When a knitting beginner starts a project, especially when it’s the first time and they are going to use a pattern, it can be overwhelming because of the abbreviations and short forms that are used in the instructions. It is very important that the new knitter learn the basic techniques of knitting in order to be able to understand what the pattern is about and what the directions are telling them to do.
Some of the basic instructions that can be found in a pattern are as follows.
Cast On: This means to cast on the number of stitches that are required to start the knitting project onto the the needles being used.
Knit: This means that you need to use the standard knitting technique until told to do otherwise.
Increase: You now have to increase by adding new stitches.
Decrease: This means that you must reduce the number of stitches on the needle using one of the various techniques for doing this, with the most common being knitting two stitches together.
The pattern may also indicate that you are to “SKP”, which is another form of decrease. In this case you have to slip one stitch off the needle then knit one and then take the slip stitch and pass it over the knit one.
If the pattern says that you are to “S2KP”, then this means that you are going to slip two then knit one and then take the two slipped stitches and pass them over the knit one and this is a double decrease.
The type of technique that you use for your knitting produces the final outcome. In some cases you will be knitting straight rows continuously while other times you will need to create a ribbing. This is why it is important to learn techniques that will include the knit stitch and the pearl stitch which of the two most common. Other abbreviations focus on creating the size and shape of the project you are working on.