Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Strine Knitting




As much as I love the international knitting community, I thought it useful to record some Australian knitting vocabulary and language useage for posterity. It might also help interpret some of my posts.


  • The stitches I knit are plain and purl.

  • Alternating rows of plain and purl is stocking stitch.

  • I knit jumpers and cardigans. Sometimes I knit a jersey.

  • The ribbed bit at the bottom of a jumper or cardigan, or any other garment for that matter, is a basque.

  • I use needles to knit with; straight and round.

  • Wool is 2ply, 3ply, 4ply, 5ply, 8ply and 12ply regardless of the number of strands in the wool.

  • I knit with wool regardless of the fibre composition in the ball.

  • When my wool is wool it is probably Merino it just isn't on the ball band as a marketing tool. Less the case now than with vintage wools, admittedly.

  • Wool comes in balls and sometimes in hanks.

  • I rarely knit a tension square.

  • If I need to undo my knitting, I take it off the needle and unravel it or I knit back a bit.

  • To finish a piece, I cast off.

  • The pieces are sewn up.

  • If it is a toe, I graft it (or give it to the Happy Spider to graft but that's just me, not all Australian knitters do that).

  • Then I darn in the ends of joined balls.

  • The finished item is knitted.

This is NOT criticism, it is documenting our changing use of language with, perhaps, a touch of affection for some quaint and disappearing terms.

*Image an illustration from Woolly Thoughts

8 comments:

m1k1 said...

Round about way, but
I tried to email you at the address shown on your profile, but it can't get through.
Any suggestions?
Jennifer

Sue H said...

I have always known "hanks" as skeins, both here and in the UK where I am from originally.

EnnaVic said...

Ditto to all of that (except Happy spider *g*) - the same in NZ.

Bells said...

I learned most of my knitting terms from my English mother but I have never heard of a basque and I always used to knit tension squares before I got sucked into the gauge swatch thing.

Some of the other terms I've had fun learning to use, like frogging, are used for amusement more than anything else. I still like to use 'proper' terms at times.

I've learned to say yarn when referring to things that aren't wool but found it confusing at first. Then I realised that growing up, all my mum used WAS wool so saying wool all the time was appropriate!

Five Ferns Fibreholic said...

Since many of our knitting terms came from across the pond, I can relate to many of the Aussie terms. But when you are tied to the US market and the internet has a lot of influence it's best to be bilingual in these cases.

TinkingBell said...

Love to hear are own language and terms - but I don't knit tensions squares much even in Strine!

Olivia said...

I was horrified to find, reading back, that I wrote a post about a "yarn store". "Yarn", while a bit American, is useful as so many "wools" just aren't (but maybe that's okay...) but no need for "store" when we have perfectly good "shops".

Melinda said...

Hee hee... your post made me giggle. We seem to have 2 knitting languages - the international one (stockinette stitch, fingering weight, yarn store...) which we use when reading magazines or blogging with American knitters - and then our own terms like 4 ply and stocking stitch and 'wool' for everything. I guess it is worth being adept at both languages. But let's never lose ours.