Etymology
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knit (v.)
Old English cnyttan "to tie with a knot, bind together, fasten by tying," related to Old Norse knytja "bind together, form into a knot," Middle Low German knütten "to tie, knot," Old English cnotta "a knot," from Proto-Germanic *knuttjan, from stem *knutt-. Of brows, late 14c. Intransitive meaning "do knitting, weave by looping or knotting a continuous thread" (especially in reference to plain stitch) is from 1520s. Intransitive meaning "become compact or consolidated" is from c. 1600. Related: Knitted; knitting. For pronunciation, see kn-.
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knitter (n.)
mid-15c., "that which ties or knits" in any sense, agent noun from knit (v.). Meaning "one who does knitting work" is from 1510s (c. 1300 as a surname). Occasionally knitster (1640s).
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unknit (v.)
Old English uncnyttan; see un- (2) "reverse" + knit (v.). Related: Unknitted; unknitting.
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knitting (n.)
late 14c., "a fastening with a rope or thread;" mid-15c., "a joining or binding together," verbal noun from knit (v.). In Middle English also "unity; a bond, unifying force; interconnection; a relationship," but these are lost. Meaning "act of weaving a continuous thread by loops or knots" is from 1711. Meaning "knitted work, work done by a knitter" is from 1848. Knitting-needle is from 1590s.
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braid (v.)

"to plait, knit, weave, twist together," c. 1200, breidan, from Old English bregdan "to move quickly, pull, shake, swing, throw (in wrestling), draw (a sword); bend, weave, knit, join together; change color, vary; scheme, feign, pretend" (class III strong verb, past tense brægd, past participle brogden), from Proto-Germanic *bregdanan "make sudden jerky movements from side to side" (compare Old Norse bregða "to brandish, turn about, move quickly; braid;" Old Saxon bregdan "to weave, braid;" Old Frisian brida "to twitch (the eye);" Dutch breien "to knit;" Old High German brettan "to draw, weave, braid"), perhaps from a PIE root *bhrek- (compare Sanskrit bhurati "moves quickly," Lithuanian bruzdùs "fast"), but there are phonetic difficulties. In English the verb survives only in the narrow definition of "plait hair." Related: Braided; braiding.

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tricot (n.)
knitted fabric, 1859, from French tricot "knitting, knitted work," from tricoter "to knit," of uncertain origin, probably a variant of Old French estriquer "to smooth," from a Germanic source (such as Middle Low German striken "pass over lightly").
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mesh (n.)

late 14c., mesche, "open space in a net or netting," probably from late Old English max "net," earlier mæscre, from Proto-Germanic *mask- (source also of Old Norse möskvi, Danish maske, Swedish maska, Old Saxon masca, Middle Dutch maessce, Dutch maas "mesh," Old High German masca, German Masche "mesh"), from PIE *mezg- "to knit, plait, twist" (source also of Lithuanian mezgu, megzti "to knit," mazgas "knot"). In machinery, "the engagement of the teeth in gearing" (by 1875). Mesh-work in netting is attested by 1785.

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tow (n.1)
"the coarse, broken fibers of flax, hemp, etc., separated from the finer parts," late 14c., probably from Old English tow- "spinning" (in towlic "fit for spinning," tow-hus "spinning-room"), perhaps cognate with Gothic taujan "to do, make," Middle Dutch touwen "to knit, weave," from Proto-Germanic *taw- "to manufacture" (see taw (v.)).
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purl (v.1)

"knit with inverted stitches," 1825; earlier "embroider with gold or silver thread" (1520s), probably from Middle English pirlyng "revolving, twisting," of unknown origin. The two senses usually are taken as one word, but even this is not certain. Klein suggests a source in Italian pirolare "to twirl," from pirolo "top." As a noun, from late 14c. as "bordering, frills;" 1530s as "twisted thread of gold and silver."

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fit (v.)
c. 1400, "to marshal or deploy (troops);" early 15c. as "be fitting or proper, be suitable," from fit (adj.) and perhaps in part from Scandinavian (compare Old Norse fitja "knit"). From 1580s as "be the right shape." Transitive sense of "provide with what is suitable" is from 1590s; that of "make fit or suitable, bring into corresponding form or condition" is from c. 1600. Related: Fitted; fitting. Fitted sheets is attested from 1948.
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