Knitting is a versatile and creative craft that allows you to create beautiful and functional items using just a pair of needles and some yarn. One of the essential stitches in knitting is the purl stitch. While it may seem intimidating at first, learning how to purl is actually quite simple with a little practice and guidance.
The purl stitch creates a bumpy texture on your knitted fabric and is often used to create ribbing, seed stitch, and other decorative patterns. It is the opposite of the knit stitch and is essential in creating visual interest and variety in your knitting projects. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced knitter looking to expand your skills, this step-by-step tutorial will guide you through the process of purling.
To purl, you will need a pair of knitting needles and some yarn. Start by casting on a few stitches onto one of the needles, holding it in your right hand. With the other needle, insert it into the first stitch on the left needle from right to left. Hold the yarn in your left hand and bring it to the front of your work, between the two needles.
Gather the necessary materials
Before you can start learning how to purl stitch, you will need to gather the following materials:
- A pair of knitting needles
- A pair of scissors
Knitting needles: When it comes to knitting needles, there are various options to choose from. The most common types of knitting needles are straight needles, which have a pointed end on one side and a stopper on the other, and circular needles, which have two pointed ends connected by a flexible cable.
Yarn: The type of yarn you choose will depend on your project and personal preference. There are many different types of yarn available, such as wool, cotton, acrylic, and blends. You can also choose from various weights of yarn, ranging from super bulky to lace weight.
Scissors: You will need a pair of scissors to cut the yarn when you finish your project or need to change colors.
Once you have gathered all the necessary materials, you will be ready to start learning how to purl stitch in knitting.
Understand the basic knitting terminology
When starting out in the world of knitting, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the basic terminology used in patterns and instructions. Here are some key terms to help you get started:
1. Knit Stitch (k)
The knit stitch is the most basic stitch in knitting. It is formed by inserting the right-hand needle into the front of the stitch on the left-hand needle, wrapping yarn around the right-hand needle, and pulling a new loop through the stitch.
2. Purl Stitch (p)
The purl stitch is the reverse of the knit stitch. It is formed by inserting the right-hand needle into the front of the stitch on the left-hand needle, wrapping yarn under and over the right-hand needle, and pulling a new loop through the stitch.
3. Yarn Over (yo)
A yarn over is an increase that creates an extra stitch and an eyelet hole in your knitting. It is achieved by simply bringing the yarn over the needle from front to back.
4. Slip Stitch (sl)
A slip stitch is when a stitch is moved from the left-hand needle to the right-hand needle without knitting or purling it. This is often used for decorative purposes or to create loose stitches.
Decreasing is a technique used to reduce the number of stitches in your knitting. This can be done by knitting or purling two stitches together (k2tog or p2tog), passing a slipped stitch over (psso), or other methods.
Gauge refers to the number of stitches and rows per inch or centimeter in your knitted fabric. It is important to match the gauge specified in a pattern to ensure the correct sizing of your finished project.
7. Pattern Repeat
A pattern repeat is a set of instructions that is repeated multiple times in a knitting pattern. It is often indicated by a specific number of stitches or rows enclosed in brackets or parentheses.
8. Cast On
Cast on is the process of creating the initial stitches on the needle before starting a knitting project. There are various methods of casting on, such as the long-tail cast on, knitted cast on, or cable cast on.
9. Bind Off
Binding off, also known as casting off, is the process of finishing a knitting project by securing the stitches and creating a neat edge. It is done by knitting or purling two stitches together and passing the previous stitch over the new stitch.
By understanding these basic knitting terms, you’ll be well-equipped to follow knitting patterns and instructions with ease. Happy knitting!
Hold the knitting needles correctly
Mastering the correct way to hold your knitting needles is essential for successful knitting. Here are the steps to hold your knitting needles correctly:
- Start by holding one knitting needle in your dominant hand. If you are right-handed, hold the needle in your right hand. If you are left-handed, hold the needle in your left hand.
- Grip the knitting needle firmly but not too tightly. Your grip should be comfortable and relaxed.
- Place your thumb on top of the knitting needle to help stabilize it.
- Rest the knitting needle on your middle finger, with your index finger providing additional support.
- Hold the other knitting needle in your non-dominant hand. If you are right-handed, hold the needle in your left hand. If you are left-handed, hold the needle in your right hand.
- Grip the knitting needle in the same way as you did with the first one.
- Position both knitting needles parallel to each other, with the tips pointing in the same direction.
By holding the knitting needles correctly, you will have better control over your knitting and be able to execute different stitches more easily. Practice holding the knitting needles in this way until it becomes comfortable and natural.
Cast on stitches
In knitting, casting on stitches is the process of creating the foundation row of stitches on your needle before you start knitting. It is the first step in most knitting projects and is essential for creating any kind of knitted item.
There are several different methods for casting on stitches, but the two most commonly used methods are the long tail cast on and the knitted cast on.
Long Tail Cast On
The long tail cast on is a versatile method that creates a clean and stretchy edge. Here’s how to do it:
- Hold the needle with the slipknot in your right hand. The slipknot should be secure, but not too tight.
- With your left hand, hold the yarn so that it runs over your thumb and between your thumb and index finger.
- Take the needle in your right hand and insert it into the loop around your thumb from front to back.
- Bring the needle over the yarn that runs between your thumb and index finger, then insert the needle into the loop around your index finger from back to front.
- With your left hand, pull your thumb out of the loop, leaving a new loop on the needle.
- Repeat steps 3-5 until you have cast on the desired number of stitches.
The long tail cast on is great for most knitting projects and creates a neat edge that is easy to work with.
Knitted Cast On
The knitted cast-on method is a simple and versatile method that creates a firm edge. Here’s how to do it:
- Make a slipknot and place it on the left-hand needle.
- Hold the needle with the slipknot in your right hand.
- Insert the right-hand needle into the slipknot from front to back, as if to knit.
- Wrap the yarn around the right-hand needle counterclockwise, as if to knit.
- Pull the new loop through the slipknot, creating a new stitch on the right-hand needle.
- Repeat steps 3-5 until you have cast on the desired number of stitches.
The knitted cast on is a great method for beginners and creates a sturdy edge that is easy to work with.
Insert the Right Needle into the Stitch
To purl stitch, you will need to insert the right needle into the stitch on the left needle. Here is a step-by-step guide:
- Hold the knitting needles with the left hand holding the needle with the stitches and the right hand holding the empty needle.
- With the working yarn in front of the work, insert the right needle from the left to the right through the stitch on the left needle.
- Make sure the right needle is positioned under the left needle, with the left needle resting on top.
- Slide the right needle through the stitch, going under and towards the back of the left needle.
- Continue to slide the right needle through until it is completely through the stitch.
By inserting the right needle into the stitch, you are setting up the purl stitch. This is the first step in creating a purl stitch, which will create a smooth and textured pattern in your knitting.
Wrap the yarn around the right needle
Once you have your knitting needles in the correct position, it’s time to wrap the yarn around the right needle to create the purl stitch. Follow these steps:
- Hold the working yarn (the yarn attached to the ball) in your right hand and the knit stitch in your left hand.
- Insert the right needle from right to left into the front of the first stitch on the left needle.
- Bring the yarn under and around the right needle, crossing it from back to front.
- Keep the tension of the yarn slightly loose.
The yarn should now be wrapped around the right needle once, creating a loop. The loop will be the new stitch on the right needle.
If you’re a beginner knitter, it may take a few tries to get the tension and wrap of the yarn just right. Practice this motion before moving on to the next step of the purl stitch.
Pull the right needle through the stitch
Now that you have wrapped the yarn around your right needle to create a new loop on the left needle, it’s time to pull the right needle through the stitch.
Using your right hand, grasp the right needle firmly at the base near the tip. Make sure to hold the needle in a way that allows you to easily control its movement.
With a gentle but firm pull, slide the right needle through the stitch from left to right. This will help you create a new loop on the right needle by pulling the wrapped yarn through the stitch.
Keep in mind that it’s important to maintain a steady tension during this step to avoid any loose or tight stitches. Practice will help you find the right balance of tension as you become more familiar with the process.
Once the right needle has successfully passed through the stitch, you can now proceed to the next step in your knitting project. Congratulations on completing this crucial step in the purl stitch!
Slide the old stitch off the left needle
Once you have completed the purl stitch, the next step is to slide the old stitch off the left needle. This will transfer the stitched loop onto the right needle, where it will become the new stitch.
To slide the old stitch off, simply lift the left needle up and away from the work, allowing the loop to slip off and onto the right needle. Be careful not to pull too hard or the yarn may become too tight, making it difficult to work the next stitch.
As you slide the old stitch off, make sure to keep the tension on the yarn relaxed, allowing it to flow smoothly. This will result in a neat and even stitch.
Repeat these steps for each stitch in your row, working from left to right. With practice, you will become more comfortable with the motions and develop a consistent rhythm.
Sliding the old stitch off the left needle is an essential step in the knitting process, as it allows you to progress to the next stitch and create beautiful patterns and textures in your knitting.
Practice and master the purl stitch
The purl stitch is an essential technique in knitting that creates a smooth and textured fabric. To become proficient in the purl stitch, it’s important to practice and master the technique.
Here is a step-by-step guide to help you practice and master the purl stitch:
- Start by holding the knitting needles in your hands with the yarn attached to the back needle.
- Insert the right-hand needle into the first stitch on the left-hand needle from right to left.
- Wrap the yarn around the right-hand needle counterclockwise, crossing it over the top of the needle.
- With your right-hand needle, pull the wrapped yarn through the stitch on the left-hand needle, creating a new stitch on the right-hand needle.
- Slip the old stitch off the left-hand needle, leaving the newly created stitch on the right-hand needle.
- Repeat steps 2 to 5 for each stitch on the left-hand needle until you have completed the row.
- Once you have finished the row, turn your work and begin the next row by repeating steps 1 to 6.
- Continue practicing the purl stitch on various knitting projects to build your skill and speed.
It is important to remember that practicing the purl stitch regularly is the key to mastering it. As you become more comfortable with the technique, you can start incorporating it into different stitch patterns and designs.
Tips for practicing and mastering the purl stitch:
- Start with a practice swatch: Before moving on to larger projects, try creating a small swatch using the purl stitch to familiarize yourself with the technique.
- Take it slow: Initially, focus on getting the mechanics of the stitch right rather than trying to knit quickly.
- Use different yarns and needles: Experiment with different types of yarns and needle sizes to see how they affect the outcome of the purl stitch.
- Join a knitting group or class: Connecting with other knitters can provide valuable tips, guidance, and motivation as you practice the purl stitch.
By following these steps and tips, and dedicating time to regular practice, you will soon become proficient in the purl stitch and be able to create beautiful knitting projects with confidence.
What is a purl stitch in knitting?
A purl stitch is a basic knitting stitch that creates a smooth, raised texture on the fabric. It is the opposite of a knit stitch and is commonly used to create ribbing or to add texture to a pattern.
How do I purl stitch in knitting?
To purl stitch in knitting, insert the right-hand needle into the first stitch on the left-hand needle from right to left. Wrap the yarn counterclockwise around the right-hand needle. Pull the right-hand needle and the yarn through the stitch, slipping the old stitch off the left-hand needle. Repeat these steps for each stitch until you have completed the row.
What is the purpose of purl stitching in knitting?
Purl stitching in knitting serves several purposes. It creates a smooth, raised texture on the fabric, which can add depth and interest to a pattern. It is also commonly used to create ribbing, which is a stretchy and flexible fabric often used for cuffs, collars, and hems. Additionally, purl stitching can be used to add variety and contrast to a project.
Is purl stitching difficult for beginners in knitting?
Purl stitching can be a bit tricky for beginners in knitting, as it requires a different hand motion and yarn wrapping technique compared to knit stitching. However, with practice and patience, it can be mastered. It is recommended to start with basic purl stitches and gradually move on to more complex patterns as skills improve.
Can I use purl stitching in different knitting patterns?
Absolutely! Purl stitching can be used in a wide variety of knitting patterns. It can be used to create ribbing, cables, textured patterns, and much more. It is a versatile stitch that provides endless possibilities for creating unique and beautiful knitted projects.