Friday, July 2, 2010

All It's Own Language

Since I'm finding that there are still a lot of people that are unaware that the knitting community, in particular, has its own language, guess what, my blog post today will bring you up to speed with the language of knitters.

You might wonder why I have an "I love you" wash cloth in sign language on this page. As I talk about the knitting community having their own language, it reminds me of my wonderful experience and exposure when I volunteered helping the deaf and blind. What an amazing time that was for me. I learned a lot and one of the most important things I learned working with the deaf is they have their own language.

The language for the deaf is "American Sign Language - ASL." I got to learn their language enough to communicate and do a little interpreting. And it is such a beautiful language, especially when signing a song. I also learned not to take stares at face value. A group of us would be out on the subway and people would stare. Well they thought that all of us were deaf because we were all signing and not talking out. Sometimes we would do that just to see what people are saying. You know most of the time people were mesmerized at seeing the signing. They wished they could sign. So it was positive comments most of the time.

I do get excited when I see someone that is deaf because I want to sign to them. Sometimes I find myself looking at them signing and I have to stop myself because that is an invasion of their privacy. It is the same as if two people were whispering and you try to listen. So I only use my sign every once in a while, but I am amazed that I still can communicate with a deaf person.

I also learned about etiquette for ones with disabilities which is very important to know. But all in all I learned that all they want is respect for who they are, recognized for what they can do and not their disability, and their language to be accepted. Is that not what we all want? Why would it be any different for ones with disabilities? Think about it.

What about the knitting language? When someone says, I have to tink back a little. What does that mean? Or one of my blogs said that I was working on my UFO's for the month of June. If you haven't read that post, what does UFO mean? You know how it is when you are in a crowd and someone says something that you don't understand and you don't want to feel stupid by asking so you go without knowing. Well, if you are going to choose to be a part of the knitting community you should understand the language so that the conversation will not sound foreign to you.

Knitting TermMeaning
Frog or FroggingIf you make a mistake in your knitting and don't notice it for several rows, the best course of action for fixing it is to remove the work from the needle and simply rip out the rows you have completed since you made the mistake.
This process is known as frogging because you have to just "rip it" and move on. You are ripping out to where your mistake is and starting your pattern again from there.
KALknit along
KIPis an acronym for knitting in public. That's what it's called when you take your knitting with you and work on the train, in a park, at the ball game or basically anywhere other than your house.
LYSlocal yarn shop
Tink or Unknitting or Backwards KnittingTink is the term used by knitters to mean unknitting or knitting backward. Tink is actually knit spelled backward. By pulling the working yarn out one stitch at a time and transferring the stitches back from the right needle to the left, one by one.
When you notice a mistake in your knitting either in the row you are currently working on or the row you just finished working, the easiest way to fix it is to tink back to the problem stitch and start over.
It is not recommended that you tink over several rows because it takes a long time and is very nerve-wracking.
UFOunfinished object
WIPwork in progress

Getting back to my "I Love You" washcloth, if you would like to see an array of dish cloths and wash cloths with this same design technique go to Dish and Wash Cloth Mania. These are great especially if you are just starting out to improve your knitting. It's knits and purls that make up the patterns. You need to concentrate on the pattern and switch back and forth from a knit stitch to a purl stitch. They are fun to make and make great gifts. They can also be addictive. Try one and step out of your comfort zone.

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