A Knitter’s Dictionary

October 5, 2018
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50 Comments
  • Is there a book with knitting words/abbreviations in different languages? I sometimes get patterns when traveling in other than English words.

    • I’ve found several online. Here’s one: http://www.knittingfool.com/Reference/Translations.aspx
      I’ve used google translate then use abbreviations guide to figure out those words. Hope that helps.

      • Thanks, Minnesotae!

    • Bobette, you pose an interesting question. I am not aware of a book with knitting terms in different languages and I agree it would be helpful to have one. The closest one I can think of is an ancient Mon Tricot stitch dictionary with stitch directions in English, French, and German.

  • One (kinda pricy) option: https://www.amazon.com/Knitting-Languages-Multilingual-Margaret-Heathman/dp/0942018117. A more intensive Google search will probably turn up more options. I understand a lot of people use google translate….and if there’s a chart, you’re mostly there already!

    Michelle–thank you!! I especially loved the “swatch of knitters”. 😀

    • Laura, Thanks for the link. It looks like the book is out-of-print and that is why it is so expensive. Googling is a good option. “Swatch of knitters” was one of my favorites too.

  • What? We need this book in earnest! How about “Blocking cat” because as soon as you block your knits your cat is right there on it! Also, yarn barf! The plop of tangled wool that your skeins burbs up. Yarngasm, when you find the yarn of your dreams I could go on. Your prose and paintings are a delight. I’m ready to receive your next book with open arms

    • Janice, thank you. I love your ideas. Playing with knitting words and illustrating them is great fun. Hmm, maybe a book …

    • I personally call the yarn that plops out occasionally at the beginning of a skein, the “yarn placenta.” My mom finds it, um, distasteful, but I think it’s hilairous.

  • The shknit-list made me laugh out loud – thanks to all of you for this knitting gift (pun intended!)

    • And I love the drawings!

      • Thanks, I had a blast drawing horse.

    • Thanks, Rena!

  • Every day is a joy when I open an MDK message…Thanks !

    • I agree, Ilove my morning MDK mail.

  • I first posted the word Yarnsulin on my blog back in June 2009:.

    “the naturally created substance in a FiberFreak’s body which protects against negative reactions brought on by massive exposures to fibery perfection”. as in

    Entereing the LYS, Kitten felt his Yarnsulin level rise only slightly, and knew that, while he was protected from buying every skein in the shop, this still was going to be a Big Haul Day.

    • This is brilliant! Should definitely be included

      • Agreed!

    • Yarnsulin is a keeper. Thanks for sharing it!

  • Michelle– This is absolutely delightful! I’m smiling ear-to-ear and forwarding to my Mom and daughter, aka fellow knitters! — TWW, Iowa City

    • Teresa, good to hear from you. I hope your mom and daughter enjoy the dictionary!

  • this list is a keeper

    • Thank you, Marty! The list keeps growing …

  • Loved the words!
    Happy Anniversary!

    • Thank you, Marilyn!

  • Knitting. Words. Two of my very favorites! Thank you!

    • Great to hear from you, Laura! Glad you enjoyed the post.

  • I always LOVE these wonderful posts and particularly the sketches!! Is it possible to get info re: michelle’s Scarf in her photo???
    Pattern and yarn???

    • Thank you, Donna! The scarf pattern is the Hakusa Scarf by Kirsten Johnstone. It is an asymmetrical scarf written around a combination of Habu yarns including their stainless wool. I altered the pattern a bit, mainly using garter stitch instead of stockinette. The yarn is Noro and I found the skien in a thrift shop. Sadly, it is a discontinued colorway.

  • Shknit-list is pretty much perfection. Think it will become part of my vocabulary

    • It is pretty perfect. Thanks for writing.

    • LOL!! I’m ROFLMAO! Good job, folks!! Shknit, eh? How about, shknit-list, shknit-head, shknit-house, eat some shknittles….shknit-a-bit…..purlsters…..purlsome…..I’d best quit, eh? ((:

  • You wouldn’t believe what today’s word of the day is on Dictionary. Com…schadenfreude!! Satisfaction or pleasure at someone else’s misfortune. Close to Kay’s interpretation:)
    My favorite knitting word is “procrastiKNITing”: to defer all other activities besides knitting !! I bought a reusable bag @ Jo-ann fabric & craft store that has this printed on it. Totally describes me!!!

    • Funny. Oh, procrastiKNITing hits close to home. Thanks!

  • My friends and I use the word “yarnwine” to describe any activity that makes us happy and relaxed. Noun or adjective. “That walk in the woods was so yarnwine.” Or, “I really need some yarnwine.”

    • Yarnwine is a great word and I love how you and your friends use it to include other activities. I am looking forward to some yarnwine today.

  • Do you have an 800 number I can call to place an order? Thank you, Barbara H.

    • Barbara, did you want to order yarn?

  • fun-tastic words for us knitters…….try out “butterknit” the ooeey gooey soft squishy feel of fiber in our fingers while a just-warm-from-the oven scone filled with cream and butter sits next to said project and off we go. As my husband likes to suggest…..”have some butter with your bread/knitting.”

    • Butterknit is another terrific addition. I am going to keep my list open. I wonder how far we can go! Maybe an antonym for butterknit?

  • A few came to mind….
    Shrinky knit….how did my sweater get so tiny?!!!
    Woolastic….I thought I knew the gauge but?!!!!!
    Knitastic…..owning that you are the creator of that fantastic hand knit item!
    Woo-Hoo-l: Lookie what I found in the stacks at my LYS!
    Knitterly: as in people noticed her knitterly ways….

    • I adore knitterly and love to use it. So many good suggestions, we are rocking this wool words thing. Thank you.

  • I think I just discovered a new one this afternoon. Knitravert: someone who is normally an introvert but gains energy from talking to other knitters.

    • Knitravert is a perfect word and one that I think is much needed. Knitters give off so much energy when they gather. Thank you.

  • Hi Michelle, I recently finished your Home Companion book and was really touched. I could feel how much you miss your Mom. I enjoyed the book and when I was in Iowa City over Labor Day, I stopped in to visit Home Ec and the Knitting Shoppe (?). I love your drawings and your writing. Thanks for being a companion.

    • Jan, thank you for your kind and thoughtful post. It means a lot to me. My mother would have loved all the ways knitters gather and knit in public, like at LYS, coffee shops and festivals. She loved being with people. How lovely that you were in Iowa City and stopped by Home Ec and the Knitting Shoppe. From the heart and the heartland.

  • Rhinebecksgeboten – the spirit of the New York Sheep and Wool Festival. “When she arrived at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds, she was filled with Rhinebecksgeboten.”

    • Yes! I’ll add it to the list under R, Rhinebecksgeboten. Thank you!

  • I didn’t see the first request for words but love this post and the great offerings. One of my favs I say a lot is I need some “yarny goodness”. 😉

    • Leanne, thanks for jumping in now with yarney goodness. Language is always elvoving.