A Glossary of Common Knitting

Every 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:   Every 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.

Boucle yarn:   To make boucle, at least two strands of yarn are combined, with the tension on one strand being much looser than the other as it is being plied, with the loose strand forming the loops and the other strand as the anchor or “core” yarn.

Cast on:  All knitting starts with casting on. This creates loops on the needle which will become the first row of stitches. Here I present four cast on techniques which are the most commonly used.

Boucle yarn:  Needlework consisting of the interlocking of looped stitches formed with a single thread and a hooked needle

Fiber art: Fiber art refers to fine art whose material consists of natural or synthetic fiber and other components, such as fabric or yarn. It focuses on the materials and on the manual labor on the part of the artist as part of the works’ significance, and prioritizes aesthetic value over utility.

Gauge: In knitting, the word gauge is used both in hand knitting and machine knitting; the latter, technical abbreviation GG, refers to “Knitting Machines” fineness size. In both cases, the term refers to the number of stitches per inch, not the size of the finished garment. In both cases, the gauge is measured by counting the number of stitches (in hand knitting) or the number of needles (on a knitting machine bed) over several inches then dividing by the number of inches in the width of the sample.

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.

Moss stitch:Moss stitch is an elongated version of seed stitch. Instead of alternating the pattern every row (as you do for seed stitch), for moss stitch, you work 2 rows of the same sequence of knits and purls before you alternate them.

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.