forming and interlacing of loops using needles according to a prescribed manner or pattern, either by machine or by hand
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Knitting creates flexible fabric by looping thread or yarn together using two or more knitting needles or a knitting machine.

Flat knitting by hand

Types of knitting


Flat knitting


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

Circular knitting


Circular knitting, which is done on circular needles, or needles that have points on both ends, produces a seamless tube and is used to create things like hats, socks, mittens, rings, and sleeves.

Cable knitting


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


Circular, straight, and double-pointed needles

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.



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