Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
The Collaborative International Dictionary
Knitting \Knit"ting\, n.
The work of a knitter; the network formed by knitting; knitwork.
Union formed by knitting, as of bones.
Knitting machine, one of a number of contrivances for mechanically knitting stockings, jerseys, and the like.
Knitting needle, a stiff rod, as of steel wire, with rounded ends for knitting yarn or threads into a fabric, as in stockings.
Knitting sheath, a sheath to receive the end of a needle in knitting.
n. A long, thin, pointed rod, used in pairs to knit yarn
n. needle consisting of a slender rod with pointed ends; usually used in pairs
A knitting needle or knitting pin is a tool in hand-knitting to produce knitted fabrics. They generally have a long shaft and taper at their end, but they are not nearly as sharp as sewing needles. Their purpose is two-fold. The long shaft holds the active (unsecured) stitches of the fabric, to prevent them from unravelling, whereas the tapered ends are used to form new stitches. Most commonly, a new stitch is formed by inserting the tapered end through an active stitch, catching a loop (also called a bight) of fresh yarn and drawing it through the stitch; this secures the initial stitch and forms a new active stitch in its place. In specialized forms of knitting the needle may be passed between active stitches being held on another needle, or indeed between/through inactive stitches that have been knit previously.
The size of a needle is described first by its diameter and secondly by its length. The size of the new stitch is determined in large part by the diameter of the knitting needle used to form it, because that affects the length of the yarn-loop drawn through the previous stitch. Thus, large stitches can be made with large needles, whereas fine knitting requires fine needles. In most cases, the knitting needles being used in hand-knitting are of the same diameter; however, in uneven knitting, needles of different sizes may be used. Larger stitches may also be made by wrapping the yarn more than once around the needles with every stitch. The length of a needle determines how many stitches it can hold at once; for example, very large projects such as a shawl with hundreds of stitches might require a longer needle than a small project such as a scarf or bootie. Various sizing systems for needles are in common use.