20 Knitting And Crochet Terms From CAL to Yarnie
4 min read time
Part of learning to knit or crochet includes familiarising yourself with new vocabulary. Combined with abbreviations, numbers and symbols it’s like learning a whole new language*. But this language goes further than just technical terminology. In addition to your k (knit) and dc (double crochet) stitches there's also a whole load of knitting and crochet slang - with new terms created almost daily - to get your head around. These word abbreviations and fun, non-technical knitting and crochet terms won’t improve your knitting or crochet but spend a little time on online crafting groups or social platforms and you’re bound to see a few pop up. So if you’re struggling to differentiate a WIP from a PHD, and a hooker from a muggle, we’ve shared twenty common fun knitting and crochet terms to help you brush up on your knit- and crochet-speak. You’ll be sharing your latest FO, HOTH before you know it!
BEGINNER’S GUIDE - HOW TO SPEAK KNITTING AND CROCHET SLANG
CAL / KAL
Crochet ALong / Knit ALong
When a group of crafters crochet or knit the same pattern at the same time; sharing progress, support and motivation. CALs / KALs can be in person as part of a crafting workshop or group, or online as part of a worldwide craft community.
CIP / KIP
Crochet In Public / Knit In Public
Not just reserved for special events like Worldwide Knit/Crochet in Public Day (which takes place on the second Saturday of June each year), pick up your needles/hook and yarn, share your love of crafting and proudly demonstrate your stitching skills wherever you are.
When your yarn stash becomes too much for one person to handle (see SABLE) it might be time to sell, trade or donate some of your unused yarn.
For those ‘Hooray, you’ve finished!’ moments when you want to share your finished project online. What you hope your WIPs and PHDs turn into 😉.
FO Miffy Hat
FOTH / HOTH
Fresh Off The Hook / Hot Off The Hook
The crocheted FO you’ve just completed and are so excited to share that the hook isn’t even cold yet 🔥.
Frog / Frogging
A painful experience for even the most experienced knitter/crocheter when you need to unravel and rip out several rows of stitches - or even an entire project - undoing your hard work. Sometimes you just have to ‘rip it, rip it’ (say it fast)... like a frog 🐸.
The waiting room (a.k.a. storage place) where all your knit and crocheted items go before they are frogged.
Anyone who uses a hook to crochet… not all hookers play rugby league, but some rugby league players are hookers 🏉😜.
In Search Of
If you’re part of an online crafting group or forum you may see this used when someone is trying to locate a specific type of yarn, pattern or knitting/crochet tool.
Local Yarn Store/Shop
Your favourite place to spend an hour...or five. May be responsible for your SABLE and the reason you need to DS. We particularly like The Village Haberdashery in London. Share your favourites in the comments.
A non-crocheter or non-knitter who is missing out on the magic of crafting ✨.
On The Needles
The latest knitting project you’re working on - what is physically on your knitting needles.
Mateusz Snood OTN
Similar to a WIP but sometimes closer to a UFO, when you hit that half-way point in a knitting or crochet project. Often more than one lying around. Unfortunately they don’t come with the title of Dr 🎓.
Stash Acquisition/Accumulation Beyond Life Expectancy
When every drawer, storage cupboard and basket is full and it becomes apparent you’re unlikely to use all the yarn you own within your lifetime… but can you really have too much yarn? 🤔
Knit spelt backwards; to tink is to undo knit stitches by reversing the knitting motion. Used to undo several stitches (or a row) to fix a mistake, it is essentially un-knitting a stitch.
Trashed Object Abandoned in Disgust
When you feel like a project is beyond rescuing and you give up on a PHD or UFO. It has to be pretty bad to get to this point. Before resigning your WIP to the TOAD pile, try taking a break from it, watch our how-to video tutorials, attend a workshop or reach out to our customer service team who will help in any way they can.
Not of the extraterrestrial kind 👽, a knitting or crochet UFO is usually a WIP that you have temporarily or permanently abandoned or neglected. These are the projects that are semi-finished but haven’t been picked up in ages.
Work In Progress
The latest project OTN or that you’re crocheting. You can have several WIPs on the go, dividing your attention regularly between each project, but leave one sitting in a basket or project bag for a while and it’s closer to becoming a UFO.
When you pull on the centre strand of your ball of yarn and a big lump of tangled mess comes out 🙈.
A true lover of all things yarn - a connoisseur - who will passionately discuss yarn stashes, weight, fibre content, ply, etc. Generally the proud owner of a SABLE that they
hide store in lots of places.
Crafters are a creative bunch so of course the language had to be creative too. It’s also helpful when your online post has a character limit. The list of knitting and crochet slang above is certainly not exhaustive so if we’ve omitted your favourite please share it in the comments. As always we love to see your WIPs and FOs so please tag us #stitchandstory #yarnmazing