Whether a newbie knitter or a more experienced one, the world of knitting patterns has a language all its own. Understanding knitting terms and how to correctly produce them is key to producing a finished product that looks like the picture and fits as expected. In this knitting terms tutorial, I hope to provide you with the understanding you need to grasp knitting terms and create a beautiful finished product.

CC or Contrast Color and MC or Main Color

The knitting term CC stands for Contrast Color and is used in projects with striping in conjunction with Main Color (MC). As you follow the pattern, you will be prompted to switch from MC to CC and back again according to the size of the stripes.


Frogging doesn’t refer to a child’s game nor an amphibious creature. In the knitting world, frogging is the term knitters use to discuss unraveling or pulling out a section of work to correct a mistake. Since no one likes having to rip out stitches, maybe it’s got a fun name to make it less painful.

Knitting Terms Tutorial

Knit 2 Together or K2tog

Knitting two stitches together is a commonly used technique to decrease the number of stitches in a row. It’s a relatively easy technique to execute. Simply put the working needle through two stitches instead of one and complete a knit stitch as normal, pulling the yarn through both stitches and slipping them both off the needle. 

Knit Through Back Loop or ktbl

Knitting through the back loop makes knit stitches look slightly different. This technique sounds complicated by name, but it’s actually fairly simple. Normally, a knit stitch is completed from front to back. With ktbl, the working needle is placed through the back of the loop from right to left and then knit as normal.

Purl Two Together or p2tog

The knitting term p2tog is similar to k2tog. It’s another technique for reducing the number of stitches in a row, but instead of decreasing on the knit side, you decrease on the purl side. To do this, slip your working needle through two purl stitches, purl as normal, pulling the yarn through both stitches and slipping both stitches off the needle. 


SSK or slip, slip, knit is yet another decrease technique. By slipping two stitches onto the working needle and knitting the third. Then one or both of the slipped stitches will be psso (slipped over the knit stitch) to create a leaning decrease. 

YO or Yarn Over

A yarn over is an increase technique commonly used in making lacey patterns. It’s a simple yet elegant technique that creates an additional loop by taking the yarn and wrapping it around the needle. The challenge: make sure it creates only one loop. Wrapping too many times creates multiple loops!

The knitting world has many terms, but these are some of the most commonly seen and confusing one. Mastering knitting terms enables you to complete your projects faster. You spend less time looking up terms and more time doing what you love – knitting. What other knitting terms confuse you? Let us know and maybe they’ll be in a future post!