Crochet and knitting can have some unfamiliar terms, as well as some words that are used differently from everyday speech. Take a look below to find definitions for words you're unsure of.


A crochet or knit blanket of any size.


A type of put-up. Balls are compact, rounded and designed to have the strand of yarn pulled from the outside.

Basic yarn

A plain yarn suitable for most projects, including blankets, garments, accessories, and home décor items.


Using moisture and sometimes heat to set a crocheted or knitted piece into its final shape.

Boucle yarn

A type of yarn that is “bumpy”, usually formed by mixing a thin ply and a textured ply.


A design element formed by working stitches out of the order in which they appear originally in the row. May be done in crochet or knit.

Cable needle

A short needle used to temporarily hold stitches when knitting cables. Usually either in a hook/U shape or with an offset middle section.

Cast on

Putting stitches on a knitting needle to begin a knitting project.

Chenille yarn

A type of yarn that is “fuzzy”, made with many short fibers twisted into a central cord. Usually very soft.

Crochet hook sizing

For steel crochet hooks: the higher the number, the smaller the size/lower the millimeters. For regular crochet hooks: the higher the number, the larger the size/higher the millimeters.

Crochet thread

A slender thread designed for crocheting, especially suited for lacy projects such as doilies. The higher the number, the thinner the thread. Popular sizes are Size 3 and Size 10.


Reducing the number of stitches in a round or row by combining two or more stitches.


How a knit or crochet fabric hangs, stiff to flowing.

Dye lot

A batch of yarn or thread that was dyed and processed together. Different dye lots may have slightly different colors, so when making a project care should be taken to always get enough of the same dye lot to finish the project.

Fair Isle

A knitting technique using multiple colors in the same row or round, carrying the unused color behind the other colors. It often is used to produce complicated-looking patterns.

Fashion yarn

A yarn with a special quality to it, such as metallic fibers or a special construction. May not be suitable for as many uses as basic yarn.

Finished Object (FO)

A completed crochet or knit project. Term found in online discussion forums.


To undo work by pulling the working yarn so the stitches come out. So called because you "rip it, rip it" ("ribbit, ribbit").


The number of stitches over a certain measurement, usually 4 inches (10cm).


Sewing together knitting in such a way that the fabric is continuous, with no visible seam. Often used when making socks.


The feel of the yarn.


Adding stitches to the round or row.


A knitting technique creating blocks of color using separate strands of yarn.


Used when making a large or complicated pattern. A string that is thread through your row or round so that you know where you were last correct.


A yarn that has multiple colors in a sequence along one strand.

Right side

The main side of the fabric; the side of the fabric that will be showing when the project is complete.


A section of yarn that is twisted with other sections to form one strand of yarn. Plies used to be a measure of the weight of yarn but that method is obsolete in the United States.


How the yarn is wound for sale. Put-ups may be in balls or in skeins and may be different sizes.


A type of yarn that looks and feels like it is made out of ribbon.


A yarn that is one ply and lightly spun.

Ruffle yarn

A type of yarn designed to form a ruffle when crocheted or knit. Often one ball of this yarn makes a scarf. May be knit or crocheted in a special manner to create the ruffle.


A type of put-up. Skeins are cylindrical and designed to have the strand of yarn pulled from the center.

Slip knot

An adjustable knot that is usually used at the start of knitting and crochet projects.


The collection of yarn that an individual has.

Steel crochet hooks

Very slender crochet hooks made of steel and designed for working with crochet thread.

Stitch holder

A device, usually resembling a large safety pin, to hold knit stitches that are not currently being worked.

Stitch marker

A small marker to show a specific point in a row or round. May be entirely round (for knit projects), may have a slit, or may open and close like a small safety pin.

Tapestry needle

See yarn needle.


A crochet or knit blanket, typically smaller than a twin bed size.


To undo knitting by working backwards and reversing one stitch at a time. Slower and more difficult than frogging. May also be called "unknitting".

UnFinished Object (UFO)

An unfinished crochet or knit project. Typically a project that is not currently being worked on. Term found in online discussion forums.


The size of a strand of yarn or crochet thread. Yarn and crochet thread are classified by how many times a single strand can be wrapped next to itself in one inch. For yarn: The higher the weight number, the thicker the yarn. For crochet thread: The higher the weight number, the skinnier the thread.

WIP (Work In Progress)

An unfinished crochet or knit project that is currently being worked on. Term found in online discussion forums.

Wrong side

The side of the fabric that will not be showing when the project is complete.

Yarn bombing

The act of putting crocheted and/or knit pieces in public areas, such as on benches, trees, and statues. Also called yarn graffiti.

Yarn needle

A plastic or metal needle with an eye large enough to hold a strand of yarn and blunt tip for seaming crocheted or knit items and for weaving in ends.