Purl Stitch Tutorial
Every fancy knit stitch or intricate pattern is created from only two types of stitches. That’s right, just two! Recap time: If you read the tutorial on the knit stitch then you’re halfway there. Purl stitch is basically a backward knit stitch. If you look at a regular sweater, the purl stitch is the one that makes the bumpy side. A knit stitch makes the smooth side with little “v” shaped stitches.
Here’s the fun part, the backside of a knit stitch looks like the front side of a purl stitch. And visa-versa. Using knit vs purl stitches depends on what you want you want the front of your work to look like.
Creating a stitch involves inserting the right needle into first stitch on the left needle. Insert the needle from the front to the back with yarn held in the back to create a knit stitch. Insert the needle from back to the front with yarn held in the front to create a purl stitch.
So let’s break down the purl stitch. Make sure you’ve got your yarn and needles and you have stitches cast on. Don’t freak out if that meant nothing to you. Click back through the getting started guide and tutorial on how to cast on stitches and you’ll be all set!
Hold the needle with the stitches in your left hand. Insert the right hand needle into the first stitch from back to front. The pointy end of the right needle should point toward you.
Hold the yarn tail in front of the work. Loop the yarn around the right needle from right to left. Make sure the yarn comes forward in between the two needles.
Bring the right needle from the front to the back. Make sure to catch the looped yarn tail with the tip of the right needle.
Slip the first stitch off the left needle. You now have a new stitch on the right needle.
Repeat steps 1-4 until all the stitches have been worked from the left needle to the right needle. Each time you move all the stitches from the left needle to the right needle is called a Row. Move the needles with the stitches to your left hand and purl another row. Keep going until your piece is as long as you want it to be.
Yarn is held along the front of the work for a purl stitch.
Hold the yarn with whichever hand feels right for you.
I wrap the yarn tail around my pinky finger to help create a little tension on the stitches. Read up on what tension is and why it’s important here.
Holding the needles and yarn and coordinating both hands to work together can take some time to master. The only way to get better at this is to PRACTICE! Don’t worry, it’ll soon start to feel normal/comfortable/like an extension of your body.
So there you go! Keep practicing! If you are brand new, you’ll practice this stitch today and then tomorrow pick up the needles and feel like you are starting from scratch again. Don’t Freak Out! Don’t give up! Bookmark this page and come back tomorrow and we’ll go through it again. You’ll build up muscle memory and this will get easier!