A Glossary of Common Knitting Terms

A Glossary of Common Knitting Terms

yarnEvery field has its own set of jargon. Even if knitting is just your hobby, you should still be familiar with the most basic terms and phrases. Here are a few of the most commonly used terms in knitting, crochet, and other forms of fiber arts.

Bind off: To finish the final row of stitching in your work, bind off by knitting two stitches, slipping the first over the second, and repeating until only the last stitch is left. Then, cut the yarn and loop it through that final stitch.

Boucle yarn: A novelty yarn made with loops that give fabrics a rougher appearance.

Cast on: To begin a piece by creating the first stitch, cast on by making a loop over the left-hand needle, placing the right-hand needle through the loop, and passing the yarn over and then under the right-hand needle, bringing the yarn through the loop onto the left-hand needle.

Crochet: The art of creating a garment using a single hooked needle to form interlocking loops.

Fiber arts: A fine art whose primary materials consist of natural or synthetic fibers.

Gauge: The number of stitches per inch and rows per inch.

Knitting: The art of creating a garment out of yarn using two (or more) needles to form interlocking loops. There are three basic types of knitting needles — the standard “pin” style needle, the double pointed needle, and the circular needle.

Merino wool: High-quality wool yarn from a merino sheep. The fibers are short, strong, durable, and elastic.

Mohair yarn: A silk-like yarn made from the hair of an Angora goat. It is known for its luster and sheen, and is also resilient and durable.

Moss stitch: Alternating a knit stitch and a purl stitch in every row.

Purl stitch: The second most common stitch after the knit stitch. It involves placing the right-hand needle in front of the left-hand needle, ultimately, doing the knit stitch backwards.

Skein: A continuous strand of yarn wrapped into a collapsible coil. The knitter can pull the yarn from the center of the skein rather than unravel it from the outside.

Slip: Transferring the stitch from one needle to the other without adding any yarn.

Stocking stitch: A pattern made by alternating a row of knit with a row of purl.

Have you come across any other confusing words and terms on your journey to becoming a master knitter? Feel free to leave questions and comments below.