How do you knit: “à  l’endroit” or “à  l’envers” ?

Filed under: french,translation — March 15, 2012 @ 10:17 am

Every now and again, I’ll translate a french pattern that’s a bit more complicated… and one potential issue is definitively this “endroit” versus “envers” issue. I won’t go in detail about this particular issue yet, but thought it would be a good idea to go back to basics, with those words quite specific to the french knitting lingo.
knitting - tricoter à  l'envers ou à  l'endroit
While the english language distinguishes between the action of knitting and purling, in french there is no such distinction:
Both are called “tricoter“. But we’ll be told either to do it the regular way “tricoter à  l’endroit“, or the reversed way “tricoter à  l’envers“.

This alone can be a bit annoying IMO, because when adding french abreviations, this will read either
tric. à  l’env. OR tric. à  l’endr.
Maybe it’s just me, but I keep getting mixed up when reading those, they just look so similar: just imagine a whole pattern of “tric 2 m endr, 3 m env, 2 m ens à  l’endr, 3 m env, 2 m endr“… It’s just nowhere as easy to read (or translate!!) as would be “k2, p3, k2tog, p3, k2” !!!

And then there’s another meaning of this endroit/envers terms: they also mean the Right Side /Wrong side of work. Are you still following me ?

All in all, it’s not very unusual to read something like :

tric. 1 rg env. sur l’endr. et 1 rg endr. sur l’env.

which as you probably easily guessed

Just leaving a few lines to give you a chance to figure it out by yourself :-P

means : p 1 row on RS and k 1 row on WS



  1. nathalie:

    tric. 1 rg env. sur lâ??endr. et 1 rg endr. sur lâ??env.
    purl 1 row on RS, knit 1 row on WS

    en tant que traductrice tricot/crochet professionnelle, quand je peux, je tricote toujours à partir de lâ??anglais que je trouve plus concis, même quand j’ai traduit ce modèle !!!!!

    par contre, si les Anglais et les Américains pouvaient se mettre d’accord sur les termes au crochet, ce serait beaucoup plus simple !!!!!

  2. Miranda:

    Thank you for your very helpful articles on how to translate French knitting patterns! I was looking at Muriel Agator’s books and patterns and wondered if I could manage to figure them out. I think I might be able to with the help of your French knitting dictionary:)

  3. Administrator:

    Merci Miranda ! I’m glad if that helps :-)

    Et whoups Nathatlie, oui tu as raison je me suis embrouillée les pinceaux ! Je corrige ça dans la foulée !! :-P

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