Knit Glossary / Terminology

Attached I Cord- A thick, cord-like knitted tubing for hems, borders, and edging using double sided needles.

Backstitch- A straight line stitch along a selvage, often used to seam two pieces together. This stitch creates a fluid, circular motion as the needle is inserted under two rows, and then backwards one row, and so on.

Backstitch Seam- A seam stitch used to attach two pieces of a knitting project together by placing both with right sides facing each other, selvedge edges lined up, and working the needles in two rows forward and one row backward.

Backward Loop Cast-On A common and simple form of casting on that includes a slip knot and a chain of half stitches.

Bind Off Knit- Used to complete the finishing edge of a knitting project, it requires one to first knit each loop before passing it over the next loop.

Bind Off Purl- Used to complete the finishing edge of a knitting project, it requires one to first purl each loop before passing it over the next loop.

Blocking- Used to complete the finishing edge of a knitting project, it requires one to first purl each loop before passing it over the next loop.

Blanket Stitch- Commonly used as an ornamental edge finish, it is a basic stitch of broadly spaced, interlocking loops or purls.

Bobble- The bobble stitch is a series of stitches in one specific spot that create a bump or ball-like decoration.

Brioche- A combination of tucked stitches (such as a yarn over or a slipped stitch) which form a ribbed pattern in knitting through a particular repetition of the stitches.

Cable Cast-On- A technique of casting on where a new loop is drawn through the two previous loops and added to the needle creating a denser, corded edge.

Cables- A knitting pattern that involves crossing one group of stitches over another to create many different decorative patterns that resemble cables or cords.

Cast On- This is the groundwork that forms the base for your whole project. It establishes the first row of loops on the needle from which you will perform various stitches required for the chosen pattern.

Centerd Double Decrease- A decorative stitch that results in a symmetrical pattern and requires three stitches where the center stitch is concealed by the stitch on either side of it.

Chain Stitch- A decorative stitch that resembles chain links in which each stitch forms a loop through the end of the next stitch.

Continental Knitting- A style of knitting in which the yarn is held in the left hand, instead of the right.

Couching Stitch- Sometimes used as an outline to a design for greater dimension. It's a method in which a piece of yarn is placed on top of the knitted piece, and fastened down with tiny stitches.

Cross-Stitch- A stitching technique in which pairs of diagonal knitting stitches of the same length cross each other in the middle to form a "cross" or "x" shaped pattern.

Daisy Stitch- A stitching technique used to make the petals of a flower. By bringing the needle up from the bottom of the project and back down in the same spot (which will become the center of the flower) leaving a tiny loop in the length of the desired petal, and finally securing the edge of the petal with a small stitch at the outer edge.

Double Cross-Stitch- Following the method of the cross-stitch, this stitch adds an additional two crossing stitches which result in an 8 pointed design.

Double Point Needles- Knitting needles with points on either end of needle instead of just on one end, these needles make circular knitting easier for projects such as socks.

Drop Stitch- This technique gives the knitting project a light and airy illusion by utilizing additional loops around the working needle. These elongated stitches create an appealing ribbed effect.

Duplicate Stitch- Process by which a stitch is duplicated on top of an existing stitch to add dimension or to emphasize a particular aspect of the knitting project.

English Knitting- As the opposite of Continental knitting, with English knitting, the yarn is held in the right hand and wrapped around the right needle before pulling the stitch through.

Couching Stitch- Sometimes used as an outline to a design for greater dimension. It's a method in which a piece of yarn is placed on top of the knitted piece, and fastened down with tiny stitches.

Frogging- The process of unraveling, or pulling out stitches, to redo after a mistake.

Garter Stitch- An effect that is created when every row of the pattern is knitted. The result is a ridged piece that looks identical on both front and back.

Gauge- A unit of measurement counting the rows and stitches one needs in a square of the knitting project to be sure of the accurate size of the finished product.

I Cord- A thick, cord-like knitted tubing used for hat straps, purse handles or even closures, using double sided needles.

I Cord Bind-Off- The process of creating an attached i-cord as one is binding off, creating an appealing cording finished edge.

I Cord Cast-On- Giving the same corded finished edge as the I Cord Bind-Off, this process is created during the beginning of the project as one is casting on.

Intarsia- An artistic technique in which colored yarns are used to illustrate pictures and designs within the knitting project.

Jogless Join- The process of changing colors in one's knitting process seamlessly.

Kitchener Stitch (Graft)- This stitch, also referred to as grafting, is a means to join two separate knitting pieces that have not yet been completely cast off, creating an invisible seam at the two edges.

Knit 2 Together- Method by which the right needle is inserted simultaneously into two stitches and treated as one single stitch. Used to decrease stitches.

Knit Stitch- The most basic stitch in the craft of knitting.

Knitted Cast-On- A simple method of casting on using the actual knit stitch to do so.

Lifted Increases- A method of subtly adding stitches, one stitch at a time, so the finished technique is nearly invisible.

Live Stitch- A stitch that has not yet been cast off.

Long-Tail Cast-On- A method of casting on in which one starts with a long tail of yarn and forms stitches that include the tail as well as the other side of the yarn.

Loop Cast-On- A method of casting on by forming loops and sliding them onto your needle. Often used when finishing buttonholes to cast on new stitches.

Magic Loop- The magic loop method is ideal for knitting socks or other knitting projects in the round with small circumferences. It is accomplished with a circular needle.

Make 1- A technique for increasing stitches, carried out between two existing knitted stitches.

Mattress Stitch Seam- A stitch used in the joining of two knitted pieces right along their edges in such a way that the seam is nearly invisible to the eye.

Overhand Seam- A very simple way to seam two knitted pieces together by placing them together with edges lined up and taking the threaded needle through both pieces close to the edge creating a winding seam down the outer edge of the joined sections.

Pick Up and Knit- A process of picking up stitches on a finished knitted project to add edging, ribbing, and extended pieces, taking the needle and literally picking up a stitch at the edge to begin knitting new addition.

Provisional Cast-On- A manner of casting on in which the waste yarn used can then be pulled out permitting one to continue knitting in the opposite direction. This method creates a continual with no boundaries.

Purl 2 Together- A method to decrease stitches in which one purls two loops on the left needle resulting in the two stitches becoming one.

Purl Stitch- Along with the knit stitch, this is the most basic stitch in the craft of knitting and is essentially the exact opposite stitch of the knit stitch.

Reverse I Cord- Uses the same technique as the regular I-Cord, the difference being that the thread will be pulled up towards the front of the piece.

Reverse Shaping- The process of knitting a mirror image of another part of a knitting pattern as when you are making a cardigan sweater and the two front panels are the exact opposite shape of one another.

Reverse Single Crochet- Often referred to as the "crab stitch," this process requires one to crochet single stitches in the opposite direction of the common method. It produces a sturdier edging to projects and provides a decorative ridge along afghans and blankets, sweater necklines, and other pieces.

Ribbing- The intended outcome when one combines knit and purl stitches in the same row to create a stretch fabric ideal for sleeves and neck holes.

Running Stitch- A straight, over-and-under stitch which can run diagonally or horizontally and vertically over a knitted piece.

Satin Stitch- A series of flat stitches embroidered close together on top of a knitted project, used to make decorative designs and embellishments.

Selvage (Selvedge)- A practice in which a reinforced edge is formed on a knitted project by alternating the stitch pattern at the start and finish of each row, creating a finished edge or one prepared for seaming.

Sewn Bind Off- A good bind off to pair with the long tail cast-on and ideal for toe up socks and neck edges. The sewn bind off is a loose knitting bind off that requires one to leave a tail of yarn that is then sewn through the stitches as they are dropped creating a clean, finished edge.

Single Crochet- This stitch is the most common and basic crochet stitch on which all other crochet stitch variations are built.

Slip Knot- This functions as the first stitch in your knitting project, the starting point.

Slip, Slip, Knit- A method of decreasing stitches by slipping, this slants to the left.

Slip, Slip, Purl- A method of decreasing stitches by purling, this slants to the right.

Slip Stitch- A practice in which a stitch is moved from one needle to the other and eliminating the knit or purl stitch.

Stem Stitch- This delicate and decorative stitch emerges as a thin line and is ideal for outlining shapes in curved or straight lines.

Straight Stitch- Sometimes referred to as the stockinette stitch, it is created by alternating between a row of knit stitches and a row of purl stitches. The knit side emerges as smooth, while the purl side is ridged and bumpy.

Stocking Stitch- A decorative embroidery stitch in long, straight lines for outlining or grouped together for form patterns and shapes.

Suspended Bind-Off- While this technique of binding off is very similar to the standard method, the suspended bind off leaves a more loose and flexible edge.

Tink- A term used to fix a mistake by unknitting back to the incorrect stitch and fixing it. This is typically recommended only for short distances, not entire rows. Tink is knit spelled backwards.

Three Needle Bind-Off- This method of binding off uses a third needle to remove two pieces of knitting at the same time. The result is that they are automatically stitched together in a nice, neat seam.

Twisted Cord- Another type of cord used for drawstrings, ties, purse straps or handles, it is a process of tightly twisting several strands of thread and allowing them to naturally form a decorative, twisted patterned cord.

Twisted Knit Stitch- A decorative way of stitching that creates cables and ribbed looking designs; it is the result of a regular knitting stitch but performed from the back of the loop instead of the front.

Twisted Purl Stitch- A decorative way of stitching that creates twisted and winding cable patterns and ribbed looking designs. This look is the result of having the yarn in front and inserting right needle through the back loop to completing as a purl stitch.

Whipstitch- This is a visible seamed stitch created by working the threaded needle from back to front down the entire length of the knitted piece.

Work Even- This is the process of working the pattern straight without any increases or decreases, with no shaping.

Wrap and Turn- A technique ideal for short row knitting, in place of turning around the piece and knitting back the in the other direction, one wraps the yarn around an adjoining stitch.

Yarn Over drop stitch- A yarn over creates a hole, either for decoration or as a functioning buttonhole. The yarn over drop stitch is accomplished by knitting one stitch, yarning over twice to create an extended stitch.

Yarn Over Knit- A yarn over creates a hole, either for decoration or as a functioning buttonhole. The yarn over knit is accomplished by bringing the yarn around the right-hand needle from back to front, wrapping yarn counter-clockwise around needle, and taking the yarn around to the back, then knitting the next stitch.

Yarn Over Purl- A yarn over creates a hole, either for decoration or as a functioning buttonhole. The yarn over purl is achieved by taking yarn from front to back over the right-hand needle, wrapping counter-clockwise until the yarn is in front, then purling the next stitch.

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