Here is a bunch of knitting abbreviations or a so-called knitting dictionary for you of the most commonly used knitting phrases.
[ ] – work instructions within brackets as many times as directed
( ) – work instructions within parentheses in the place directed
pm – place marker
“ – inch(es)
* * – repeat instructions following the asterisks as directed
- – repeat instructions following the single asterisk as directed
alt – alternate
approx – approximately
b&t – (break and tighten) break off the yarn and thread the end through the st(s) left on the needle. Pull the end of the yarn to tighten the st(s) together.
beg – begin/beginning
bet – between
BO – bind off
C4R – cross 4 right: slip next 2 sts on cable needle, leave at back, k2, then k2 from cable needle.
C4L – cross 4 left: slip next 2 sts on cable needle, leave at the front, k2, then k2 from cable needle.
C5R – Cable 5 right worked thus. Sl 3 sts onto cn and leave at back of work, k2. Replace 3rd st from cn back onto the left needle and brink cn to front. P1 then k sts from cn.
CA – color A
cable 6 back (or front) – slip next 3 sts on cable needle, leave at the back (or front), k3 then k3 from cable needle.
CB – color B
CC – contrasting color
cm – centimeter(s)
cn – cable needle (Read about cable knitting here)
CO – cast on
cont – continue
Cr2L – cross 2 left worked thus: k into back of second st on the left needle, then k into back of first st and slip both sts off the needle tog.
Cr3L – cross 3 left worked thus: sl 2 sts onto cn and leave at front of work, k1, then k sts from cn.
Cr3R – cross 3 right worked thus: sl 1 st onto cn and leave at back of work, k2, then k st from cn. (You can see a video here)
dec – decrease/decreases/decreasing
dpn – double-pointed needle(s)
fl – front loop(s)
foll – follow/follows/following
g – gram
gs or g st– garter stitch
inc(s) – increase/increases/increasing
k or K – knit
kfb – knit into front and back of the stitch
k2b – knit into the back of the next 2 stitches
k2tog – knit 2 stitches together
KFB – knit into the front and back of the stitch
kwise – knitwise
LC – Left Cross – used on cabling patterns (see video)
LH – left hand
lp(s) – loop(s)
m – meter(s)
M – Marker
M1 – make one stitch by knitting into the back of the loop between two stitches. This increases the row by 1 stitch.
M1 p-st – make one purl stitch
M1L – This is a left-leaning increase. Insert the left hand N from the front to the back into the horizontal loop between the last st worked and the next st on left-hand N, knit this loop through the back to twist the st, creating an inc that slants to the left.
M1R – This is a right-leaning increase. Insert the left-hand N from the back to front into the horizontal loop between the last st worked and the next st on left-hand N, knit this loop through the front to twist the st, making an inc that slants to the right.
MB – make bobble – into next stitch, k3, (knit into front, back and front of stitch again). Turn, P3, Turn, K3tog.
MC – main color
mm – millimeter(s)
n – needle
ndl(s) – needles(s)
no. – number
oz – ounce(s)
p or P – purl
p2tog – purl 2 stitches together
P2togtbl – insert the right needle up into the back loops of the two stitches and purl them together
pat(s) or patt – pattern(s)
prev – previous
psso – pass slipped stitch over
PU – pick up
PUK – pick up and knit
pwise – purlwise
rem – remain/remaining
rep – repeat(s)
rev – reverse
rev st st – reverse stockinette stitch, so purl side is right side
RC – Right Cross – Used on cabling (See Video)
RH – right hand
rnd(s) – round(s)
RS – right side
RSF – one row k
R(W)SF – right (wrong)side facing
R(W)SR – right(wrong)side row
r(s) – row(s)
rw – ribwise
r(w)sf – right (wrong) side facing
S1PW – slip the next stitch purlwise.
sk – skip
skp – slip, knit, pass stitch over—one stitch decreased
sk2p – slip 1, knit 2 together, pass slip stitch over the knit 2 together;
2 stitches have been decreased
sl – slip
sl1k – slip 1 knitwise
SKPO – knit 1, yarn fwd, slip 1 stitch, knit 1 stitch, pass the slipped stitch over (1 stitch is decreased).
SKTPO – Slip one, knit two together, pass slipped stitch over.
sk2po – Slip 1 stitch, knit 2 stitches tog, pass the slipped stitch over (2 stitches are decreased).
SKP – sl, k, psso; 1 st dec
SSK – Slip the next stitch and then the following one knitwise, insert the left needle into the front of the 2 slipped stitches and knit them together (see link below).
SSP – Slip the next stitch and then the following one knitwise, return the slipped stitches to the left needle.
SSK – slip the next 2 sts one at a time from the left hand N to the right-hand N, insert the tip of the left-hand N into the front of both sts and k2 tog.
SSSK – sl, sl, sl, k these 3 sts tog.
sl1p – slip 1 purlwise
sl st – slip stitch(es)
ss – slip stitch (Canadian) or stocking stitch
ssk – slip, slip, knit these 2 stitches together—a decrease
sssk – slip, slip, slip, knit 3 stitches together
st(s) – stitch(es)
St st – stockinette stitch/stocking stitch
tbl – through the back of the loop
tog – together
tw2 – knit into the front of 2nd st on the left needle then into 1st st and slip both sts off needle tog.
Tw2L – twist 2 left worked thus: p second st on the left needle tbl, then k first st and slip both sts off the needle tog.
Tw2R – twist 2 right worked thus: k second st on the left needle, the p first st and slip both sts off the needle tog.
W&T – wrap and turn
WS – wrong side
WSF – one row P
wyif – with yarn in front
wyib – with yarn in back
YB – yarn to back of work
yfwd or YF or yfd – yarn forward
yrn – yarn around the needle
yd(s) – yard(s)
yo – yarn over
yon – yarn over the needle
In most cases, the knitting pattern will have a list of the abbreviated terms listed and what they mean. I keep adding to this knitting dictionary as and when the need arises.