Knitting Terms - Definitions Of Common Terms Used In Everyday Knitting

Here are most common knitting terms that we see everyday.  I'm trying to explain them as clear as I can.  Many of these terms are demonstrated in this site and you can follow the links to see them.  Some of the terms are in video and I'll gradually add more when I have time.

Cast On or Casting On

A foundation row of knitting performed by making desired numbers of loop onto knitting stitches.

Bind off or binding off

A method uses in finishing off knitting by closing up loops. It is done by lifting the first stitch over the second, the second over the third, the third over the forth, ect. as directed.


Reducing number(s) of stitch(es) in knitting. Example of decrease knitting are k2tog (knit 2 together), ssk (slip,slip,knit) and SKP (slip,knit,passover).


To add an extra stitch or more to your work.  This can be done in several ways such as M1(make one), Knit into front and back of work, and YO (yarn over).  You can see these example at Increase Knitting Page.

Garter Stitch

Knit every row in straight needles.  Knit 1 round and purl 1 round alternately when knitting in rounds. Garter st has ridges and rough surface.  You can view my Youtube video demonstration of how to knit garter stitch at; Knit Garter Stitch .

Stockinette Stitch or St st

Knit on the right side and purl on the wrong side on straight needle.  Knit every round when working in round.  St st produce a nice and smooth surface and often found on the right side of knitted garment.


Alternating knit and purl sts in the same row.  For example 1x1 ribbing refers to k1, p1 and repeat across the row.  Ribbing is commonly used in sleeve cuff and lower edge of a sweater or neck edge. 


Insert needle into a stitches as to knit it. It is done by inserting needle into front of loop.


A knitting term used when inserting needle into front of loop as for purl. See Purl in knitting stitches for more information.

Make one

Make a new stitch by inserting left needle into the back of a strain of yarn between the last knitted stitch on the right needle and the first stitch on the left needle. Knit into the back of the loop to gain a new stitch. See Increase Knitting for details photos.

Place marker

This tells you to put a stitch marker on to the right needle before continue knitting. It is to remind you of when to manipulate stitches such as increase, decrease or cable and so forth.

Tip: paperclips work really well as stitch markers or maybe even better! some knitters use scrap piece of yarn tide to the indicated spot or make a loop and put in onto the needle.

Pick up and knit or purl

Pick up loops along the edge and knit or purl into them to form new stitches. It is Mostly done along neckline and front of body work to form the bands.


Gauge refers to measurement of yarn or needle size.  It tells you how many sts and rows per square inch.  Standard gauge measure sts in 4"x4" (10cmx10cm) square. See swatch below.  See example and explanation of different types of yarn in Knitting Yarn.


A swatch is made to measure the gauge of the yarn. When using knitting pattern to knit your projects, you’ll see the gauge measurement given and the needle size suggested for that project.

Before begin your project, knit a swatch at lease 4 inch (10cm) square. Count the number of stitches and rows on your swatch to see if it’s correspond to the gauge of your pattern. If they do not match, you need to find new size needle. Do swatch gauge check until you find the match, so that you will have best result of your knitting project!

Tips- Bigger Needle gives fewer stitches and rows per inch and smaller needle gives more stitches and rows per inch.

These are just some of the knitting terms used in knitting. I'm sure I'll think about something else to add to the list. But I think I will keep it this way for now.

Go To Knitting Abbreviations

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