Knitting is a method of creating loops of yarn that yield a textile or fabric by using two needles to manipulate one or more strands of fiber. Each loop of yarn is called a Stitch and they are intermeshed and worked in multiples of live stitches which move from a holding needle to a working needle in either a back and forth (flat knitting) or circular fashion (circular knitting). As each row (flat knitting) or round (circular knitting) progresses, the new stitches are built by pulling the yarn through the live stitches of the previous row/round. In this way, once all of the stitches from the holding needle are moved to the working needle, the work grows, row/round by row/round; and, of course, once the stitches are transferred, the working needle becomes the holding needle for the next row/round.
The loops created to initiate the project are called Cast On stitches and the method of transforming the stitches from a live to secure status by removing them from the needle is called Binding Off. The stitches in the body of the work between the cast on and bind off are all variations of the most basic Knit stitch, the Yarn Over (a Yarn Over which is hooked through the stitch below at the time it is created is what we call the “Knit” stitch) , as are the Cast on and Bind off stitches themselves. The types of stitches that add to the number of loops are called Increase stitches and those that reduce the total stitch count are called Decrease stitches. Some sources wrongly indicate that there are two basic stitches in knitting, the knit and the purl. These sources are misleading in that the Purl is actually a reverse form of the knit stitch. Repeated rows of knit stitch on the right side are called Stockinette whereas repeated rows of purls on the right side are called Reverse Stockinette; rows alternating from knit to purl create a Garter stitch pattern (repeat either all knit or all purl rows on flat knitting; alternate knit/purl rows on circular knitting).
The Knitters Mindset
There is not a single mindset or point-of-view in knitting! Knitting is intrinsically creative and each knitter will find his or her way of approaching their craft and managing the bumps and curves on the road as well as embracing the panorama along the way. I look for insight and inspiration everywhere. Here are some external links which highlight the variety in approaches to knitting:
Mason Dixon Knitting: How to Fudge
(When “mistakes” become “opportunities”!
Knitting Pipeline: Wool Label Video Tutorial
(Sometimes we integrate other crafts with our knitting!)
Knitmore Girls: (Past) Podcast Menu
(Mother-daughter Podcast which features vast array of designers and topics across the knitting waterfront)