Video Dictionary of Knitting Techniques

   

Table of Contents

Knitting Terms and Abbreviations Defined

Cast-Ons

Stitches

Decorative

Cables

Decreases

Increases

Finishing Techniques

Crochet


Knitting Terms and Abbreviations Defined

( ) – Refers to whatever is in the parentheses as a discrete group. As in “(K1, P2) 5 times.”
1×1 Rib – K1, P1 Rib
2×2 Rib – K2, P2 Rib
Across – To the end of the row.
Around – To the end of the round.
Block – Soak garment in warm water and gentle soap. Squeeze out and lay flat to dry.
BO – Bind Off
Break Yarn – Cut yarn.
Always leave a six-inch tail for weaving in.
CC – Contrasting Color
CO – Cast On
Garter st – Garter Stitch
In Pattern – According to the same pattern you’ve just been doing.
K – Knit
K2tog – Knit 2 Together
K2togtbl – Knit 2 Together Through the Back Loops
KFB – Knit Front and Back
Mattress St – Mattress Stitch
M1/M1L – Make One/Make One Left
M1R – Make One Right
MC – Main Color
P – Purl
P2tog – Purl 2 Together
PFB – Purl Front and Back
PSSO – Pass slipped stitch over
Rem – Remain/Remaining. As in “26 sts rem,” i.e. you should have 26 stitches on your needle.
Rep – Repeat.
Rep From * – Go back to the * and repeat. As in “K5, *(P2, K5), rep from * to end.”
Reverse St st – Reverse Stockinette Stitch
Rib – K1, P1 or K2, P2 across/around.
Rnd(s) – Round(s) – row(s) of round knitting
RS – Right Side: the side that faces outward when you’re done
S2KP – Slip 2, Knit, Pass
SKP – Slip, Knit, Pass
Sl 1 – Slip 1
SSK – Slip, Slip, Knit
St st – Stockinette Stitch
St/Sts – Stitch/Stitches
Tbl – Through the back loop
To end – To the end of the row/round.
Turn – Turn your work around so that the other side is facing you.
Weave In Ends – Invisibly weave in your tails on the WS of your work.
Work Even – Continue in the same stitch pattern without increasing or decreasing.
WS – Wrong Side: the inside of the garment
Wyib – With Yarn in Back
Wyif – With Yarn in Front
yf – Yarn Forward. See “yo” below.
YO – Yarnover


Video Knitting Dictionary

Backwards Loop Cast-On

This is a beginner cast on that you can teach to anyone just starting to knit, including children.

You can also use this cast-on when you have accidentally run out of tail at the end of your Long-Tail Cast-On or when you are required to cast-on at a midpoint in your knitting (like on a buttonhole).

The edge is not very strong, so this cast-on should be used sparingly.

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Block

The final touch for most knitting projects is blocking.

Soaking your project in warm water with a little soap and then laying it out to dry is all it takes to make your edges and stitches more even and to cover up any inconsistencies in your tension.

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Blocking is more important on some projects than on others. It tends to flatten out the knitted piece, so if your project depends on the stitches being very three-dimensional (ribbed scarves being a prime example), you may want to avoid blocking.

Because it flattens out knitted fabric and limits the tendency of Stockinette stitch to curl, blocking is very helpful on any project where you plan to seam or sew the edges. It’s easier to see what’s going on if the edge is flat and straight. To flatten, widen, or straighten the edges of your project even more aggressively, use T-pins to hold the corners and sides of your knitting in place as it dries.

You can pin your piece to anything you want – a couch cushion, the mattress in the spare bedroom, etc. You can also get a blocking kit with specialized interlocking foam pieces that dry quickly and can be arranged in any shape.

To block something lightly, after you soak it, squeeze out as much water as you can before laying it flat. Then, when you lay it flat, be careful not to stretch it out. Just use your fingers to straighten the edges and make the whole thing look even and neat.

To block something aggressively, leave the knitted piece quite damp, stretch it aggressively into the shape that you want, and use T-pins to hold it in that shape until it dries.


BO – Bind Off

In order to wear and enjoy your project, you must take the stitches off the needle.

Use this bind-off (called the Standard Bind-Off) to finish every project unless the directions specify otherwise.

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Bobbles, Large and Small

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C4L With a Cable Needle

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C4L Without a Cable Needle

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C4R With a Cable Needle

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C4R Without a Cable Needle

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Cable Cast-On

This is a short-tail cast-on that you can use if you have accidentally run out of tail at the end of your Long-Tail Cast-On or when you are required to cast-on at a midpoint in your knitting (like on a buttonhole).

The edge is strong and not very stretchy, with a pretty, twisted edge.

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CO – Cast On

The Long-Tail Cast-On is a great all-around cast-on. Use it to begin every project, unless the directions specify otherwise.

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Extended Single Crochet Stitch [Crochet]

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Gauge, How to Check

Gauge is the number of knit stitches and rows that fit into a specified unit of measurement, usually one inch. It’s important because if your stitches are too big or too small, your project will be too big or too small.

Checking your gauge is as easy as knitting a small sample square, called a swatch, and placing a ruler or a gauge-checker over the fabric, and counting how many stitches there are in a few inches, and then dividing by the number of inches to get the average number of stitches per inch.

Here are my tips for knitting a swatch and checking your gauge.

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Garter Stitch

Garter stitch is the fabric created when you knit every row, that is, on both the RS and the WS. Garter stitch is reversible, lies flat, and is bulkier than Stockinette stitch.

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Garter Stitch in the Round Without Purling

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Kitchener Stitch

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Download the Kitchener Stitch illustration here.


K – Knit Stitch – American Style

In this style (most common for beginners), the yarn is tensioned in the right hand.

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K – Knit Stitch – Continental Style

(also called European style). In this style, the yarn is tensioned in the left hand.

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K2tog – Knit 2 Together. Chart Symbol: /

This is right-leaning decrease that reduces the number of stitches on your needle by 1.

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K2togtbl – Knit 2 Together Through the Back Loops

An easy way to do a left-leaning decrease, this technique creates a twisted stitch, so only use it if that’s what you want.

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KFB – Knit Front and Back

An easy increase, Knit Front and Back leaves a horizontal purl bump under the increased stitch.

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Knitted Cast-On

The Knitted Cast-On is a short-tail cast-on that is called for in many patterns.

I prefer the Cable Cast-On, but I demonstrate the Knitted Cast-On here for you to choose which you like better.

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Long-Tail Cast-On

The Long-Tail Cast-On is a great all-around cast-on. Use it to begin every project, unless the directions specify otherwise.

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Mattress Stitch

Mattress stitch is a way to seam together pieces of knitting. To make this process as easy as possible, block the pieces to be seamed and use a sturdy, contrasting yarn as your seaming yarn.

Once you get the hang of Mattress Stitch, you can use the tail yarn of your project to do it (this is slightly more challenging because the yarn won’t stand out as you work).

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Mock Cables

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Abbreviations:

MC2 – Mock cable 2
MC3 – Mock cable 3

How To Do A 2-Stitch And 3-Stitch Mock Cable

CO 8 sts
Row 1 (RS): P1, k2, p1, k3, p1
Row 2 and all even rows: k1, p3, k1, p2, k1
Row 3: p1, MC2, p1, MC3, p1
Row 5: p1, MC2, p1, k3, p1
Row 7: p1, MC2, p1, MC3, p1
Repeat rows 2-7.

As you can see, the 2-stitch mock cable is worked every RS (right-side) row. The 3-stitch mock cable is worked EVERY OTHER RS row.


M1/M1L – Make One/Make One Left

Make One is a nearly invisible increase that seems to appear out of nowhere. The increased stitch leans to the left.

Note: Make One and Make One Left are the same thing.

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M1R – Make One Right

A mirror image of Make One Left in both appearance and execution, this increase leans to the right.

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Invisible Ribbed Bind-Off for 1×1 Rib

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To do the invisible ribbed bind-off, cut a long tail of at least 6 times the circumference of the project you want to bind off. Thread the tail on a tapestry needle.

Set-Up:

  1. Go purlwise into stitch 1 (the stitch closest to the needle-tip)
  2. Go knitwise FROM THE BACK into stitch 2.

Identify stitches 1, 2, 3, and 4. These labels do not change until you finish the repeat.

Repeat:
1) Go knitwise into stitch 1, remove stitch from needle
2) Go purlwise into stitch 3
3) Go purlwise into stitch 2, remove stitch from needle
4) Go knitwise FROM THE BACK into stitch 4

An easy mantra to repeat:
1) Knit off purl,
2) Purl off knit

Below you can download an illustration of the steps of the invisible ribbed bind off that has proved to be helpful for many of my students. Download Invisible Ribbed Bind-Off Illustration


Pompoms With a Pompom Maker

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P2tog – Purl 2 Together

Identical to the K2tog, only it’s used on the purl side (usually the WS) of the fabric.

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P – Purl Stitch – American Style

In this style (most common for beginners), the yarn is tensioned in the right hand.

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P – Purl Stitch – Continental Style

(also called European style). In this style, the yarn is tensioned in the left hand.

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PFB – Purl Front and Back

This easy increase is nearly invisible when used on Reverse Stockinette stitch.

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Recognizing a Knit and Purl Stitch

The hallmark of a knit stitch is that it looks like a “V” (I like to think of a V-neck sweater).

The hallmark of a purl stitch is that is it looks like a horizontal line “–” (I like to think of a turtleneck sweater). This is called the “purl bump.”

These two stitches are the fundamental stitches of knitting. Each stitch is the exact opposite of the other – it’s really just one stitch, seen from either side.

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Reversible Cables

There is absolutely no reason not to put cables on your scarf, because once you know this trick, the cables will show up on both sides and you won’t have an ugly “wrong-side” to hide.

Reversible cables, which use the special properties of ribbing to accomplish the double-sidedness, can be used on 1×1 or 2×2 rib.

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Rib – K1, P1 or K2, P2, etc.

Ribbing is a stretchy fabric created by alternating knit and purl stitches across a row.

It is stretchy and does not curl, and is useful for cuffs and necklines.

When making ribbing you can use any repeated combination of knit and purl stitches, such as: (K2, p2), (k2, p1), (k3, p5), etc.

“Work (or continue) in ribbing” = “Knit all the knit stitches and purl all the purl stitches for as long as you want to maintain the pattern.”

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Scalloped Crochet Border [Crochet]

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Single Crochet Border [Crochet]

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S2KP – Slip 2, Knit, Pass

This reduces the number of stitches by two and is neatly centered (no leaning at all). One of my personal favorites.

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SKP – Slip, Knit, Pass – Chart Symbol: \

(also known verbosely as SKPSSO – slip, knit, pass slipped stitch over). Another left-leaning decrease, it is almost identical to the SSK.

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Sl 1 – Slip 1

Pass the stitch from the left needle to the right without knitting it.

Slip 1 Purlwise/Knitwise

In this example, the stitch is slipped wyib (with yarn in back).Slipping the stitch purlwise is the default way to slip any stitch unless otherwise specified.

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SSK – Slip, Slip, Knit

This makes a left-leaning decrease that is a mirror image of the k2tog.

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St St – Stockinette Stitch

Stockinette Stitch is the fabric created when you knit on the RS and purl on the WS.

It is the basis of most knitted garments. It tends to curl in on itself when it doesn’t have a border that lies flat.

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T3R and T3L With a Cable Needle

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T3R and T3L Without a Cable Needle

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Through the Back Loop

As in K tbl (“knit through the back loop”) and P tbl (“purl through the back loop”).

Knitting or purling through the back loop of a stitch creates a twisted stitch. It is tighter than a normal knit or purl stitch and can be used functionally as well as decoratively.

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Weave in Tails/Ends

Weaving in your yarn ends, or tails, is a way to secure them so that they don’t come loose when you wash or wear your knitted items, leading to unraveled knitting or a hole in your garment.

To make weaving in your ends easier, always leave at least a six-inch tail when you cut your yarn.

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YO – Yarn Over – Chart Symbol: O

This simple increase makes a lacy-looking hole in your work, so only use it if you want a hole.

Not incidentally, the yarnover, in combination with Knit 2 Together, is the basis of all lace patterns.

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YO – Yarnover Bewteen Knit and Purl Stitches

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