How To: Knit the Purl Stitch

Knit the Purl Stitch

There are two basic stitches in knitting.  One is the Knit Stitch.  The other is the Purl Stitch.  All knitting patterns are based on these stitches, so you'll want to know how to do both of them.  The Knit side of your work is generally called the Front or Right side, whereas the Purl side is generally called the Back or Wrong side.  This is important to remember when you're following a pattern. 

Follow these directions to learn how to Purl.

Step 1

After you have cast on and knitted to the end of the row, turn the work around.

Step 2

Hold the needle with the stitches in your left hand and the empty needle in your right hand with the loose end hanging in FRONT of your work.  The needles should be pointed toward one another.

Step 3

Insert the right needle through the front of the stitch on the left needle.  The needles will form an "X" with the right needle on top of the left needle.  Make sure that the yarn is in FRONT of the needle.

How to Knit the Purl Stitch

Step 4

Keep the needles crossed in the "X" position by holding both needles with the thumb, index and middle fingers of your left hand.  Do this by holding the right needle with the thumb nail on top facing you, and the nails of the index and middle fingers underneath that right needle and facing away.  Wrap the yarn around front needle, counterclockwise, from the back bringing the yarn around and in front of the right needle.

Step 5

Holding the yarn in place around the needle with thumb and index finger of your right hand, push the right needle down and away from you through the center of the stitch on the left needle.  The right needle will now be behind the left needle.

How to Knit the Purl Stitch

Step 6

Pull the remaining yarn off the left hand by pulling the right needle to the right so the newly formed stitch slides off the left needle onto the right needle.

Step 7

Continue to end of row and all the stitches are on the right needle.

How to Knit the Purl Stitch

You have now Purled your first row!  Check out the video below for an easy, up close demonstration of the Purl Stitch.

Video demonstration of the purl stitch

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