A is for acronyms

I love jargon and acronyms. They get a bad rep, and sometimes for good reasons, but they have some  great qualities. You can talk to someone in your “field” using a wonderful verbal short hand, and often they’re laced with humour and in-jokes. They should never be used to exclude someone, but it can be nice to have a verbal secret handshake for when you meet one of your own in the wild. I also find it interesting how quickly we adapt language to suit us.

Some of my favourite knitting acronyms, initialisms and jargon.

WIP: Work in progress. I have far too many of these.

UFO: Unfinished object. Like a WIP but more pessimistic.

WPI: Wraps per inch, a way of measuring the thickness of a yarn. Useful for spinners or knitters who want to go beyond the standard categorisations.

DPN: Double pointed needles, brilliant for socks and gloves.

Tink: Knit backwards, in both senses, unknitting back to a mistake.

Frog: Rip-it, rip-it! Sometimes there’s no saving a project. (Ok, not technically an acronym, but an important piece of knitting jargon.)

SABLE: Stash acquisition beyond life expectancy. This may be a personal goal of mine!

Of course, those are just the fun ones. On a practical level, all of knitting, whether you choose written instructions or charts are written in a secret code of k, p, yo, k2tog, kfb, and more. It can take a while to worm your way into this new world of words, but once you do all possibilities are opened up before you.

We’re alphablogging for April. Check back every day for a new mini-post on a different letter.

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