves a small inside seam, it is invisible from the outside.
1. Thread yarn (matching the knitted item) into a tapestry needle. With "right" sides facing you, place edges to be seamed together.
2. With the needle, pick up the bar between first and second stitches on the right hand side. Cross to opposite side, pick up bar and return to the right hand side. Put the needle into the bar it came from and pick up bar. Tighten the yarn until it holds seam firmly.


Seaming - Back stitch

This method of seaming is good for heavy wear.
1. Place "right" sides together.
2. Secure yarn at edge before coming through both pieces at A. Make a back stitch from A to B, up at C, down at D.


Seaming garter stitch edges

This method is an invisible way to seam two garter stitch edges together.
1. Place the "right" side of both pieces across from each other and sew corresponding garter stitch ridges together.


Kitchener Stitch

This method is used to invisibly graft live stitches together.
1. With purl sides together, insert tapestry needle into the first stitch on the needle nearest you (near) as if to purl, and leave the stitch on the needle. Pull yarn through.
2. Insert tapestry needle into the first stitch on the far needle as if to knit and leave the stitch on the needle. Pull yarn through.
3. Insert tapestry needle into the first stitch on the near needle as if to knit, slip stitch on to the tapestry needle. Insert into the next stitch on the near needle as if to purl and leave the stitch on the needle. Pull yarn through.
4. Insert tapestry needle into the first stitch on the far needle as if to purl and slip stitch off the needle onto tapestry needle. Insert tapestry needle into the next stitch on the far needle as if to knit and leave on the needle. Pull yarn through.
5. Repeat steps 3-4 until all stitches are off needle.


Seaming - 3-Needle Bind Off

To get a nice edge while knitting shoulders, it is a good idea to bind off shoulders together. This technique also can be used for decorative purposes.
Hold "right" side of both pieces together with both needles pointing to the right.
  1. Insert the 3rd needle through the first stitch on both needles and knit them together. Place the new stitch on the 3rd needle.
  2. Repeat step-1. Now you have 2 stitches on the 3rd needle. Pass the first stitch over the 2nd one.
  3. Repeat steps 1-2 until all stitches are bound off.


Circular Knitting

Knitting with Circular Needles
Cast on the same as when you cast on straight needles. To work in a round, make sure that the cast on ridge lays on the inside of the needle and does not roll around the needle. Place a marker at the beginning of the round and simply start knitting or purling the first stitch which was cast on. This automatically joins the work.
Note:
  • When knitting in a round, always the "right" side of work faces you.
  • When knitting stockinette stitch in a round, you knit all stitches on every round.
  • When knitting garter stitch in a round, you knit one round, and purl the next round.


Knitting with Double Pointed Needles
Double pointed needles are used for circular knitting on smaller items, such as socks and mittens.
1. When working with four double-pointed needles, you may cast on all stitches on one needle and then distribute them evenly (as much as possible) on each of other two needles and use the fourth one for knitting. Or you can cast on 1/3 of the stitches on each of the three needles.
2. Arrange needles to form a triangle on a flat surface. Be careful that the cast-on edge does not twist. Then carefully start knitting the first cast-on stitch on the first needle. This automatically joins the work. Continue knitting on the rest of the needles.
Note:
  • When knitting in a round, always the "right" side of work faces you.
  • When knitting stockinette stitch in a round, you knit all stitches on every round.
  • When knitting garter stitch in a round, you knit one round, and purl the next round.


Other Techniques

Pick-up & Knit
  1. With the "right" side facing you and using one of your needles and the yarn you are going to use, insert your knitting needle from front to back under 2 strands at the edge of the worked piece.
  2. Put yarn around the needle as if to knit, then bring the needle with yarn back through the stitch to the right side. You will have a stitch on the needle.
  3. Repeat this procedure along the edge. It might be easier to use a crochet hook for picking up stitches, then slide each one onto your knitting needle.
If the instructions do not tell you how many stitches to pick up, depending on the orientation of the stitches, follow either of the rules below:
Along a horizontal or bound off edge, pick up one stitch in each stitch.
Along a vertical edge, pick up three stitches in every four rows.


Short Rows
Short rows are used to achieve proper fitting of shoulder slants, bust darts, skirts, and socks.
  1. Work to desired point, bring yarn to opposite side of work (front side for Knit row, backside for Purl row) and slip next stitch as if to purl.

  2. Return yarn to other side and slip the stitch back to the left needle. Turn piece and work across stitches.
To work another short row, repeat the above steps.
When it is time to knit without short rows, work until you come to the horizontal bar, bring the wrap, up on the needle and knit or purl it with the stitch itself.




Home
Your comments about the appearance and function of this site are welcomed by
Some of materials source: Craft Yarn Council of America
© Copyright 2003 NeedlecraftUniversity.com