Ask the SweaterBabe – what is “K0″ and “P0″ in a knitting pattern? [Same answer for crochet patterns]

May 5, 2007 at 9:09 am 2 comments

Here is a question emailed to me on how to read a knitting pattern:

Dear SweaterBabe,

I am just beginning to learn to knit and while reading a knitting pattern, I came across these stitches “K0” and “P0” as stated below:

P1, k1, [PB1, k1] twice, PB1, k5, [PB1, k1] twice, PB1, k0(0, 5, 5), k2, p8, k2, k0(0, 5, 5), PB1, [k1, PB1] twice, k5, PB1, [k1, PB1] twice, k1, p1

K1, p1, [KB1, p1] twice, KB1, p5, [KB1, p1] twice, KB1, p0(0, 5, 5), p2, k8, p2, p0(0, 5, 5), KB1, [p1, KB1] twice, p5, KB1, [p1, KB1] twice, p1, k1

I would be much obliged if you could kindly explain to me what these stitches mean.

Dear Knitter,

This pattern seems to be written for 4 different sizes. Let’s call the sizes X-Small, Small, Medium, and Large. The pattern is giving you the instructions for ALL of the sizes by giving you the instruction for the smallest size, followed by the larger sizes in parentheses.

So, the “k0(0, 5, 5)” that you see means:
k0 or knit 0 sts, i.e. knit zero sts if you are making the X-Small size;
k0 if you are making the Small size;
k5 if you are making the Medium size;
k5 if you are making the Large size.

The best thing to do is to go through the pattern BEFORE you start knitting and use a highlighter to mark all of the instructions that apply for the size you are making. For instance, if you are making size Medium, go through the entire pattern and highlight the 3rd number, i.e. the 2nd number within the parenthese, throughout the pattern. Then, you can easily see which number to follow for your particular size.

Thanks for the great question!

If you have a question, please email


Entry filed under: Ask SweaterBabe, Knitting Questions and How to.

What’s Hot at The Wool Cabin. What’s Hot at Knot Another Hat.

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Lisa  |  May 7, 2007 at 10:17 am

    I don’t think I could follow just by highlighting.
    I like to copy all the instructions for the size that I am making into my knitting notebook. This also allows me to put it in chunks of instructions for separate areas (neckline, front, back, sleeves). And I have room for any changes I need to make.

  • 2. Louise  |  May 11, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    Hi Sweaterbabe,
    I have just found your site and I love it!

    I would like to make the top down vine lace cardigan, but I am unsure about the yarn. As I live in australia, we don’t have the same brands or even the same yarn rating. As you probably know, our wool is classified in ply. Would you be able to tell me what yarn I might be able to use (if you are aware of any Aussie brands) or the equivalent ply rating of the yarn that you recommend?


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