Loom Knitting Terminology

  • Anchor Peg: It is a peg or thumb tack on the side of the knitting loom. The peg is used in two ways: 1)to wrap the anchor yarn around it when you cast on. 2)To wrap the working yarn around it after e-wrapping a row. Note: it is imperative that you un-anchor the yarn (from 1) from the anchor peg once you have worked a couple of rows.
  • Anchor Yarn: Anchor yarn is used mostly when working on a knitting board. The anchor yarn is typically 3 times the length of the knitting board. You place the anchor yarn on top of the cast on stitches letting the ends dangle down the gap on the board. Tie the ends together to facilitate in pulling down the work and in setting the stitches.
  • Bind Off: (BO) Also known as cast off, it translates into removing the item from the knitting loom. The bind off secures the last row or round of the knitting, without the bind off the loops would unravel and the entire project would become undone.
  • Cable Needle: A short needle (either plastic or wooden) used to hold stitches so that their order can be switched to create cables.
  • Cast On: To set up the first loops on the knitting loom to begin work. Each loop on each peg counts as one stitch. There are various cast on (CO) methods and all them achieve a certain look, if the pattern does not specify the cast on method to use, a good general one is the Long Tail Cast on.
  • Cast Off: See Bind Off
  • Decrease: To reduce the number of stitches. There are various ways of achieving a decrease, the most common being k2tog, ssk, and k3tog.
  • Double Rake Loom: A knitting loom with two rows of pegs.
  • Dropped Stitch: A stitch that falls off the peg and consequently unraveling the entire stitch column creating a ladder-like effect. To prevent it from unraveling the entire column pick it up as soon as you see it.
  • Duplicate Stitch: A technique borrowed from embroidery. The duplicate stitch is worked on the right side of the fabric when the knitted fabric is complete. You can create motifs or patterns that can add color to your knitted piece.
  • E-wrap: a method of wrapping the knitting loom, when done properly, it forms a cursive lower case “e” around the peg. Used to cast on the knitting loom or as a stitch. As a stitch is known also as the Twisted Knit Stitch and Knit through the Back.
  • Fair Isle: A traditional form of color stranding named after the Shetland Islands off the coast of Scotland. Fair Isle patterns use many colors and although they appear difficult only 2 colors are worked in a given row.
  • Felting: The process of creating a project and then purposely shrinking it so it becomes denser and stronger. Usually made with untreated animal fiber such as wool or mohair. The process is also known as Fulling.
  • Flat Knit: Refers to knitting a flat panel on a circular loom such as a scarf or blanket. Instead or knitting around the loom, you knit back and forth from right to left or left to right.
  • Flat Stitch: A stitch that creates a small “v”. To create the stitch:
    • Bring the working yarn in front of the peg, above the existing loop.
    • Lift the bottom loop over the working yarn to knit off and over the peg.
    • With the knitting tool, pull gently on the new wrap to make it less snug around the peg.
  • Flat Removal Method: the process of removing an item from the knitting loom so that the fabric removed ends with an flat opening, such as in a blanket or scarf.
  • Floats: Floats occur when working with 2 or more colors of yarn. A float forms on the wrong side of the fabric when you work with a different color yarn.
  • Fringe: A decorative edge that is formed by yarn strands that are drawn through the edge of the work. Typically shown on scarves.
  • Frog/Frogging: The process of unraveling a major portion of the fabric off the knitting loom. It comes from the sound the frogs make “rip it, rip it, rip it”.
  • Fulling: See Felting
  • Garter Stitch: A stitch pattern created when you knit one row and purl the next row.
  • Gathered Removal Method aka Cinching Method/Cinch Method: The process of removing an item off the knitting loom, commonly used to remove hats/stocking caps off the knitting loom. Thread a tapestry needle with 2-3 yards of yarn, remove each wrap off the pegs and slide them down to the working yarn on the tapestry needle, once all the wraps have been removed from the loom, pass the tapestry needle one more time through the first wrap you removed, cinch the opening close by gently tugging on the yarn. Weave in the ends.
  • Gauge in respect to knitting: Also known as tension, it refers to the number of stitches in a horizontal span of knitting and the number of rows in a vertical span of knitting. Usually measured over a piece of fabric that is at least 4 inches square. Gauge is extremely important and it is recommended that every knitter works up a swatch before starting on a new project and finds the required gauge for the project. If gauge is not achieved, the project will not fit properly. Even if the gauge is 1/4″ off, it will affect the size of the entire project, please double check your gauge. Swatch and gauge is the key!
  • Gauge in respect to loom gauge: the spacing between pegs. Some companies measure it from center of peg to center of peg. Other companies only measure the distance from the edge of one peg to the adjacent peg.
  • Grafting: See Kitchener Stitch
  • Increase: To add new stitches to the row. There are various ways to achieve an increase, the most common methods: k1f&b (knit one through the back loop), yo (yarn over), M1 (make one).
  • Intarsia: Blocks of color knitting that are worked independently with their own bits of yarn. Yarn is usually wound in bobbins to make it easier to create the desired pictures. The yarns are not carried along the back of the work to create floats as when working Fair Isle, instead, the yarns are twisted at each color change to create a smooth join.
  • Kitchener Stitch: also known as grafting. It is the process of joining two pieces of fabric with live stitches so that the join is invisible.
  • Knit: the term usually used to refer to the activity of knitting. If creating a pattern, rather than say you will knit 20 rows, it is best to write “work for 20 rows in X stitch”. It sets a separation between the knit stitch and the action of knitting.
  • Knit off: also known as knit over, it refers to the process of removing a wrap from the peg. With the knitting tool, hook the wrap on the peg and lifted up and off the peg.
  • Knit stitch: one of the basic stitches in the loom knitting and knitting world. To create a knit stitch. Place working yarn in front and above the wrap on the peg. Insert knitting tool through the bottom of the wrap thus hooking the working yarn and forming a new loop. Hold the newly formed loop with fingertips, take the wrap off the peg and place the new loop that you are holding on the peg. Tug on the working yarn gently to tension the wrap.
  • Knitting board: A double sided rake. It has two rows of pegs. It creates double sided fabric.
  • Mattress stitch: A method of joining invisibly two pieces of fabric together, perfect to use when seaming.
  • Notions: items that may be needed to complete the project, such as buttons, cable needles, zippers, etc.
  • Purl stitch: the opposite of a knit stitch. It is created similarly to the Knit stitch for the exception that the working yarn is placed below the wrap on the peg.
  • Place stitches on holder: remove the stitches off the pegs and placed them on a stitch holder. If not stitch holder is available, you can use a piece of scrap yarn.
  • Pom Pom: an embellishment created by forming a ball with strands of yarn. Commonly seen on top of hats.
  • Rake loom: Another term for knitting loom.
  • Ribbing: A type of fabric that lays flat and has horizontal stretch. Commonly used around hems of sweaters and hats. It is comprised of knit and purl columns. You can have single ribbing: k1, p1; repeated to the end of the row/round.
  • Round: Used when working circularly around the loom.
  • Row Counter: a tool that allows the knitter to keep track of the number of rows/rounds they have worked. The knitter must click or move the dial to set the row counter to the new number.
  • Single Rake: A knitting loom with one row of pegs.
  • Schematic: A diagram that gives the dimensions of the finished item.
  • Seam: To join to pieces together.
  • Secure ends: See Weave ends
  • Selvage: The term given to the vertical edges of a knitted fabric.
  • Slip knot: An adjustable loop. To begin your cast on, you will need to begin with a slip knot.
  • Slip stitch: The process of skipping the peg either by simply running the working yarn behind the peg and then working the next peg, or by running the working yarn in front of the peg and working the next peg.
  • Slipped edge: When the first peg at the beginning of each row is skipped, the edge of the knitted fabric has a chain-like appearance. The first peg is skipped by simply running the yarn behind the peg to the front of the next peg and working that peg in the designated stitch.
  • Stockinette stitch: A fabric created by working each row in Knit Stitch (any of its variations).
  • Swatch: Refers to the creation of a test piece of fabric made as a test to find the gauge of your tension
  • Tink: The process of undoing your knitting one stitch at a time. The work KNIT spelled backwards.
  • WIP: Work in progress
  • W&T: Refers to Wrapping and Turning when creating short-rows.
  • Waste Yarn: A piece of scrap yarn that will be removed later on in the project. It is recommended to use a brighter color than the project, non-texture yarn.
  • Weave Ends: The process of hiding and securing all the tail ends from the work to the wrong side of the fabric or along the selvage. To weave the ends, follow the Z pattern and simply go down 1 inch in one direction, then 1 inch in the opposite direction, then one inch in the other direction, forming a letter Z. Trim the tail as closely as possible to the fabric, do not tie a knot as a knot can leave unsightly bumps.
  • Working Yarn (WY): The yarn that is coming out of the skein/ball of yarn and you are working with on the knitting loom/board.

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