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Wolseley Wool

Are We Speaking The Same Language?


Although Wolseley Wool may feel like your home away from home, sometimes we appear to be speaking a completely different language. If entering a yarn shop or taking a knitting class is foreign territory, increase your comfort zone by learning some knitter’s lingo. The next time you overhear one of us talking about frogging a project we played yarn chicken with, you’ll feel right at home rather than like a fish out of water.

Talk the talk with the following knitter’s terms:


To frog a project is to unravel it, or rip it, which sounds like ribbit (the noise a frog makes). See, a perfectly logical explanation.



This stands for local yarn store (or shop). Increase your knitterly cachet by referring to Wolseley Wool as your LYS.


We like to have lots of this!! SEX is an abbreviation for stash enrichment expedition. This is one of those times where you can’t have enough of a good thing.


Knitters talk about SABLEs in hushed voices, as if they’re letting you in on something they’d rather keep quiet. We think a knitter who has reached SABLE, or stash acquisition beyond life expectancy, has earned some serious bragging rights, so be proud and be loud about your SABLE.


Yarn Chicken

Your favourite yarn in cotton candy pink goes on clearance sale at your LYS. You grab the last six hanks for the cabled sweater you can’t stop thinking about, knowing the yarn will be perfect. However, somewhere deep down, you know you really need seven hanks — but you’re willing to chance it. This is yarn chicken. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. When you’ve been playing it long enough, you realize the odds are not in your favour, and it’s not worth the risk.


This abbreviation stands for double-pointed needles, which are used for knitting in the round. Next time you’re knitting socks, hats or mitts, ask us for DPNs, then nod and give a double tap on the side of your nose — you’re in the know.



If you’re like us, you’ve seen a few UFOs in your day. Not in the sky, but in every nook and cranny of a knitter’s dwelling. These unfinished objects can number from the single digits to hundreds, and can be months or years away from becoming an FO.


When we say show us your FOs, we mean your finished objects. Everybody loves an FO.



This word is k-n-i-t spelled backward. And that is literally what you do when you tink something. Rather than unravel a project when a mistake is discovered, tinking involves unknitting, or reversing stitches, usually by inserting the needle in the stitch below, stitch after stitch, row after row, until the error is corrected.


Blocking your project is the last—and sometimes most important—step in the knitting process. It’s also a step most knitters like to omit, but it’s easier done than said. A steam block takes about one minute: hold an iron on the steam setting above the garment and steam all over without touching the iron to the garment. Let the piece dry flat for about 30 minutes.

A wet block takes less time than brushing and flossing. Soak the garment in a bucket or sink with mild soap in lukewarm water for about five minutes. Rinse the item and then roll it in a towel to squeeze out excess water. Lay the piece flat to dry and, hey presto, a beautiful garment!

Why block? It shapes the garment and settles the stitches to perfection — the question is why wouldn’t you?



We did a shop tally and we currently have 56 works in progress between us. Whether you’re a one-at-a-time project knitter or you start a new garment every other day, it’s not the number that counts, but how happy it makes you.

Let us know your favourite knitting jargon in the comment box below!! We’d love to hear from you.

Want to become more fluent? Click on the links for more ways to express yourself in the fibre arts world.