Help with Albanian knitting terminology?
August 9, 2007 12:42 AM   Subscribe

Do you know Albanian knitting terminology? (No, seriously...)

Alas, Albanian's not covered in the Margaret Heathman classic "Knitting Languages." There's a lovely Albanian lady who lives across the street from my shop. I asked, through her son, who's royally annoying and doesn't know anything about knitting anyway, if she'd be interested in knitting some sample items for me and she said yes. Ideally, I'd like to cut him out of the communication equation altogether and get some questions and knitting terms written out so I can communicate what I need to her directly.

Any kind MeFites speak both Albanian and know how to knit?
posted by to Writing & Language (7 answers total)
Languagehat claims to own both an Albanian grammar and dictionary - perhaps he's got some recommendations.
posted by mdonley at 1:16 AM on August 9, 2007

You may also want to contact the Albanian American Women's Association, or, an Albanian cultural site.
posted by mdonley at 1:40 AM on August 9, 2007

What kind of pattern do you need translated? Is it very complex? Knitting charts may work for you, like you'd use for charting lace or cables.

If no joy, try posting on the knitting section of, I'm sure someone will be able to help you translate!
posted by indienial at 2:11 AM on August 9, 2007

Hi indienial -- yes, charts would be easy, presuming she knows and uses the same symbology. But I don't even know the words for things like knit, purl, etc so I can't even make a chart reference! I'm not so sure she'd know charts, though -- she struck me as a knows-it-by-heart-no-pattern-needed knitter, which makes it tougher...
posted by at 2:51 AM on August 9, 2007

Languagehat claims to own both an Albanian grammar and dictionary - perhaps he's got some recommendations.

I do indeed have those books, but I'm afraid knitting terminology is not likely to be covered in any depth. I'd say the Albanian American Women's Association is your best bet. For what it's worth, my English-Albanian Dictionary says 'knit' is thur; unfortunately, the only "purl" it has is the verb meaning 'gurgle.'
posted by languagehat at 7:25 AM on August 9, 2007

Okay, so are you working from an existing pattern? Or do you need to be able to explain the garment so she can make a sample from your description, ie "I want cables here, I want a crew-neck collar, I want XYZ stitch pattern on the sleeves"?

I have posted on the knitting section of for you, will let you know if anyone can help!
posted by indienial at 9:53 PM on August 9, 2007

Thanks, indienial...
posted by at 10:28 AM on August 10, 2007

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