Sunday, 26 January 2014

Knitting and Crochet Jargon - A Selection

I've mentioned elsewhere what a source of inspiration Ravelry is, since I picked up my crochet hooks and knitting needles again. Browsing through the patterns fills me with desire for all the lovely things on there and wanting to learn how to do lacework and socks and colour work and double knitting and start all sorts of projects. (Steady now!)

I thought I knew how to knit and crochet, but looking through the patterns on Ravelry, I realise I only just know the basics, and even then I'm not up to speed on the various methods for increasing and decreasing.  I hold my needles and yarn in a completely cack-handed way. I've discovered there are loads of different techniques for casting on and off, even for the selvedge stitches. I can't remember the basic crochet stitches without looking.  I get confused trying to read charts.

I made the Evenstar fingerless mitts thinking they would be big enough for me, but in the end they were too snug for my taste.  I found patterns for legwarmers on Ravelry, but decided against them because they were often designed for slender-limbed teenagers or models, rather than my chunky legs! I decided I would start some 'bespoke' legwarmers and dutifully did a couple of swatches, one in K2 P1 rib, one in stocking stitch, using DK yarn and 4 cm dpns.  From my swatches, I calculated how many stitches I would need to cast on and went for it.  As I knitted, I re-measured and found it to be good.  But when I slipped on the top 4 inches I'd knitted, I found that it had way too much give.  Instead of covered legs, I would have been standing in knitted puddles.  I think perhaps the needle size was too big, producing a softer knitted 'fabric' with too much give in it for my carefully calculated method to work.  There will be a slight pause on that project while I rethink it.  Perhaps I need to do the rib on a smaller set of needles in the same way that if I remake the gloves, I will need a larger set of needles. (Neither of which I have, of course!) So I frogged what I'd knitted and rewound it onto the ball.

Ooh, get me, using knitting jargon!  Yes, beyond the ever-growing list of knitting and crochet stitch abbreviations (psso - pass slipped stitch over, dc - double crochet), there are other terms ready to trip up the unwary, newly-awakened yarn junkie.  Like all good jargon, it is very useful in context and once you know it, it immediately and subconsciously becomes part of your vocabulary and you forget that there was a time when you didn't understand the jargon!  I had a cursory search for terms on the interweb, and only came up with the usual abbreviations and stitches, but I expect there will be the same and more in other blogs out there somewhere.  In the meantime, here's a selection:

CAL: Crochet Along, when members of a community all crochet and talk about the same pattern or project. Similarly: KAL: Knit Along. And MKAL/MCAL: Mystery Knit Along/Crochet Along, when the group are all knitting the same pattern but either don't know what it is or know it's (e.g.) socks, but are not exactly sure what it will look like.

WIP: Work in Progress.  If it's knitted, then it may be said to be OTN:  On The Needles. Or it could be OTN and Hibernating: A work which has been in progress at some point and then put down for so long, it must be asleep by now. UFOs: Unfinished Objects are often hibernating. This could be because it's a BUFO:  Boring Unfinished Object, which you may have to decide to FOF: Frog or Finish (viz, the Autumn Leaves Thing).

Frogging: (because frogs say Rip it! Rip it!). Also known as ripping or ripping out. . When you notice a glaring mistake several rows back or the whole piece isn't going according to plan, and the only thing to do is take the work off the needles and pull the yarn end to unravel, either back to the mistake, or completely.

Tink:  Go back a couple of rows by dropping and then picking stitches up again in order to correct or pick up a dropped stitch or two.

Your object may not be finished because it is (or includes) one of a pair, in which case you may be suffering from SSS: second sock (or sleeve) syndrome, which I guess may be SGS for gloves.

Or you may be wondering about methods and techniques such as:

JAYG: Join as you go, methods for joining crochet motifs as you work them, instead of sewing them all together at the end.

Thrum: A lock of unspun fleece or roving knitted or crocheted into an item so that it hangs on the wrong side.  Regularly spaced thrums form a fleecy/felted lining, making the item extra warm and suitable for Arctic conditions.  I occasionally long for thrummed slippers and mittens for when I'm sitting at this computer.

Steek:  Cut into circular knitting and then either pick up stitches to knit on, or sew in, other elements of the garment. Popularly used for Shetland jumpers, where the main body is knit in the round with extra stitches where the armholes are, which are then stabilised and cut down the centre so that sleeves can be sewn in.

Stash: Collection of yarns, beads, fabric, accessories, tools, etc. I cannot be the only one who's noticed the word has connotations of addiction. Uncomfortably accurate, perhaps?  Hmmm, moving on .... When you only have a few bits, in a box or drawer, you don't have a stash.  I was like that once. You start acquiring tools, yarn, etc and the box becomes several, or a cupboard full, then a studio or workroom, and possibly starts to leak outside the SCZ: Stash Containment Zone, which is especially bad if your SCZ is your entire house. By the natural law of the stash, it won't contain the yarn/fabric/beads/findings/sizes of knitting needles/crochet hooks which you need for the project you want to start right now.  A potential source of items for the stash is the LYS: Local Yarn Store, which is where you can go for SEX: Stash EXtension (or Enrichment) EXpeditions. This can lead to ...
SABLE: Stash Acquired Beyond Life Expectancy - in other words, you have acquired so much, you could not get through it in your lifetime. Time to ...
De-Stash: Get rid of your stash, as in use it, sell it, swap it for something you know you will use quickly, give it away.

You know you've got it bad when you use every KO: Knitting Opportunity, even KIP: Knitting in public, possibly because you are KAT: Knitting against time (trying to get something finished), because there is nothing like a good FO Finished Object (hurrah!).

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