Inspiration right in front of my nose
A Winner and A hat

Let's Talk Knitting

or rather, Knit Speak.

The folks at Stewart, Tabori & Chang sent me two copies of Knit Speak - An A to Z Guide to the Language of Knitting Patterns by Andrea Berman Price.  Yes, two copies.  One for me and one for one of you.


This little book (about 5" x 7") is a wonderful resource to tuck in your knitting bag.  It reads like a dictionary, listing all those abbreviations and confusing terms from the beginning of the alphabet to the end.  It covers the symbols, too.  You can find out what an asterisk means when you see it in a pattern and why there is a difference between brackets, [ ], and parentheses, ( ).  How do you Sk2p?  It's in there.  Kitchener stitch?  Covered.  Different cast on methods are included as are cables and bobbins.  The illustrations are wonderfully simple and easy to follow, also.  And this my friends just scratches the surface.  Knit Speak is a very comprehensive reference tool and I feel lucky to have one on hand.

So how do you get yours?  Leave a comment on this post before 8:00 a.m. EST (New York time) Wednesday, December 19th.  In your comment, tell me what knitting term befuddles you the most.  I will randomly pick one winner.  If that doesn't work out, you can always buy it here.

Now, back to gift making.....



i was taught to knit at a very young age so my knitting lets a little to be desired. i am baffled by most of the directions, so i end up just trying to find crochet pattern instead because those i can actually read.


To be honest, I am confused by most of the terms and abbreviations :)

I am still just a beginner though, Does that count for anything?? :)


way to much of a beginner - i just wanted to say, wow! people are sending you books! i'm impressed...


Hello! Thanks for offering this book. I've been trying to teach myself to knit for the past few years and I always end up with a scarf that the width gets larger and larger as I add a row. ;) I am just trying to add a quiet hobby (I usually sew at night) when my kids go to bed (4 1/2 yo, 2 1/2 yo and a 3 month old). Thanks, Nhi


I just started learning to knit this month. I don't know anything about patterns at all (ok k means knit and p means pearl - but that's all I understand). In fact my first knitting project isn't even a project. I'm practicing the knit stitch, then I'll rip it all out and start a scarf with just a knit stitch. Right now my practicing is looking all wonky - skinny in one area, wider in another. I know I must have dropped or added stitches because it looks funny in the middle, but I don't know which I've done. I can't even remember how many stitches I started with - my teacher started it for me. That being said I don't even know how to cast on. My teacher showed me how, but now I can't remember.


ugh - where to start with the befuddling... I've had this beautiful, soft yellow yarn for 6 months now. I keep casting it on (because i can do that well) and then messing up and having to tear it up and start again. And the weather is so cold that all I want to do is plop myself on the couch and knit... but I can't!


As an ambitious beginner, I am always finding patterns with terms I have to learn as I go. I am constantly all over the internet trying to figure out what things mean because I don't have a book. It took me about 15 min last night to find out what yo k1 meant.


I'm never without a knitting project and have been knitting since I was 10. I'm not sure if there's a particular term that confuses me but I do have to hit the internet at times to figure things out. This book would be a great resource for my knitting bag ... and for my 8 year old daughter who knits too.


I'm still a novice knitter, myself--I learned from a "Threads of Love" group at church that started knitting for charity a couple of summers ago--but the projects are always simple, like scarves, blankets, and washcloths.

I would have to say the term/skill that I shy away from most would be "in the round"...there are SO many projects (baby toboggans, tube socks, and most recently, your Maine Morning Mitts) that I've found that require it, but the thought of multiple needles scares me to death. Someday...


i'm with meg - they're sending you books! go, girl.

as for the knitting, i can follow a basic pattern, but all of those ssk things make me dizzy.


This is so timely so me. I was reading over a knitting pattern last night and decided it was best to try in the morning. Too many terms I had yet to encounter. Some were explained, but they still were cloudy to me - SSP - how do you purn thru the back after slipping stitches - UGH!


dude... i so so suck at gauge. i just don't get it.


What knitting terms confuse me the most? Oh I know! When a book or pattern randomly decides to make all of its OWN abbreviations like it needs to be more SPECIAL or something! It always confuses me a ton, and then I'm sitting at the computer googling terms only to find out it means the same thing as something I already know! Durr!!


I tend to get befuddled when the pattern's measurements are written in the metric system. When it comes to the amount of yarn for a pattern, I second-guess myself sometimes when it is listed only in meters.


As a Canadian, when I started my biggest confusion was whether the needle sizes were in mm or US sizes. Now I mostly struggle with graphs - I feel like I need an advanced degree in hieroglyphics to keep it all straight!


Thanks for sharing!

I recently started crocheting but have found so many great knitting patterns that I want to pick up knitting too! This book would really help me get started.


Any word other than knit or purl totally befuddles me! I am a knitting newbie (started in November), so I've got tons of knitting terms to learn. This book would be a great resource for me.

Every time I start a new project, I force myself to do something that requires learning something new. One of my current projects involves knitting mittens with 5 double pointed needles. Talk about challenging!



I am an amateur knitter and practially all terms befuddle me! Sk2p is a prime example. :)

Carrie S.

Dang! I have been looking all over for that book! Is it not in bookstores? Because I only seem to see it in blogland, and as a new knitter, I can't tell you how much I NEED THAT BOOK!

Everytime I see k2tog (or p2tog), I start to laugh! As if I can! Whatever it is!


Not so much a term, but any time I see a chart I abandon project! If the same pattern is spelled out in words and abbreviations, line by line, I am okay. Or if the chart is just for colorwork, fine. But when they use little symbols and dots and hatch marks to represent what I am supposed to be knitting, I freeze up. Argh!


Which term confuses me the most? Well all of them. I am a very new to knitting. This year I decided to knit a sweater for my daughter, but before that it was just a couple of plain scarfs. I just hope it still fits when I finish it. Luckily at 18 months she probably won't mind that it is too loose in the back and too tight in the front :P


What a great book! Nupps befuddle me- I kind of know what they are, but it's the doing them. It's interesting how knit speak can mean different things to different people- it's all in the interpretation. And it's not always correct I've learned.


I've been knitting for about 10 years, and the term that still baffles me is "At the same time..." simple enough, right? But even though I read a pattern all the way through, I somehow manage to forget that little term and have to tink back to the spot indicated by it.

Sarah Jackson

How cool is that? I'm at the point where most terms don't befuddle me (execution of the term may be an entirely different story) but I'm not as adept at different cast-ons as I could be. I have my standbys and when a different cast-on is recommended, I get a little befuddled. Especially if it's a provisional cast-on. Time to learn!


Yarn Overs do! Or should I say YOs. Because isn't it really a Yarn Under??????



I've got k,p, k2tog, and p2tog down. But anything beyond that is a complete mystery! I guess thats why I have only ever made scarfs and hats... It would be glorious to break-out!


Thank you so much for sharing the book with us. And right before Christmas. I can follow simple instructions when I only have to make straight things, when I need to start making anything more complicated, things start piling up unfinished. I pick *. Repeat from where? :)


I feel dumb even writing this, but "pick up and knit" has eluded me thus far. I sort of know what it means, but when they just say, you know, go and do that... how EXACTLY am I supposed to DO that?


I've got k,p, k2tog, and p2tog down. But anything beyond that is a complete mystery! I guess thats why I have only ever made scarfs and hats... It would be glorious to break-out!


oh...I could really use this. I am just a beginner and could use all the help I can get. xoxoxo How cool :)


Oh man, I so need that book! :)


I'm relatively new to any kind of knitting that isn't a garter stitch all those 3 letter combinations make me loopy. Also m1...because it always seems to mean something different


I would have to say that all knitting terms befuddle me, since I have no idea how to knit! But reading your blog has really made me want to learn, and this book sounds like it would be a great resource and might be just the thing to get me started!

Mama Urchin

How generous of you. I used to get so confused about the difference between SSK and S1K1PSSO I don't know why they messed me up so much.


Is it sad that I basically have to look up any abbr that is not a K or a P. I still have to look up St st just to double check that I'm remembering right.

Currently I lug around Knitting for Dummies, but a smaller book is my dream.


I started knitting in september. I think that I'm doing ok but I have a major problem: I'm taking knitting class in french but all my knitting friends speak english. I don't understand most of the terms they use and I have a hard time when they try to help me! Have a nice day :)


Hmmm. Does my entry count if I can't think of what knitting term/abbreviation leaves me scratching my head? Because, really, I can't. That does not, however, mean that I'm never befuddled by one or that I couldn't use a book like this. It simply means my brain is fried from too much gift making.

F. Lynd

I mean, I know what it means, and it makes sense when I read instructions of how to do it, but attempting to "purl tbl" always have me knitting instead, and then I realize my mistake sixteen rows later, and then I have to frog half of a sock, and then I start to cry.
And then I go to the fridge and drink some sake and put my feet up and tell myself it's not really necessary to have two socks that match, and no-one will notice anyway, and I should (finally) choose between 1. being a lousy perfectionist who just gives up when things go wrong and 2. being a damn good perfectionist who looks on all these problems as inconvenience wrapped in opportunity.

Also, anything with cables drives me into a tizzy of fear. But that wasn't really the question, was it? :o)


i am in the advanced beginner stages of knitting with patterns, what gets me are new abbreviations (i just started a pattern with TBL, PFB, etc and keep having to go online to see what they mean!) and then just general new things like kitchener stitch, and methods of casting on


i find myself always looking up knitting symbols on the internet(cables get me every time)
even though i have been knitting for a long time ..i think my memory is shot :)
this would be so handy to have in my knitting bag...
thanks for sharing the goodies!


I get confused between the british and US terms for some things - YO's etc!


I get confused between the british and US terms for some things - YO's etc!


I am an abbreviation--love them-- freak so can usually figure out most knitting patterns. Please don't enter me in your contest, as I really don't need the book--my daughter though could use it. Maybe I will send her here. I really enjoyed reading all the comments. I have been knitting a long long time


Oh, I need this book so bad!! I started knitting this summer - a scarf that i should throw in the garbage haha. I just finished making some coasters for my mom for Christmas. :) But I haven't done anything with a pattern yet so I really don't know what most of it is. I really want to make these fingerless mitts - - and there's alot I don't understand in there... I would love this book!! And I could share it with my knitting club. :)


Well, I did an entire row of decreases and messed up the ssk. i was doing a psso instead of was not a good thing. I couldn't figure out why I was coming up with too few stitches!


I just discovered your blog through the contest, but it's very inspiring...I'm definitely going to add it to my feed reader.

I'm also frustrated by tbl. I understand the concept. But I'm trying to make a tuck stitch (tbl two stitches below), and it's not happening...


surely a book that i need -- i'm just venturing beyond the k and the p. thanks for spreading the word about a great resource, and for sharing your extra copy!!


Great giveaway and sounds like a book to add to my amazon wishlist.


okay erin, I need this. really. it all confuses the heck out of me!!


Pick me! Pick me! Reading knitting patterns is so confusing and I need to finish my baby's sweater. :)

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