We knitters tend to speak our own language. Now, I’m not talking about stitch abbreviations like K2TOG (knit 2 stitches together) or SSK (slip slip knit). I’m saying that we have our own vocabulary - or knitcabulary - rather. By this I mean being hip to the knit lingo.
Take the below sentences for example:
Spent last night working on a UFO but was KUI. That was a really bad idea. Had to frog back to where I started.
I’ve been suffering from Knit Trauma and had to go to the LYS. I had amazing SEX! Now I’ve got to find more room for my stash. I think I’m going to need a bigger house!
Maybe you’re thinking…UFO?…SEX?…Wha?! Are we still talking about knitting?
Yes, we are.
If you’ve had some exposure to the knitterverse, or even if you haven’t, we’ve got a fix for that.
Introducing the knitter’s knitcabulary! A compendium of commonly used acronyms, words, and interesting phrases that will make you laugh, smile. You’re sure to learn something new and be in the know.
Now, we can’t say that knowing these will make you a better knitter but you will certainly have a good time using them. Enjoy!
- All-knitter: A knitting marathon that results in sleep lost or knitting all night.
- Amigurumi (Ami): The Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small stuffed animals.
- Bistitchual: The ability to create stitches in two styles, i.e., knit and crochet.
- Body Bag: Where UFOs are stored. Also see PIGS.
- Craftivism: Activism centered around a craft.
- Craftivist: One who is active in craftivism.
- DS: Destash. To destash is to sell or trade unwanted yarn.
- FART: Fiber Acquisition Road Trip. Can you say yarn crawl?!
- Flashing: Similar to pooling (see below). When variegated yarn creates stripes around like lightning.
- FO: Finished Object
Frog Your Knitting
- Frog: Ripping out your stitches when you’ve made a mistake.
- Hiberknitting: Retreating into your own world of knitting.
- HOTN: Hot off the needles
- KAL: Knit Along
- KIP: Knitting In Public
Knitting in Public
Did you know there is an annual world-wide knit (and crochet) in public day? The event in 2019 will be in its 14th year! Want to find out where there’s a KIP in your area? Check out the site here for more details.
Can’t find one being hosted in your area? Why not start your own? This is a great opportunity to get out there and meet some of your fellow fiber friends and knit!
- Knitflix/ Knitflixing: The act of knitting while streaming bingeworthy shows on Amazon, Netflix, or Hulu.
- Knitpicking: The dreaded & time consuming weaving in the ends of yarn when a project is finished.
Gollum sums this up perfectly:
- Knit Trauma: When you have several UFOs started but feel the need to buy more patterns, yarn, etc.
- Knitty Litter: The knitting related detritus that collects all over the home when one knits (or crochets).
Knitting Under the Influence
- KUI: Knitting under the influence, often resulting in having to frog what you’ve worked.
We get it. Sometimes wine is important. If you must wine and knit, see the next listing and don’t say we didn’t offer to help.
- Lifeline: A line of thread, yarn, floss, etc. that is run through the active stitches and used as a backup point.
TIP: Word to the wise... remember this before you KUI.
- LYS: Local Yarn Store
- LYSO: Local Yarn Store Owner
- OKD: Obsessive Knitting Disorder
- OTN: On the Needles
- PHD: Projects Half Done. Also known as UFOs.
- PIGS: Project in Grocery Sack. Also see Body Bag.
- Pooling: When colors in variegated yarn clump together creating big splotches or pools of color.
- Procrastiknitting: Knitting when you should be doing something else but all you want to do is knit.
- Puddling: Similar to pooling but more like blotches of color in variegated yarn.
- SABLE: Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy
- SEX: Stash Enhancement Experience. Buying (more) yarn.
- SIP: Socks in progress
- Squishy Mail: Yarn delivery
- Stash: A knitter’s collection of yarn, often bordering on addiction.
TINKing in Knitting
- Tink: Tink is knit spelled backwards. Undoing your knitting one stitch at a time to correct a mistake.
- TOAD: Trashed Object Abandoned in Disgust
- UFO: Unfinished Object (usually an abandoned or neglected WIP).
- UFO Syndrome: The urge to start a new knitting project despite many UFOs already started.
- Vanilla: A simple, easy knitting pattern.
- WIP: Work In Progress
- Yarn Barf: A big lump of yarn that comes out of the center of a new ball or skein of yarn.
- Yarn Bomb: Knitted (or crocheted) street art. Also known as Yarn Storming, Guerrilla Knitting, Knitffiti, Urban Knitting, or Graffiti Knitting.
- Yarnie: Lover of all that is yarn.
We hope you've enjoyed this list of Knitcabulary as much as we have! Are there any knitting terms you've seen or used that aren’t on this list? If so, please share it in the comments below. We'd love to hear them!
*Editor's Note: First published in April 2017, this post has been completely updated. - December 11, 2018