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Knitting - Purl Stitch

Knitting - Purl Stitch
Total views : 9224    21 . 10 . 2009


Knitting is an all time favourite craft as it fulfills a basic need for warm clothes. It is simply the interlocking of lines of loops (yarns mainly of wool) made by two needles- an art that can be easily and quickly mastered. If you use your imagination, you can make sweaters, booties, rugs, shawls etc in an endless variety of patterns and designs with a combination of Knit, Purl and other stitches. The earliest known samples of knitting date from 7th century Arabia.


Knitting needles are made of plastic, aluminium and wood. They come in a wide range of sizes, types and lengths . Single pointed straight needles are used when you work back and forth in rows, Double pointed needles are used in sets of four for working tubular knitting such as socks and mittens. Circular needles are usually used for knitting skirts or other tubular garments when you work in rounds. Small needles are used for thin yarn and larger needles for heavy yarn. 

Yarns are available in a variety of materials like wool (light, medium and heavy), cotton , synthetic, jute and so on. They differ as to twist, size, texture and weight. 


Gauge means the number of stitches and rows per inch. Gauge will be specified in the directions given for a particular design. It is important to maintain the gauge specified in the design to get the correct size of the article you are making.

To check the Gauge, make a  practice swatch 3 or 4 inches square patch of the stitch given. Stitch using the specified needle and yarn. Then place the patch flat on the table and with a ruler measure the number of stitches and rows per inch.  For eg. Gauge= 4 stitches per inch. 
If your stitch number doesn't correspond to the Gauge given for the design, try out different size needles i.e a larger needle if you have more stitches per inch or a smaller needle for less stitches per inch until the Gauge specified is obtained.

How to Purl  |  To Bind Off  |  How to Increase  |  How to Decrease  |  To Make a Yarn Over  |  Stockinette Stitch

Purl StitchPurl Stitch (p st) is made by putting the needle through the front of the stitch from right to left.

How to Purl : 

Cast on 20 stitches for practice piece. To make this stitch, the yarn is in front of work instead of back and needle is inserted in stitch over, instead of under, left needle. The wrong side of a purl stitch is a knit stitch.

Hold needle with stitches in your left hand. Hold second needle and yarn from skein in your right hand. Insert right needle through the front of the first stitch on left needle from right to left.

Wind yarn over and under point of needle.

Draw yarn through stitch. Slip the stitch off left needle. One purl stitch made. 'Slip' in knitting means -move (a stitch) to the other needle without stitching it. Continue to purl each stitch across row. The purl stitch is never used alone so to practice the stitch proceed to Stockinette stitch.


To Bind Off : 

When you have finished a swatch, you must learn to ' bind off' to hold it together. It is necessary to bind off in knitting to prevent the stitches from raveling. It should be done rather loosely. Slip the first stitch off the left needle onto the right needle without knitting it. Purl the next stitch. Insert the left needle through the front of the first stitch on the right needle and slip it over the second stitch, bringing the right needle and second stitch through the first stitch.

Then slip the first stitch off left needle. One stitch is left on the right needle. Purl next stitch and slip preceding one over it.

Continue across until you come to the last stitch. Cut yarn about 5 inches from needle. Draw loose end through last stitch and pull to tighten. Thread end into a needle and work end back through edge. Cut off close to work.


How to Increase (inc): 

To increase on a purl row, purl the stitch in the usual manner but do not slip the stitch off the left needle. Purl again in the same stitch by inserting the needle into the back of the stitch. Now slip the stitches off the needle.

How to Decrease (dec) : 

To decrease on a purl row, purl two stitches together by inserting the right needle through two stitches.


To make a Yarn Over (yo): 

Yarn over increases a stitch and is used in lace patterns since it produces a hole in the work. 

On a purl row, bring yarn over right needle, around and to front again, then work next stitch.

Stockinette Stitch

Turn work. Knit next row. Purl next row. Repeat these two rows for stockinette stitch. Continue to work until you feel familiar with the stitch. Bind off. If you bind off on a purl row, purl the stitches instead of knitting them.

In stockinette stitch the knit side or smooth side is usually the right side of work. The purl side is the rough side. 



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