Understanding the Symbols in ⓁⒶⒸⒺ knitting patterns

Basic lace stitches are knit, purl, yarn over, knit 2 together and slip slip knit.
Knitted lace incorporates two simple knitting techniques: a yarn over (which is an increase that creates a small hole) and a decrease. There are many different symbols used in lace patterns, each with their own unique meaning and significance.

Here are some of the most common symbols used in lace patterns

🌀 Basic symbols

Language of knitting patterns
Symbol Abb Explanation
Co Cast on
Bo Bind off
M Place marker
Sm Slip marker

Move marker left

Move marker right

Short row right

Short row left
P Purl
K tbl
Knit through the back loop
P tbl Purl through the back loop

🌀 Yarn over symbols

Language of knitting patterns
Yo Yarn over
Yo x2 Yarn over twice
Yo x3 Yarn over three times
Yo x4 Yarn over four times
Yo x5 Yarn over five times
Yo x6 Yarn over six times
Kyok Knit one, yarn over, knit one in the same stitch
Pyop Purl 1, yarn over, purl 1 in the same stitch

🌀 Decrease symbols

Language of knitting patterns
Ssk Slip slip knit
K2tog Knit two stitches together
Twisted ssk Twisted slip slip knit
Twisted k2tog Twisted knit two stitches together
Ssp Slip slip purl
P2tog Purl two stitches together
Slip slip slip knit
Slip 1, knit 2 together, pass slipped stitch over
K3tog Knit three stitches together
Sssp Slip slip slip purl
P3tog Purl three stitches together
S2kp Slip two stitches knitwise, knit one,
pass slipped stitches over
sl2 p1 p2sso Slip 2 purl 1 pass 2 slipped stitches over
K4tog Knit 4 together
K5tog Knit 5 together
K6tog Knit 6 together
K7tog Knit 7 together
If you're looking to elevate your knitting expertise and learn other techniques, these resources may be helpful to study:
  1. Knitting Abbreviations
  2. Cabel Symbols
  3. Brioche Symbols
  4. Advanced Symbols
Note: Different patterns may use different symbols, so it's important to read the key or legend that accompanies each pattern to understand what each symbol means.

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