Knitting 101: The Purl Stitch

Oi, I got really behind on this series. I do plan to catch up. I’ll do so by doing two posts a day until I’m current. That will allow me to add enough posts but not totally overwhelm email subscribers. Here’s the next one.


The purl stitch is the exact opposite of the knit stitch. If you remember from yesterday, to make a knit stitch, you have the yarn in back and the needle goes through the old stitch left to right. Purling is a bit more difficult than knitting, but not terribly so. Here’s how you do it. 

First, bring your working yarn between the two needles to the front of the work. The “between the needles” is vital here. If you go over either needle by mistake, you’ll end up with what’s called an “accidental yarn over,” which (when not done by mistake) is a design element that creates a hole in the work (primarily used in lace knitting).

So… bring the yarn to the front of the work. Between the needles.


Insert the right needle into the next stitch on the left needle from right to left. 


Wrap the yarn around the needle counterclockwise (this part is the same) and pull it back through the old stitch. 



Pull the old old stitch off, just like you did when you were doing the knit stitch. 


Now, I mentioned that purls are harder than knits. So why would you want to use them instead? Well, it’s more that you use them also, not instead, because in order to get that “knit” look (the series of Vs, which is called stockinette) while working a flat piece of knitting, you knit the first row and then purl the next, going back and forth. So to get that signature look, you have to know how to both knit and purl.


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