Knitting is a process that creates fabric by interlocking loops of yarn. Many people use the word knit to describe any stretchy fabric, but a true knit is only created by knitting (whether hand or machine). Woven fabrics can also be stretchy, but they do not have the same process that knits do.
Knitted fabric is typically made of cotton, wool or acrylic. These materials are considered the best for knits due to their elasticity and softness, as well as their resistance to abrasion and pilling. However, many knitters prefer to use other types of yarn such as silk, cashmere, mohair and angora. These yarns are more expensive, but have unique characteristics that can add to the quality of a knit.
The most common way to knit is by holding two needles in each hand. When working in this technique, stitches are moved from the left needle to the right as you complete each row of your work. This method can be quite challenging for beginners and may require a lot of practice before becoming proficient.
Other methods of knitting include continental and Russian styles. With continental style, the yarn is held in the left hand for both knitting and purling. The yarn is then wrapped around the index finger of that hand, so it comes over and behind the stitch being worked and back up to the front of the finger. This method can be less awkward for more experienced knitters, but it requires special care to keep the stitches secure in the right position. knit