Knitter’s Notebook: Wool Words

July 18, 2018
We need words, and sometimes pictures, for the specific emotions that knitting can evoke.

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91 Comments
  • Well I think Strickefreude is pretty damn perfect!

    • Of course we have to teach auto-correct how to spell it first. GRRRRRRRR

    • I agree!

  • ..In awe.. The words I most often hear. I’m ‘in awe ‘ that you made such a beautiful item and I’m ‘in awe’ that you took the time to create this for me…

    • Even without adding the “some” or “wool”, AWE is such an expansive word. I like it!

  • Loveknits- everything I’ve made and given is full of love

    • Yes, Loveknits is definitely a word we need. Thanks!

  • Love hugs—we wrap whatever part of the body in love and hug it gently

    • Oh, how knits feel like a hug. Love hugs, so sweet, and so true. Thanks!

  • Sadknit… the black shawl I made to wear to my dad’s funeral this January – with a rainbow stripe running through it, because it would have made him smile. Joyfulknit – the two matching cardigans I made my little granddaughters to wear to their mamma’s wedding last year. Peaceknit – anything I make when I am struggling with anxiety and depression, because the act of knitting soothes my soul <3

    • Karen, you caught the reach of what out knits can do, be with us, through thick and thin. I love how you knit the rainbow strip in an otherwise mournful shawl. I am sorry for your loss.

  • (A Hat For Mrs. Goldman is my favorite of all the books I read to my granddaughter. I read it to just me, too. 🙂 Thank you for it.) Here I am reading my daily dose of MDK and feeling particularly moved by it. I get to the end and it was you! Happy surprise. Graditudiknit.

    • So moved that I misspelled my own made-up word: gratitudiknit. More coffee, please.

    • Thank you! Mrs. Goldman and Sophia might add a mitzvahknit, or keppieknit!

  • The mommy-hug sweater. Legendary with the boys in my life.

    • Oh, mommy-hug, for sure. Thank you!

  • Hugknit….because a hand-knitted item is like a hug.

    • A hugknit, for a thousand reasons. Thanks!

  • Hey everybody,
    As a german speaking reader of your blog I feel the need to explain the expression ‚Strickenfreude‘, which you can‘t use quite like that.
    Strickfreude would be a wonderful expression and means you have a lot of fun (actually joy, Freude = joy) knitting something. Strickfreunde means you are knitting with someone or maybe knitting for someone (Freunde = friends). But never mind, I like your blog a lot and am reading every single post. Thank you!

    • Sigrid, you would be proud of me: I looked it up and learned what it really would mean in German but I still thought it was funny (in English!) so I let it stand.

    • I think the original joke was a bit different. Stricken, the English word, means struck with sadness or longing, and was a little riff on schaden. It was originally about wishing someone had knitted an item for you. I like your alternative though. And I certainly wish someone had knitted something for me. My experience is that people tend not to knit for a knitter, though I have knitted many items for other people!

      • Amen sistah! You’re not alone.

        • Even when it is something you could easily knit for yourself. Like a Saturday sweater. I have been wanting one for a very long time.

      • I think knitters are sometimes afraid to knit for other knitters because they might see that little mistake, a fudging in the pattern, that a non-knitter would never notice. It might be fun to see what knitters wish someone would knit for them. Thanks for writing.

    • Thanks for clarifying the true meaning of Strickenfreude. I couldn’t resist using the Kay’s entry, even though we guessed it might be off a bit. Nonetheless, it inspired me as I wrote the story.

  • Love in every stitch

    • That goes for quilting, too. Fascinating responses.

      • Quilting amazes me. It is truly love at work, piece by piece.

    • Yes! Thanks.

    • And the bar between them as well! Love and knitting are twined. Thanks!

  • Woolery. Like an owlery, the place our wool inhabits.
    Knitter’s high/Knitting Nirvana. that place in a project where all makes sense and the knitting just flows.
    We also need a word for a group of knitters, like words for groups of birds(shimmer of hummingbirds)

    • Someone on Instagram suggested a Kindness of knitters as the word for a group. I think that’s pretty good!

      • Great one!

        • Agreed!

      • I think a Kindness of Knitters is lovely. Thanks!

    • I kind of like “a swatch of knitters.”

      • I like it, too. It’s nice to have a stash of collective nouns for knitters.

    • I LOVE Woolery. Great. Thanks.

  • When my family loses a knit I made for them I tell them they’re on my shknit-list and maybe won’t get a knit item for a while. (Of course the item is replaced. I love to knit!) But still, no-one ever wants to be on my shknit-list!

    • Love this!!

    • Shknitlist! Gotta love this!

    • YES! I have just about forgiven my husband for loosing the light and dark grey Norwegian mittens I knit for him almost 20 years ago. We definitely need shknit-list!

  • Knitvana

    • Another good word to add to our knitter’s lives. Thanks!

  • A friend gifted me with a pair of her hand-knitted socks. It is the most wonderful feeling to wear them – my feet feel as though they are singing. I’ve quite enjoyed Michelle Edwards’ columns – good writer.

    • Singing feet is a great image, and what I love to think my handmade socks inspire when worn. Thanks!

  • Worldscollide! Sarah Prineas is a fav author of my daughters, for whom I knit copiously.

    • 😀 AND there’s a knitting pattern in the third Magic Thief book (the tough guy bodyguard Benet, a character in the book, is a knitter, though I am not)!

    • Knitting and magic seem to go together when Sarah Prineas is around. Worldscollide!

  • Knitgape (nit-gä′pā):

    The love that encompasses both knitting and receiving.

    • really like that- Knitgape – will share it with the knit and knatter group who often donate their work

      • It’s great to share these woolwords, thanks!

    • Love-ly! Thanks!

  • I studied German in high school so I can see both meanings. However, as the only knitter in my extended family I am all for Kay’s interpretation as English just doesn’t describe the feeling so eloquently. I do like to think I am with the one wearing one of my knits, but it would be lovely to receive…

    • It’s lovely to receive a handknit even if you could knit it yourself. Sometimes, though, I think it wold be cool to have Molly Weasley’s magical knitting whip up the sweater of my dreams or the socks I yearn for.

  • A Hat for Mrs. Goldman is one of my favorite books! I use it at the start of knitting clubs at my school. I can’t wait to read your other books!

    • Thank you! IN ZERO GRANDPARENTS, book two of my Jackson Friends series, Calliope James brings the shawl her grandmother knit to school on Grandparents Day. With 0 grandparents living, the shawl lets her “share” her grandmother with everyone. When she puts it on, it feels like a hug.

  • In reading these posts, high plains knitter jumped into my head, with images of Clint Eastwood knitting on horseback.

    • What a terrific image, a high plains knitter on horseback! Do you think there were any? Can you knit while riding a horse, like EZ on the back of Arnold’s motorcycle? I am INTRIGUED!

  • Knittinsmitten.

    • How very charming. I can’t help but think of it as the first word in a picture book. Maybe the next line would be knittinmittenkitten. Thanks!

  • Can we call this Warm Fuzzies? For the actual item given and your heart’s glowing response?

    • Of course you can. Warm Fuzzies is super cozy and sweet. Thank you.

  • Such a sweet post.

    • Thank you.

  • I LOVE a hat for Mrs. Goldman! What a sweet and wonderful book. Thank you, Ms. Edwards, for writing it. 🙂

    • Thank you, Vicki.

  • I am partial to kvellcowl, but I also love Strickefreude! What’s better than clever knitting? Well, probably nothing, but a close second would be clever words about knitting. Love this piece so much.

    • Thank you, Soshana. I loved writing this story, bringing so many pieces of my worlds together.

  • I liked your blog so much! can’t believe you remember the sweater. I still have a strand or two of that yarn, the color was lovely. So many great yarns are available now, it is hard to remember how limited the choices were back then in the US.
    You have gone so far, Michelle dear!

    • I think about that sweater from time to time, never forgetting you or what it meant to receive it. Thank you again. The color was lovely, and remembering it now, I believe it had a speck of green in it. So special back then — and now. One of the many important gifts I have received from you.

  • Your article reminded me of all the sweaters I have that were made by my beloved grandmother. I can neither give away nor throw away any. They are my connection to her when she was of sound mind and body. Memorystitch may apply here as well as Loveknit.

    • I think Memorystitch is a keeper, like the sweaters your grandmother made. Thank you.

  • purposeful loving – every cast on, knit, purl, brings you closer to that person you are knitting for even if it’s for yourself. When admired by someone else, you can gift it off your person. What better treat than to be complimented on a work of art.

    • Purposeful loving catches so much. Thanks!

  • for us, a knitted object for those you care about is a Portable Hug.

    • Portable hug fits so many shawls, sweaters, scarves, afghans … sending love. Thanks!

  • Knitworthy- one who you love dearly, and will ALSO love what you make them.

    • Love it! Perfect. Maybe knitworthy can have a secondary meaning, as in the Carbeth is a knitworthy pattern.

  • Strickenfreude is wonderful!

    • Agreed!

  • I like the word “warmthful”. The Yarn Harlot calls handknits “portable love.”

    • Warmthful is great. I want to use it immediately. Thanks!

  • How about … returknits… when you get back the sweaters you made for your kids after they grow up to be bigger than you!!!

    • Returnknits. That’s a terrific addition with room for expansion to knits that find new uses after being retired by the original recipient.

  • I hadn’t put a word to it, but I think I can now; a knitterby (say “knitter-bye”) is what I would give to my girlie when she had trouble dropping off at night. After the story, the water, and the night-nights, I’d sit on the corner of her bed (or in a chair next to her when she got to big to grant me space!) and, with just enough light to see, knit her to sleep.

    And how about a cozy of knitters?

    • Knitterbye is so poetic and the image you created, which immediately brought to mind GOODNIGHT MOON with mama bunny knitting in her rocking chair, is a picture book waiting to be written.Thank you.

      • Knitlifted. What happens when your lovely favorite sweater accidentally ends up in the dry cleaning pile and never returns. (Sad face)

        • Or Goodwill. Knitlifted is a great addition.

  • When my only sibling died @age 15 in 1974, I was a lost soul. Todd died in November and in February, when I had my 22nd birthday, my grandmother sent me a beautiful hand knit Aran style sweater. It was receiving an enormous hug in the mail.
    I’m now 65 and I still have that sweater. And I learned how important a hand knit item could be.

    • Ann, I am so sorry for your loss, and all that has meant to you then, and now. I am touched, and so grateful, that you have shared such a powerful piece of your personal history. Yet more testimony to what a hand knit can do and mean. Thank you.