What is "Knitting" - Definition & Explanation
Last Updated on: 01-May-2023 (5 months, 1 day ago)
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Knitting is a process in which yarn or thread is looped together to create a fabric. It involves interlocking a series of loops through the use of knitting needles or machines to create a piece of fabric. Knitting can be used to create a wide range of garments and textile products, including sweaters, scarves, hats, blankets, and socks.

There are two main types of knitting: hand knitting and machine knitting. Hand knitting is the traditional method of knitting that has been used for centuries. It involves the use of two knitting needles, which are used to manipulate the yarn and create the loops. Hand knitting allows for more flexibility and creativity in the design process, as the knitter can easily adjust the stitch count and tension as needed. However, it can be time-consuming and may not be suitable for large-scale production.

Machine knitting, on the other hand, involves the use of specialized knitting machines to create the fabric. These machines are capable of knitting at a much faster rate than hand knitting and can produce large quantities of knitted fabric quickly and efficiently. Machine knitting is often used in commercial textile production, as it allows for consistent and precise results.

In addition to the type of knitting used, there are also various types of stitches that can be created through knitting. The two most basic stitches are the knit stitch and the purl stitch. The knit stitch involves inserting the needle through the front of the loop, while the purl stitch involves inserting the needle through the back of the loop. These stitches can be combined in different ways to create a wide range of patterns and textures.

Knitting also involves the use of different types of yarn, which can vary in texture, thickness, and material. Some common types of yarn used in knitting include wool, cotton, acrylic, and silk. The type of yarn used can greatly affect the appearance and feel of the finished fabric. For example, wool yarn is warm and soft, while cotton yarn is lightweight and breathable.

In recent years, there has been a renewed interest in hand knitting and other traditional textile crafts. Many people enjoy the process of creating their own handmade garments and accessories, and knitting has become a popular hobby for people of all ages. In addition to its practical uses, knitting can also be a form of artistic expression, with many designers and artists using knitting as a medium for their work.

Overall, knitting is a versatile and adaptable process that has been used for centuries to create a wide range of textile products. Whether done by hand or by machine, knitting allows for endless possibilities in terms of design, texture, and material.
The art and science of constructing fabric by interlooping of yarn loops, through the use of needles and a "loop within a loop". The most essential unit in a knit fabric is the loop or stitch. A vertical row of stitches is called a WALE; the horizontal or crosswise row of stitches is known as a COURSE. The number of wales per inch, measured across the fabric depends on the count or size of the yarn used, and the number of needles per inch in the machine. The two major classes of knitting are warp and weft.
Knitting is one of several ways to turn thread or yarn into cloth (cf weaving, crochet). Unlike woven fabric, knitted fabric consists entirely of parallel courses of yarn. The courses are joined to each other by interlocking loops in which a short loop of one course of yarn is wrapped over the bight of another course. In practice, knitting is usually begun (or "cast on") by forming a base series of twisted loops of yarn on a knitting needle. A second knitting needle is then used to reach through each loop (or stitch) in succession in order to snag a bight of yarn and pull a length back through the loop. This forms a new stitch at the top of the current wale of stitches (or loops). Work can proceed in the round (circular knitting) or by going back and forth in rows. Knitting can also be done by machines.

Originally a male-only occupation, the first knitting trade guild was started in Paris in 1527. Knitting became a household occupation with the growing popularity of knitted stockings and by the end of the 1600s, one to two million pairs of stockings were exported from Britain to other parts of Europe.
The two basic stitches are knit (or "plain") and purl (or "wrong"). These two nominal stitches are actually identical, however, being the obverse and reverse of the same stitch. A knit stitch is formed by inserting the needle in the back of the loop and pulling a loop of yarn through to form a new loop, while a purl stitch is formed by inserting the needle in the front of the loop and pushing a loop of yarn through to form a new loop.

If only knits or only purls are used when working back and forth in rows, the result is called garter stitch. Alternating rows of knits and purls result in stockinette or jersey stitch, the stitch most often used in commercial garments such as T-shirts. Different combinations of stitches can be used to form ribbing, cables, or other textures. Complex patterns can be formed by knitting with multiple colours in either intarsia or Fair Isle techniques.

Some other terms

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