Terminology

The earliest examples of knitted items date back to the 3rd to 5th century AD (Victoria and Albert Museum). For much of the history of knitting, the techniques had to be handed down through an oral tradition, so it is not surprising that there are many names for the same technique.

In the t-reference section of this website I have been guided by the terminology introduced by June Hemmons Hiatt in The Principles of Knitting, but I also mention other names for techniques as “also known as” within the index and articles. That said, I prefer “public” and “private” side to “outside” and “inside”.

Although I try to use the same terminology in other sections, I record t-breaks and t-torials without reading from a script, with the result that I am less consistent in the use of terminology.

List of terms

Private side

Also known as: wrong side, inside, back.

The side of knitted fabric that is not intended to be seen. Some fabrics may be folded (such as a collar on a sweater), in which case the “private side” is the one that is leastvisible. Other fabrics may be designed to have both sides equally visible, such as a reversible scarf, in which case the designer is likely to have defined a term that makes it possible to distinguish between the two sides.

Public side

Also known as: right side, outside, front.

The side of knitted fabric that is intended to be seen. Some fabrics may be folded (such as a collar on a sweater), in which case the “public side” is the one that is most visible. Other fabrics may be designed to have both sides equally visible, such as a reversible scarf, in which case the designer is likely to have defined a term that makes it possible to distinguish between the two sides.

Referenced documents