Apr 5, 2017

Knitters' Acronyms: Deciphering the Code

Like any dynamic, creative field, the world of knitting is awash in acronyms and insider terms. Knitting is a living, breathing endeavor, so like the craft itself, the terminology is constantly evolving.

This profusion of terms can be quite daunting, especially for new knitters. To help all of us decipher the code, I've compiled two lists that attempt to capture the most commonly used acronyms and insider terms, along with brief definitions for each.

Today, let's focus on acronyms.


ABD. All but done, as in a project that's almost finished.

AFO. Almost finished object.

APA. Alien parasite antibodies.

API. Alien parasite infestion.

AQ. Afghan quantity of yarn.

ATT. All the things.

COAT. Cast on all (the) things.

DAISY. Dubiously averaged individual stash year (how many years it will take to knit your stash).

FO. Finished object.

FOFri. Finished object Friday, a tradition in knitting blog world.

FRAT. Frog all (the) things.

HO. Half object (e.g., one mitt, one sock).

ISO. In search of something such as yarn, patterns, books, old knitting magazines, tools, etc.

KAT KATT. Knit all (the) things.

KWIP. Knitting | Work in Progress (this blog).

LOSY. Leftover sock yarn OR leftover stash yarn.

MAT MATT. Make all (the) things.

OTN. On the needles.

PIP. Pattern / project in progress.

ROYGBIV. Stands for rainbow color schemes worked as red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet.

SA. Stash acquisition.

SQ. Sweater quantity of yarn.

SABLE. Stash accumulation/acquisition beyond life expectancy.

SSS. Second sock/second sleeve syndrome.

TBD. To be determined.

TO. Time out, putting a project aside because you've run into difficulties.

UFO. Unfinished object.

UNO. Unamed object.

WIP. Work in progress.

YMD / YMMD. Your mileage may differ, referring to variable factors such as how fast a project progresses or how much yarn a project may require.

YMV / YMMV. Your mileage may vary, in the same vein as above.

YT. Yarn time, how long it would take you to knit all the yarn in your stash.

This list doesn't claim to be all-encompassing, but it reflects the most common acronyms used in knitterly conversations and online venues. If you spot a missing acronym, just let me know and we'll add it to the list. 

Meanwhile, you might want to explore the other half of the equation, the many insider terms knitters routinely use.

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  1. Awesome list! This is a keeper - I get stumped sometimes deciphering the knitting acronyms. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks, Beth, glad you found it to be helpful! Recently, I found myself doing the same (trying to decode all the acronyms), which prompted this post :)


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