When reading knitting patterns, there are many common terms used regularly. However, for even the most experienced knitter, it can get confusing to remember them all. At the Good Yarn, we have compiled a list of some of the most frequently used knitting terms and phrases. Each knitting stitch term also has a corresponding, detailed explanation so you can learn how to do each stitch yourself.
Start by clicking the term below that you would like to learn about
Common terms used in knitting
Casting on is the process of creating the first row of stitches on your knitting needle.
Casting off (or binding off) is the process of finishing your knitting by creating the last row of stitches and securing them in place.
A knit stitch is a basic stitch that creates a “V” shape on the front of your work and a “bumpy” texture in your yarn, on the back.
Purl stitch is another basic stitch that creates a “bumpy” texture on the front of your work and a “V” shape on the back.
The gauge is the number of stitches and rows per inch in your knitting. Gauge is important because it determines the size of your finished project.
Yarn over is a technique used to create an extra stitch by wrapping the yarn around the needle.
Decreasing is a technique used to eliminate stitches from your knitting.
Increasing is a technique used to add stitches to your knitting.
A stockinette stitch is pattern created by alternating rows of knit stitches and purl stitches.
A garter stitch is a pattern created by knitting every row.
A pattern created by alternating knit and purl stitches to create a stretchy, textured fabric.
A cable stitch is a technique that involves crossing stitches over each other to create a twisted, braided effect.
Circular knitting needles that those that are connected by a flexible cable, used for knitting in the round.
In knitting, “knitwise” is a term that refers to how you insert your right-hand needle into a stitch on the left-hand needle. Then, when you insert the right-hand needle into the stitch “knitwise,” it means that you insert the needle as if you were going to knit the stitch.
In knitting, “k2tog” is an abbreviation for “knit two stitches together.” Knit two stitches together is a basic decrease stitch that is used to reduce the number of stitches on a row and shape the fabric.
In knitting, “ssk” is an abbreviation for “slip, slip, knit.” This is a basic decrease stitch that is used to reduce the number of stitches on a row and shape the fabric. With ssk you can create a left-slanting decrease and is often used in combination with other decrease stitches to create decorative effects in knitting patterns.
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