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The Knitting Portal

A sample of flat knitting used to create a scarf.

Knitting is a craft by which thread or yarn may be turned into cloth. Similar to crochet, knitting consists of loops called stitches pulled through each other. Knitting differs from crochet in that multiple stitches are active, or in use, at the same time, and crochet uses a single tool, a crochet hook, instead of a minimum of two knitting needles. The active stitches are held on a needle until another loop can be passed through them with a second needle.

One of the earliest known examples of knitting was finely decorated cotton socks found in Egypt in the end of the first millennium AD. The first knitting trade guild was started in Paris in 1527. With the invention of the knitting machine, however, knitting "by hand" became a useful but non-essential craft. Similar to quilting, spinning, and needlepoint, knitting became a social activity.

Different yarns and knitting needles may be used to achieve different end products, by giving the final piece different colour, texture, weight or integrity. This has led contemporary knitters to create web sites and blogs about their own patterns, techniques, and to showcase their work.

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Basic pattern of warp knitting: parallel yarns zigzag lengthwise along the fabric, each loop securing a loop of an adjacent strand from the previous row.
Warp knitting is a family of knitting methods in which the yarn zigzags along the length of the fabric, i.e., following adjacent columns ("wales") of knitting, rather than a single row ("course"). For comparison, knitting across the width of the fabric is called weft knitting.

Since warp knitting requires that the number of separate strands of yarn ("ends") equals the number of stitches in a row, warp knitting is almost always done by machine, not by hand. Warp knitting comprises several types of knitted fabrics, including tricot, raschel knits, milanese knits and stitch-bonding. All warp-knit fabrics are resistant to runs and relatively easy to sew. Raschel lace—the most common type of lace—is a warp knit fabric but using many more guide-bars (12+) than the usual machines which mostly have three or four bars.


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A ribbed-knitted neck warmer
Credit: Clancy Ratliff

A neck warmer ribbed-knitted to form a circular shape using circular needles

Did you know?…

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  • … that the earliest known pattern book containing a knitting pattern was published in 1524?

Related portals



Tools and materials: knitting needle · yarn
Styles: circular knitting · combined knitting · continental knitting · English knitting · flat knitting · warp knitting · weft knitting
Stitches: decrease · dip · elongated · increase · plaited · yarn over
Techniques: Basketweave · Bead knitting · Bias knitting · Binding off · Bobble · Brioche knitting · Buttonhole · Cables · Casting on · Double knitting · Drop-stitch knitting · Entrelac · Faggoting · Fair Isle · Finger knitting · Gather · Grafting · Hemming · Intarsia · Lace · Medallion knitting · Picking up stitches · Pleat · Ribbing · Shadow knitting · Short row · Slip-stitch knitting · Spool knitting · Tuck · Uneven knitting · Weaving · Welting
Patterns: Aran · Argyle
Machine knitting: Complete garment knitting · Fully-fashioned knitting · Knitting machine · Stocking frame
People: Elizabeth Zimmermann · Knitters in literature
Other related topics: Basic knitted fabrics · Blocking · Gauge · History · Knitted fabric · Knitting abbreviations · Selvage · Steek

Associated Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:






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