Become a Knitting Superstar™
Become a Knitting Superstar™
Become a Knitting Superstar™
Become a Knitting Superstar™
Become a Knitting Superstar™

This chapter is part of our Video Knitting Dictionary Video Class. Click here to learn more.

Video Knitting Dictionary

 

1×1 Rib/2×2 Rib – Ribbing

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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BLCO – 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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Blocking Knitting – How to Block Your Work

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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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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BO in Pattern – Bind Off In Pattern

“Bind off in pattern” means to knit your knits and purl your purls as you bind off.

This flattens the bound-off edge. In order to do it right, you’ll need to be able to recognize your knit and purl stitches.

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Garter St – 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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Gauge – How to Check Your Gauge on Flat Knitting

Gauge is the number of knit stitches and rows that fit into a specified unit of measurement, usually one inch (2.5 cm). 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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How to Do Kitchener Stitch Without Fear

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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

In Continental-style knitting, hold the working yarn with your left hand.

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K2TOG – Knit 2 Together

The Knit 2 Together is a basic, right-leaning decrease. It decreases two stitches into one. It is the mirror image of the SSK.

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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, the Knit-Front-and-Back leaves a horizontal purl bump under the increased stitch.

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Kitchener Stitch

This is an advanced sewn bind-off that is completely flat and invisible. It is slow but it gets faster as you get better at it.

Not only is this a fabulous way to invisibly join two pieces of knitting, this technique is used in a lot of other advanced bind-offs, making it an investment in your future knitting happiness.

I would consider it “required reading” for intermediate knitters.

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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 or your further cast-on knowledge specify otherwise.

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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.

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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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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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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

In Continental knitting, the yarn is tensioned in the left hand.

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P/u (Pu) and Knit – Pick up and Knit

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P2TOG – Purl 2 Together

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

The purl 2 together is identical to the knit 2 together, only it’s used on the purl side (usually the WS) of the fabric. Doing a p2tog on the purl side will result in a k2tog on the knit side.

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PFB – Purl Front and Back

The purl front-and-back is an easy increase which 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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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.

Also called: Centered Double Decrease

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SKP – Slip, Knit, Pass

The Slip, Knit, Pass is left-leaning decrease that is almost identical to the SSK. Reduces the stitch count by 1.

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Sl – Slip 1 – Slip a Stitch

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SSK – Slip, Slip, Knit

Slip, Slip, Knit is an easy decrease that is good for beginners. It leans to the left in a mirror image of a k2tog.

The Slip, Slip, Knit decreases your stitch count by one stitch. It turns two stitches into one.

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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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TBL – 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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W&T – Wrap and Turn (Short Rows) Plus Picking Up Wraps on the Knit Side

A “short row” is simply what happens when you work across a row but don’t get to the end.

The pattern instructs you to go almost to the end (maybe one or two stitches before), and then turn around and go back.

This creates a domed shape that is good for heels and other curvy parts of the body.

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Weave in Tails/Ends on Stockinette Stitch

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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Work Even

Designers instruct you to “work even” or “work stitches as they appear” when they want you to knit all the knit stitches and purl all the purl stitches along a certain row.

In order to do this, you have to know which are the knit stitches and which are the purl stitches!

Here’s a video showing exactly how to recognize knit and purl stitches. I also show you how to see when you guessed wrong, and how to fix it.

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YO – Yarnover

This simple increase makes a lacy-looking hole in your work, so only use it if you want a hole. Increases by 1 stitch.

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

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