Knitting terms are full of punny acronyms and weird associations. If talking to a knitter has ever left you feeling confused this is the guide for you.
Can I tell you a secret? I’ve spent way too much time looking up words such as “to tink” or “to frog”, which I didn’t even know could be a verb, in English dictionaries.
I’ve been fascinated by the way we knitters talk about our hobby since before Ravelry was a thing (that’s before 2007, am I getting old?).
The terms I’ve included in this guide are the ones I’ve come across the most in the knitting vernacular over all those years. However, we knitters are an inventive bunch and our jargon is constantly growing, so keep reading to the very end (or, you know, make sure to scroll down there if you are in a hurry).
11 of the Most Used Knitting Terms Explained in Alphabetical Order
The act of drying your knitting in the correct shape. Often done by placing the knitting on soft mats and securing it with T-pins.
Includes everything that is done after you’ve cast off your stitches. Assembly, weaving in ends and blocking.
Finished Object. Knitters debate if an object is finished when it is cast off, assembled and ends woven in or if blocking is also a requirement to achieve the coveted FO status.
4) Frog / Frogging
When a larger section of knitting has to be undone, you have to rip it, rip it, rip it. Thus this activity got its name from the sound a frog makes.
5) KAL / CAL / MAL
Knit-A-Long / Crochet-A-Long / Make-A-Long. When crafters join together to make the same pattern or craft something in the same category within a certain timeframe and share their progress with each other.
These can include prizes.
Knitting In Public.
While this acronym describes every occasion where you knit in public, there is also a knit in public day which takes place every year on the second Saturday of June.
Local Yarn Store.
Please support them. Yarn is meant to be petted before it comes home with you.
Literally, knit spelt backwards.
The act of undoing knitting one stitch at a time to correct a mistake.
Often necessary in more complicated patterns, especially if a lifeline hasn’t been put in which would enable frogging.
Trashed Object Abandoned in Disgust.
A project, which for some reason, doesn’t even qualify for a trip to the frog pond.
Usually, an abandoned WIP that should either go into active rotation again or be frogged. There is still hope for a UFO, unlike a TOAD.
Work In Progress.
The project(s) a knitter is actively working on as opposed to UFOs.
Do You Want More Knitting Terms?
This guide only contains the 11 most used terms in the vast knitting vernacular.
You may still be wondering:
- What lifelines and frog ponds have to do with knitting?
- Why do knitters want to discuss their most recent SEX with you while KIPing?
Don’t worry, I’m here to help you safely navigate the knitting lingo and spare you the embarrassing moments I’ve had to live through.
I compiled all my knowledge from over 13 years of studying the language of knitters into an e-book:
P.S. There’s a special coupon code waiting for you inside the PDF you can get below, so you can become more confident with using all 50+ knitting terms for less.
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