What Is a Knit?

The word “knit” may suggest a process similar to weaving, but knit fabric differs from woven fabrics in several important ways. The most significant difference is that a knit is one continuous piece of thread (or close to it), while a woven will have a separate seam that separates threads into multiple pieces. This feature is what allows knits to stretch.

The other big difference is that a knit fabric won’t fray as easily as a woven. The reason for this is that the threads of a knit are interlocked and looped, rather than pressed flat and secured as they would be in a woven fabric. This characteristic also means that a knit won’t need to be finished (eg overlocked) around the edges, like a woven fabric will.

There are many varieties of knit fabric, including the most common, stockinette stitch. Stockinette stitch is a simple pattern that uses alternating wales of red and white stitches. Each wale secures the next wale up and down, which in turn secures the loops suspended below it.

A popular variation on this basic pattern is the cable knit, which adds a beautiful weaved texture to your fabric. When a knitting pattern calls for cables, the abbreviations of the instructions will usually include “Cable 6 front” or some other number that indicates how many stitches need to be held in back to form the cable. The words “Front” and “Back” will also be included, to guide you on where to place the stitch holder to create a cable that leans left or right. knit

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