Gathers knit into a pullover sweater using stitch decreases.
In knitting, a gather is a generic term for the several methods that draw stitches closer together laterally, i.e., within a row of knitting. Common methods include:
In binding, a yarn loop is passed over 2 or more stitches in the same row (usually adjacent to the binding loop); also known as a pullover stitch.
In clustering, the yarn is wound laterally around a set of stitches in the same row, possibly several times; also known as a wrap stitch.
Smocking is a sewing or embroidery technique in which the tiny pleats are drawn together with thread or yarn. Before the development of elastic, smocking was used to provide a stretchable, flexible panel of fabric.
Ruching created by sewing stitches down the centre of a fabric strip, then pulling one end of the thread to gather the fabric.
In the sewing technique, ruching, a large number of increases are introduced in one row, which are then removed by decreases a few rows later. This produces many small vertical ripples in the fabric, effectively little pleats. The technique of shirring produces a similar effect by gathering the fabric in two parallel rows (not necessarily horizontal), usually by smocking.