Knitting Terms

You can have a lot of fun with knitting terms. There are interesting wordplays in the names of many small shops and artists.

learn knitting terms

If you want some real laughs, check out the book It Itches: A Stash of Knitting Cartoons.

Knitting Vocabulary

If you can't understand knitting patterns even after the abbreviations are translated, you might find this list of terms useful.

Bind off
Secure the last row of stitches to stop working. It's usually done with a larger needle to keep things loose.
Blocking
Finishing a piece by washing it and shaping it as it dries.
Cable
Stitches that are carried out of order to create twist designs.
Cast on
Make a row of foundational stitches on one needle so you have somewhere to begin knitting. There are various methods for binding on depending on what type of edge you want.
Decrease
To create less stitches in a row. There are a couple of ways to do it depending on which way you want to slant.
Entrelac
A way of knitting a design with textured squares or triangles to create a basketweave illusion.
Fair Isle
Carrying strands of multiple colors across the back. It's traditionally done with two colors, one held in each hand for two-handed knitting.
Frogging
"Rip it" to take out stitches.
Increase
To create more stitches in a row. There are a couple of ways to do it.
Knit
The basic stitch that consists of a small loop pulled up through another loop.
Purl
The reverse side of a knit stitch. To see purl, you can look at the back of knitting, or you can work a stitch in reverse on the needle.
Ribbing
A stretchy area of ridges that go up and down.
Round
A circular row of stitches.
Seaming
Sewing sides together.
Selvedge
The edge of the knitted piece where the stitches are already secured and stable.
Skein
A bunch of yarn in a twisted shape rather than a ball.

Now you're ready to learn about knitting stitches!

For a well-rounded education, you should also take a look at the crochet terms and weaving terms.




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