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Flat knitting by hand

Knitting creates flexible fabric by looping thread or yarn together using two or more knitting needles or a knitting machine.

Types of knitting[change | edit source]

Flat knitting[change | edit source]

Flat knitting, which is usually done on two straight needles, produces a length of cloth and is used to create things like blankets, scarves, and the backs and fronts of sweaters.

Circular knitting[change | edit source]

Circular knitting, which is done on circular or double-pointed needles, produces a seamless tube and is used to create things like hats, socks, mittens, and sleeves.

Cable knitting[change | edit source]

Patterns called cables are typically used on sweaters, particularly on Aran sweaters from Ireland. Different kinds of stitches create different patterns in knitting. For example, the stretchy ends of knitted sleeves are called ribbing.

Materials[change | edit source]

Circular, straight, and double-pointed needles

Yarn[change | edit source]

Yarn for knitting can be made from any number of natural or synthetic (man made) fibers such as wool, cotton, silk, or acrylic. Some yarns are made from a blend of several kinds of fibers.

Yarns come in many thicknesses or weights from fine to thick: lace, fingering, sock, sport, double-knit (or DK), worsted, aran, bulky, and super-bulky. Thinner yarns are generally used with smaller knitting needles, and thicker yarns are used with larger knitting needles.

Needles[change | edit source]

Knitting needles come in various shapes: straight, double-pointed, cable, and circular. They can be made from bamboo, aluminum, steel, or plastic.