In Progress: The CKC Nomenclature for Knitting and Crochet

In July, CKC’s Nomenclature Committee began recruiting members for a working group to develop a final version of the CKC Nomenclature for Knitting and Crochet. Jolie Elder, CKC’s former Vice President and current Nomenclature Committee Chair will lead this initiative over the next year. Once complete, the CKC Nomenclature for Knitting and Crochet will be made freely available as a resource for anyone who wishes to describe and catalogue knit and crochet items more accurately, using terminology familiar to our field.

Jennifer Lindsay, CKC’s President, notes that “we are excited about engaging CKC members and professionals in the field to help us finalize and publish this vital resource.  By providing museum professionals and the public with a descriptive nomenclature based on terms in general use among makers, we can make objects that seldom see the light of day more accessible to those who care about them, and increase opportunities for preservation, exhibition, scholarship, and enjoyment.”

The group will be reviewing the DRAFT CKC Nomenclature, building on work done on behalf of the CKC by June Hemmons Hiatt, author of The Principles of Knitting: Methods and Techniques of Hand Knitting,Rev. ed., Touchstone, 2012 and Edie Eckman, the noted crochet designer, instructor, and author. Nomenclature Committee Chair Jolie Elder states “June and Edie have created what we think is a solid draft document. We will find out how good it is as we vet it against the diverse needs of academics, curators, and collectors.”

Cheryl Klimaszewski, CKC’s current Secretary, is looking forward to taking an active role in the Nomenclature review.  “In addition to being an engaging exercise for people who like to think conceptually about the universe of knit and crochet knowledge, the outcome of this project will be a real, workable guide to describing these kinds of objects in all their complexity. Developing this nomenclature has the potential to really open up different avenues for research related to knit and crochet.”  For example, existing vocabularies provide general terms to describe the miser’s purse shown in the photo above: miser’s purses; knitting; crochet; and beadwork. The CKC’s nomenclature will expand possibilities for more complex description by providing standardized terms related to an object’s construction, stitch techniques, materials and yarn types, and more.

The group includes CKC members Elizabeth “Lizzie” Barrie, Vashti Braha, Lorin “Mim” Bird, Edie Eckman, Melissa Johnson, Rebecca Keyel, Lynne Paschetag and Angharad Thomas, whose collective interests and expertise include pattern design, sustainability, museums and collections, teaching and research, as well as cataloging and metadata. As the document develops, participation in the nomenclature review may be possible at different levels. If you have skills, experience, and interest in the history of knitting and crochet, including terminology and techniques, and want to help, please contact Jolie Elder at: