At the beginning or end of knitting patterns there is always an abbreviation section, telling you the meaning of terms used in the pattern such as ssk (slip, slip, knit) or k2tog (knit two together) but knitting enthusiasts have a whole other language of terms you might overhear that aren’t clearly defined in patterns.
Here is a little story to show you how these terms work in conversation and their definitions below so you can start dropping knitting lingo the next time you KIP!
One bright and sunny day I decided to head to my LYS to pick up a beautiful skein of yarn and some DPNs to begin a sock KAL with my friends. Both astoundingly and to be expected, my SABLE just had nothing quite right for me to use. At the shop I used a swift to turn my skein into a cake so I could CO immediately on the train home. I began K1P1 and away I went until tragically a few days later I realised my WIP was too small. That’ll teach me to always swatch! Now it’s time to FROG and start again. Just when I think I’m on the right track I notice my rib has become moss a few rows back. Now I must TINK to fix it up. Moving forward again and suddenly, I have a yarn barf and now an UFO. Time to TOAD and go buy some more yarn!
KIP- Knit in Public
LYS- Local Yarn Store
Skein- A hank of yarn wrapped in a twist
DPNs- Double Pointed Needles
KAL- Knit A-Long
SABLE- Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy
Swift- An umbrella like device used to hold skeins of yarn while they are wound
Cake- Yarn that has been wound into a cylinder
CO- Cast On
K1P1- Knit 1, Purl 1
WIP- Work in Progress
Swatch- A knitted square to check tension
FROG- Pulling out, or ripping out, your knitting. Rip it, rip it
Rib- A pattern of knit and purl where you knit every previous row's knit stitches and purl every previous row's purl stitches
Moss- A pattern of knit and purl where you knit every previous row's purl stitches and purl every previous row's knit stitches
TINK- Knit spelled backwards, to undo knitting stitch by stitch
Yarn Barf- When a tangle of yarn comes out the middle of a cake
TOAD- Trashed Object Abandoned in Disgust