Knitting Help

To help you complete my men’s knitwear designs, I’ve gathered a list of definitions for stitch abbreviations and short videos of knitting tips.

You can also download my free Guides to Knitting Top-Down Sweaters as a printable PDF.

 

Abbreviation Term Description Video
add additional
 beg begin/beginning
cable cast-on
(when starting a project)
Make a slip knot and place it on your left needle. You will now begin casting on. Use your right needle to knit into the stitch, but do not remove it from the left needle. Instead, transfer the loop on your right needle to your left needle by inserting the left needle into the stitch so that it is pointing the same direction as the right needle. You now have two stitches on your left needle and no stitches on your right needle. *Next, take your right needle in between the two stitches on your left needle and work a stitch. Place the newly created stitch on your left needle as before. Repeat from * until you have the desired number of stitches.
cable cast on
(in middle of work)
Make sure the stitch that is attached to your yarn is in your left hand. Knit into the space in between the first two stitches on your left needle. Transfer the new loop on your right needle to your left needle by inserting the left needle into the stitch so that it is pointing the same direction as the right needle. Repeat until you have the desired number of stitches.
C4F cable four front Slip next two stitches purlwise to a cable needle and hold in front of work. Knit next two stitches, then knit two stitches from the cable needle.
CO cast on
crochet cast-on
Make a slip knot and place it on a crochet hook that is close in size to the needle you will be knitting with. Hold the crochet hook in your right hand and one of your knitting needles in your left hand. *Take the working yarn under and around the needle. Catch the working yarn with your hook and pull a loop through the slip knot.** You've just cast one stitch onto your needle and should still have one loop on your hook. Repeat from * to ** until you have cast on one less than the desired number of stitches. Slip the loop on your hook to the needle to complete the cast-on.
dec(s) decreasing/decrease(s)
foll(s) following/follow(s)
inc(s) increasing/increase(s)
invisible cast on The invisible Cast-On is a provisional cast-on method we first discovered in Barbara Walker's book Knitting from the Top. Holding your main yarn and a length of scrap yarn together, tie an overhand knot. It helps to use a scrap yarn that is similar in size but a different color than the yarn you’ll be knitting with. Grasp your needle and the yarn tails in your right hand, holding the knot near the tip of the needle. Make a “C” shape with your left hand and put the scrap yarn over your index finger and the main yarn over your thumb. Try to keep the yarns in this position as you proceed. Take your needle between the two yarns and under the main yarn. In other words, yarn over using your main yarn. You’ve just cast on 1 stitch. Take your needle behind and under the scrap yarn and the main yarn, then over the main yarn and back under the scarp yarn, returning to the starting position. You’ve now cast on two stitches. Continue to alternate between the two cast-on motions until all the stitches are on the needle. Secure the scrap yarn by tying a bow with the main yarn. Once you begin knitting, you will see that there is a row of loops along the cast-on edge and that the scrap yarn runs through these stitches. These stitches are active stitches, which means that they can be picked up and knit without creating a seam at the cast-on edge – hence the name “invisible cast-on.” Do not remove the scrap yarn until after the stitches have been placed on a needle, as indicated in your pattern. coming soon
IRI invisible raglan increase

The raglan increase method was taken from the Barbara Walker book Knitting from the Top. There are three steps to the increase:

Step 1: You’ve arrived at the raglan stitch. Keeping the marker on your left needle, knit into the stitch below the raglan stitch.

Step 2: Slip the marker from your left needle to your right, then knit through the back of the raglan stitch Slip the next marker to your right needle.

Step 3: Use your left needle to pick up the stitch two stitches below the new raglan stitch.  (This is the same stitch that you knit into in Step 1.) Knit into the stitch.

joining the round Arrange your circular needles so that the stitch with the yarn attached to it is in your right hand.  Make sure that the cast-on edge is not twisted around the needle, then knit into the last edge stitch that is not attached to the yarn. You have now completed the circle and joined your work in the round.
Kitchener stitch
k knit
k1bL knit one below left Pick up and knit into the loop two stitches below the last stitch on your right needle.
k1bR knit one below right Pick up and knit into the stitch below the next stitch on your left needle.
k1tbl knit one through the back of the loop
k2tog knit two together Knit the next two stitches together.
k3tog knit three together Knit the next three stitches together.
kfb knit into front and back of next stitch Knit into the next stitch but stop before removing the stitch from your left needle. Then, knit into the back of the same stitch and remove it from your left needle. You have now increased one stitch.
knitted cast on Make a slip knot and place it on your left needle. You will now begin casting on. Use your right needle to knit into the stitch, but do not remove it from the left needle. Instead, transfer the loop on your right needle to your left needle by inserting the left needle into the stitch so that it is pointing the same direction as the right needle. You now have two stitches on your left needle and no stitches on your right needle. Repeat the cast-on until you reach the desired number of stitches.
kwise knit-wise
long-tail cast-on

Set-up:
Note that this cast-on requires only one needle. Make a slip knot, leaving a long tail at least three times the width of your cast-on edge. Place the slip knot on your right needle and grasp both tails, below the knot, in your left hand. Insert your left thumb and index finger between the two strands of yarn, placing the tail strand over your thumb and the working yarn over your index finger.  Spread your fingers apart and lower your right needle to your left pinky. Note that the long tail forms a loop around your thumb and the working yarn forms a loop around your index finger. This will be referred to as your “starting position”.

Knitwise:
Take your needle in front of, under and through your thumb loop, then over your working yarn, and pull the working yarn through the thumb loop. Release the thumb loop and tighten it around your needle, and return to the starting position. You’ve now cast on one stitch.

Purlwise:
Take your needle behind, under and through your index finger loop, then over your tail yarn, and pull the tail yarn through the index finger loop. Release the index finger loop and tighten it around your needle, and return to the starting position. You’ve now cast on one stitch.

m1k make one stitch knitwise* Insert the left needle from front to back under the horizontal strand between the two needles. You now have an extra loop on the left needle. Knit through the back of that loop to make a new stitch.
m1p make one stitch purlwise* Insert the left needle from back to front under the horizontal strand between the two needles. You now have an extra loop on the left needle. Purl through that loop to make a new stitch.
mrk(s) marker(s)
mattress stitch
p purl
p1bL purl one below left Pick up and purl into the loop two stitches below the last stitch on your right needle.
p1bR purl one below right Pick up and purl into the stitch below the next stitch on your left needle.
patt pattern
picking up stitches
pm place marker
pwise purlwise
provisional crochet cast-on "Using scrap yarn, make a slip knot and place it on a crochet hook that is close in size to the needle you will be knitting with. Hold the crochet hook in your right hand and one of your knitting needles in your left hand. *Take the working yarn under and around the needle. Catch the working yarn with your hook and pull a loop through the loop.** You’ve just cast one stitch onto your needle and should still have one loop on your hook. Repeat from * to ** until you have cast on one less than the desired number of stitches. Slip the loop on your hook to the needle to complete the cast-on. Cut the scarp yarn, leaving a tail. Later, the scrap can be removed, resulting in live stitches that can be worked in the
opposite direction."
provisional invisible cast on The Invisible Cast-On is a provisional cast-on method we first discovered in Barbara Walker's book Knitting from the Top. Holding your main yarn and a length of scrap yarn together, leave an 8"/20 cm tail and tie an overhand knot. It helps to use a scrap yarn that is similar in size but a different color than the yarn you'll be knitting with. Grasp your needle and the yarn tails in your right hand, holding the knot near the tip of the needle. Make a “C” shape with your left hand and put the scrap yarn over your index finger and the main yarn over your thumb. Try to keep the yarns in this position as you proceed. Take your needle, between the two yarns and under the main yarn. In other words, yarn over using your main yarn. You’ve just cast on 1 stitch. Take your needle behind and under the scrap yarn and the main yarn, then over the main yarn and back under the scarp yarn, returning to the starting position. You’ve now cast on two stitches. Continue to alternate between the two cast-on motions until all the stitches are on the needle. Secure the scrap yarn by tying a bow with the main yarn. Once you begin knitting you will see that there is a row of loops along the cast-on edge and that the scrap yarn runs through these stitches. These stitches are active stitches, which means that they can be picked up and knit without creating a seam at the cast-on edge – hence the name “invisible cast-on.” Do not remove the scrap yarn until after the stitches have been placed on a needle, as indicated in your pattern.
rag raglan
rep repeat
rnd(s) round(s)
RS right side
seamless folded hem The seamless folded hem is a technique that can be used to finish hems, cuffs, button bands, plackets, and collars. First, several rows before the hem, a row of elongated stitches is created first by making yarn overs in between each stitch, and then, on the following row, dropping those yarn overs off the needle. Then, the face of the hem is worked according to these instructions: Next, one row is worked in reverse stockinette to create a crisp edge where the hem will fold. Next, the underside of the hem is worked. Finally, with WS facing, a spare needle is used to pick up each of the elongated stitches by inserting the needle into the purl “bump” in between each stitch. Note that you will have one less stitch on your spare needle than on your working needle. Holding the spare needle and the working needle together in your left hand, knit into the first stitch on each needle.  Next, knit into the second stitch on each needle. Then, pass the first stitch on your right needle over the second, as if working a 3-needle bind-off. Continue across the row until all there is only one stitch remaining on your working needle. Knit and bind off the remaining stitch.
short row shaping

See wrap and turn

sl1 slip next stitch
sm slip marker
ssk slip, slip, knit

Slip next 2 stitches, one at a time, as if to knit. Place stitches back on left needle and knit them together through the back.

sssk slip, slip, slip, knit

Slip next 3 stitches, one at a time, as if to knit. Place stitches back on left needle and knit them together through the back.

st(s) stitch(es)
three-needle bind-off To perform a three-needle bind-off, you will need two sets of live stitches on two different needles.  Using a third needle, knit the first stitch on each needle together. Knit into the next stitch on each needle together. Next, take the first stitch and pass it over the second as you would for a traditional bind-off. Continue to knit the stitches from each needle together, binding off as you go.
transferring to double-pointed needles
tubular cast-on

Two-Color Tubular Cast-On:
"Holding both colors (A and B) of yarn together, make a slip knot and place it on your needle. There are now two loops on your needle, but note that these do not count as stitches. Next, grasp your needle in your right hand, with the slip knot near the tip of the needle. Make a “C” shape with your left hand and put color B over your index finger and color A over your thumb. Your needle be pointing between the two yarns. Keep the yarns in this position as you proceed. Begin by casting on a color B stitch as follows.
Take your needle:
counterclockwise around color A, and back to the starting position,
then clockwise around both B and A, and back to the starting position.
You’ve just cast on 1 color B stitch.
Next, cast on a color A stitch as folls.
Take your needle:
clockwise around both B and A, back to the starting position,
then counterclockwise around B and back to the starting position.
You’ve now cast on two stitches - one in each color.
Continue to cast on, alternating colors, until all but one of the stitches are on the needle, plus the two loops from the slip knot. To cast on the last stitch, take yarn A and twist once counterclockwise to create a loop, then place the loop on the needle to secure.
On your first row of knitting, work to the two loops formed by the cast-on’ss initial slip knot, and take them off of the needle. Later, tug on the tail to release the knot and weave in your ends. "

1x1 Rib Tubular Cast-On
Follow the same instructions as for the two-color tubular cast-on, but use only one color of yarn.

w&t wrap and turn
(after a knit stitch)
Slip one stitch purlwise. Bring yarn between needles to front of work. Slip stitch from right needle back to left needle. Bring yarn between needles to back of work. Turn work as if you were at the end of the row.
wrap and turn
(after a purl stitch)
Slip one stitch purlwise. Bring yarn between needles to back of work. Slip stitch from right needle back to left needle. Bring yarn between needles to front of work. Turn work as if you were at the end of the row.
WS wrong side
yo yarn over Bring yarn to front of work and then over the top of the right needle to the back of work and knit next stitch, creating a new stitch.
yarn-over  buttonholes