Purl Stitch

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Learn all the basics of knitting, including how to do the purl stitch with an EXPERT from the comfort of your own home!

Go from zero knowledge to knitter. Learn the essential skills that every knitter should know to knit with confidence! Caddy Ledbetter teaches you how in her online Craftsy class Learn to Knit.

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This is the second stitch that most people learn in knitting. After getting the hang of the knit stitch, some really struggle with purling and find it slower going.  With practice, this stitch will become second nature.

For the purl stitch, always remember to keep the working yarn in front of your needles.  If switching from knit  to purl stitch, you will move your working yarn from the back of the work to the front of the work, between the needles, to prepare for a purl stitch.

Pattern Abbreviation:  p 


To work the purl stitch:

Purl Stitch, Step 1


Step 1:  You must first cast on or pick up stitches to have a foundation of stitches on your left needle.  (See Knit Tutorial Index for techniques used to cast on or pick up stitches.)

Purl Stitch, Step 2


Step 2: Holding your working yarn to the front and keeping yarn tensioned over your left index finger, insert the needle from back to front through the first loop on the needle.   Keep the left needle under the right needle and the yarn to the front of the work..

With your left index finger, bring the working yarn over the top to the bottom over the right needle to create a loop.

Purl Stitch, Step 3


Step 3:  Pull the loop on the right needle back out through the stitch on the left needle.

Purl Stitch, Step 4


Step 4: Moving your right needle, slip the stitch off of the left needle  This completes a purl stitch.  Continue to make as many purl stitches in the row as desired.