Margaret Kavanagh

18 Slang Phrases: The Bare Essentials Plus a Few More

Socially Acceptable Crochet Slang Phrases

This craft is full of abbreviations and acronyms like dc for double crochet and hdc for half double. Getting to know those standards is important, obviously. But, crafters who craft socially also need to know slang. Yes, it's a real thing.

So, if you don't know what I mean when I say: “I finally got my crojo back! I picked up an old WIP and after frogging half of it, I played yarn chicken and lost. So I'm headed out on a YART to my LYS and maybe JOANN's to bulk up my stash. Wanna go?”, buckle up! Slang school is in session!

Socially Acceptable Slang You Might Hear Around Town & Online

Now, I thought about the best way to organize these terms and phrases, and of course, I could have just put them in alphabetical order, but I wanted to really give you a feel for how they're used so you got a better understanding of each one. So, I decided to group them together by meaning. Here we go!


Slang About Your Project

I'm calling this first group Project Status because each term relates to a project and the state it's in. Don't worry, it will all make sense in a few minutes. Hopefully.

    • WIP – This is pronounced “whip” and you hear it a lot. It means Work In Progress. Don't ever let anyone shame you for having a few WIPs. It's completely normal to have more than one project going at a time, depending on your mood, obligations, or circumstances.
    • HOTH – Although it IS the name of a planet in Star Wars, it also means Hot Off The Hook, as in, something you've just finished.
    • PHD – This stands for Project Half Done – as in, “I've got a Ph.D. in PHDs.” This is actually the only way I've seen this term used in the wild.
    • UFO – Contrary to the preferred Unidentified Flying Object, in yarn art, this means UnFinished Object. Hardy har har! 👽
    • TOAD – And perhaps saddest of all, TOAD stands for Trashed Object Abandoned in Disgust. Been there. In fact, this leads me to our next group.


All the Slang

So, this category was hard to define. But you'll catch on because you're a artist! If you have a TOAD, it's sitting there, all full of yarn. What are you going to do? Throw it away? NO! That's perfectly good yarn (probably)!

Eventually, you're going to have to “frog” it. That's right! When you have a TOAD, you frog it. Read on!

    • Frog – This is slang for ripping out stitches. Possibly from, “rip it, rip it” which sounds like ribbit, ribbit, like a frog. Pretty funny!
    • Crojo – Slang for Crochet mojo. It means your zest for yarn. Your passion or yearning for the craft. Sometimes, you just don't feel like it. You've lost your crojo and even squishy yarn has no appeal. Weeks go by. Then, suddenly, you spy a cool technique or a stitch you've never seen and you find your crojo has returned! Who cares that you have PABLE or SABLE? You leap into action and run to the yarn store. Crojo is a powerful thing!
    • PABLE – This is an acronym that stands for Pattern Accumulation Beyond Life Expectancy. In other words, you have more patterns (or some say Projects) than you could do in a lifetime. But that's just silly. You never know what pattern you'll actually need at any given moment! They're like Pokémon. You gotta get 'em all.
    • SABLE – Much like PABLE, there's SABLE, which means Stash Accumulation Beyond Life Expectancy. I'll explain “stash” in a bit. But let's just say that this is OBVIOUSLY an impossible thing. Yep. Not a real thing. Clearly sarcasm with this one.
    • Yarn Chicken – This is a very exciting game for any yarn artist who likes to gamble. Picture this: You have just a partial row left before your big project is finally done! You look over and are surprised to see that your yarn skein is down to just a few strands! Will you have enough yarn left to finish? Your pulse picks up! It's a race to the end, folks! It's an unexpected game of >>YARN CHICKEN!<< Whew, my heart started racing just writing that!

crochet slang yarn chicken “Yarn Chicken” is slang for a race to the finish when you're running out of yarn on a project. This is a much cuter version. It's the Clucky Hen Doorstop pattern by Murray Stewart from Happily Hooked issue #22 (Jan 2016).
(Lifetime Members, it's already in your library.)

YES! It's Yarn! Let's Talk About Yarn!

So, yarn. YARN! I do love my yarn. And your yarn. And that yarn over there, and there. It's just awesome, lovely, beautiful stuff and I probably have more than I'll be able to use realistically, but it doesn't stop me from buying more. Because I love it.

In a way, I guess you could also consider many of us as yarn collectors. Or curators, if you'd like to get fancy. It's really not fair because other obsessiv…uh, curators aren't expected to use up their collections. But, I digress. Let's move on to the slang o'yarn. The yarn slang. Starting with the name for the curated collection.

    • Stash – This is a slang term for your carefully curated collection of yarn: Whether you've organized it by color, weight, and fiber in a lovely barrister cabinet. Or, you've “stashed” it in every empty container you can find so no one (cough) ruins it. Your yarn supply is your stash. Sad, isn't it?
    • LYS – An acronym for Local Yarn Store which usually means an independent yarn store, rather than a big box store. This is where you can find the BEST stuff. And where you can spend the MOST money. And where you should ask people to shop for you when they want to know what you want for your birthday, anniversary, get well present, thank you gift, etc. In fact, if your LYS doesn't already have a gift registry, maybe you should encourage them to set one up.
    • Yarn Barf – This sounds gross, but it's actually slang for the tangled mess of yarn that comes out from the center of a skein of yarn when you only mean to pull a single strand. You know what I mean. You get a nice new skein or cake of yarn, right? It's pristine and you're totally psyched to use it. So, you gently pull out the loose end that starts from under the label, and you carefully tuck it completely under there so it doesn't get messy. Then, you start fishing around in the center of the skein, figuring that you'll easily find the yarn's working end. Hmm … where is that bugger? Is that it? Nope, just a loop you pulled up. A minute or two more of this. You finally pull out the loosest loop you can find because otherwise, you'll never get started. And, you end up having to tug out a whole clump of yarn. Sigh. Yarn Barf. It untangles in a nanosecond, so why couldn't it do that IN the stupid skein? No clue. That's the nature of yarn barf.
    • PlarnPlastic yarn or strands of craft-able material made from plastic, usually plastic bags, sometimes cassette tapes or VHS tapes. This idea is close to 50 years old if you can believe it. It's a great way to transform materials. This isn't limited to slang, but you'll definitely hear it from time to time.
    • YART – When you need to get more yarn, it's time to go on a Yarn Acquisition Road Trip. Whether you go to your LYS or a bigger box store, it's time to go shopping! WHEEEEE! Just try to avoid a Thelma and Louise ending and you'll be fine.


Other Popular Slang Terms You'll Hear

And last, but not least, here are a few more terms out there you'll hear. They don't really fit into a good category, so I stuck them here. Heh.

    • CAL – This is an acronym for a SUPERFUN project called a Craft-A-Long. Sometimes it's written as a Craft-ALong. Either way, it means that you work on the project one part at a time. And, you do it at the same time as a whole group of other artists. The best part about it is that you compare how it's coming along with each other through comments, posts, pictures, and so on. Happily Hooked Members get to participate in one or two of these every time we publish a new issue, which is twice every month! It's called the #shawtneychallenge (Shawna + Courtney = Shawtney).  It is HUGELY popular. Also, we do a CAL Temperature Blanket every year, and this year, we're also doing an MCAL, which is a MYSTERY Along! That means that you won't know what the finished project even IS until you're all done! So FUN!!! (But, it is for members only!)
    • JAYGO – This is NOT a carbonated drink, it is an acronym for a Join As You GO project. So, if you have a blanket that has motifs (think Granny Squares or similar), you can join them at the end, or you can make them on to one another using the join-as-you-go method. JAYGO.
    • Yarn Bomb – Art is beautiful, so more art is more beautiful, right? That's the idea behind the yarn bomb, which is basically public graffiti with yarn. A yarn bombing is when a decorative piece of art is strung up in a public place—sometimes without permission and in secret. So, imagine you wake up one morning and your newspaper vending box on the sidewalk is suddenly covered in colorful granny squares! What? It's been yarn bombed by someone! Sometimes it's for a cause, sometimes it's to spread a political message, and sometimes it's to spread cheer.


Now, You're Caught Up

So you know the most important stuff and can hang with the cool kids. Or you don't have to, but at least you know what they're saying. Stay tuned for an upcoming post about slang that SHOULD be popular, but isn't—yet!

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Blog Manager & Columnist Coordinator at Happily Hooked | + posts

I've been crocheting since my mother taught me as a little girl. I'm lucky to be working with Happily Hooked and I can't wait to share everything yarny and hooky with you! Yarn over, peeps! Yarn over!

Margaret Kavanagh

I've been crocheting since my mother taught me as a little girl. I'm lucky to be working with Happily Hooked and I can't wait to share everything yarny and hooky with you! Yarn over, peeps! Yarn over!

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