What is Purl in Knitting? The Other Side of Knitting

HomeTechniquesWhat is Purl in Knitting? The Other Side of Knitting

Purl is a fundamental knitting stitch that creates a bump on the fabric’s right side. When combined with knit stitches, it creates the stockinette stitch pattern, which is a smooth, flat fabric. Purl stitches can be used to create a variety of textures and patterns, from ribbing to cables, and can be used in combination with other stitches to create complex designs.

Are you new to knitting and don’t know what purl is? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many people find themselves asking the same question when they first start out.

Purl is a stitch used in knitting that creates bumps on the right side of your fabric. It may sound complicated, but once you get the hang of it, purl stitches are easy to make and will open up a whole world of pattern possibilities for your projects.

Let me explain: Purl is a knitting stitch that creates a bump on the fabric’s right side.

So let’s dive into what purl is and how it works so that you can get started!

Overview of Knitting

Working with yarn and needles, you can create beautiful pieces of fabric that have intricate patterns and textures. Knitting is a craft that requires knowledge of the basics, including different types of stitches like knit and purl.

To become a proficient knitter, it’s important to understand the fundamentals of knitting as well as the various stitch variations available. Knowing these will help you create projects with unique designs.

The most basic knitting stitch is known as the knit stitch. It creates a smooth texture on one side of your fabric while leaving small indentations on the other side. This is often used in combination with other stitches such as purl to make more complex patterns.

Purl also creates an indentation on one side but has bumps on its right side instead of indentations like the knit stitch does. By alternating between these two stitches, you can create ribbing or even cable patterns for sweaters and blankets!

When learning how to work each type of stitch, it’s important to pay attention to your tension so that your project looks uniform throughout its entirety. Once you’ve mastered knitting basics such as casting on and binding off properly, you can move onto more complicated stitches like cables or lace-work for scarves or shawls!

Additionally, learning about increasing and decreasing your stitches allows for even further customization when creating your own garments or accessories from scratch! Having knowledge about all these techniques makes it easier for experienced knitters to design their own projects without having to rely solely on pre-made patterns!

With practice and patience, anyone can become an expert in this craft – from crafting simple hats to intricate sweaters fit for royalty! As we move forward into discussing what purl is in knitting, keep in mind all that we’ve learned so far about this beloved art form!

What is Purl?

With each effortless twist, you craft a beautiful texture on the fabric’s surface – one that symbolizes your journey as a knitter. Learning the basics of knitting and becoming familiar with different stitch types is essential for success in your projects.

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One of those stitches is purl, which creates an intricate design and adds dimension to the fabric. Purl is created by inserting the needle from front to back into the next stitch. When this occurs, the yarn wraps around the needle counter-clockwise, creating a bump on the right side of the work.

This bump can be used to create ridges and other textures in your knitting project. As such, it’s important to understand when to use purl as part of your overall pattern or design. In fact, many patterns are built upon alternating between knit and purl stitches in order to create a variety of designs including ribbing and cables.

Knowing how to properly execute both techniques is key for creating intricate pieces that look professional and polished. Additionally, understanding how these two stitches interact with each other will help you master complex patterns quickly and easily – giving you even more satisfaction from your creations!

Practicing with different stitch combinations can help you become comfortable using purl in any knitting project you attempt. With practice comes skill; soon enough you’ll be able to confidently use both knit and purl stitches together without hesitation – allowing you to experiment freely with endless possibilities!

How to Purl

Ready to learn how to purl? This step-by-step guide and tips for mastering the purl stitch will have you knitting like a pro in no time.

Let’s dive in!

Step-by-Step Guide

Now you’re ready to take your knitting skills up a notch by learning how to make a purl stitch!

First, hold the yarn in your right hand and wrap it counterclockwise around the needle tip. Then, insert the needle into the front of the stitch on your left-hand needle from right to left. Finally, draw the new loop through and slide off the old one from your left-hand needle.

This process is essential for mastering advanced techniques and troubleshooting solutions when it comes to knitting projects.

Up next, learn tips for mastering purl so you can continue honing your craft!

Numerically speaking, here’s what this process looks like:

1) Hold yarn in right hand;
2) Wrap counterclockwise around needle;
3) Insert into front of stitch on left-hand needle from right to left.

With each step, you’ll be getting closer and closer to perfecting purl stitching!

Tips for Mastering Purl

To take your craft to the next level, mastering purl is essential – and practice makes perfect! If you’re having difficulty with purl, there are a few troubleshooting tips that can help. The first tip is to use the yarn in your left hand to create a loose tension as you knit the stitch. This will allow for easier manipulation of the yarn and stitches. Secondly, it’s important to pay close attention to pattern variations when knitting. Make sure you understand how each variation affects the overall look of the fabric before beginning.

Finally, be sure to move slowly while working with purl and focus on one stitch at a time. This will help ensure accuracy throughout your project and make it easier for you to identify any mistakes you may have made.

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Troubleshooting Tips Pattern Variations
Use yarn in left hand for loose tension Pay close attention to pattern variations | Move slowly & focus on one stitch at a time | | Check your tension regularly | Practice the pattern with scrap yarn | Track your progress with stitch markers

Common Patterns Using Purl

Let’s explore some of the most popular patterns that can be made with this special stitch, which adds a unique texture to your project. If you’re looking for an interesting pattern to try with purl, consider ribbing or seed stitch.

Ribbing is created by alternating knit and purl stitches across each row, creating a vertical striped pattern.

Seed stitch consists of alternating knit and purl stitches within the same row, resulting in a checkered design. Once you have mastered these simple patterns, you can move on to more complex ones such as cables or lace work that incorporate intricate stitch variations.

To ensure your project looks good, it’s important to make gauge swatches before beginning any larger projects so that your finished item looks exactly how you want it.

For knitting beginners who are just getting started with purl, it can be helpful to start off with simpler projects like scarves and cowls which don’t require complicated shapes or sizing accuracy. This will give you an opportunity to get used to handling both knit and purl stitches without having to worry about more advanced techniques like shaping and decreasing.

Once you have mastered these basics then you can move on towards more complicated items such as sweaters or shawls that use a variety of different types of stitches including purl.

Purl also provides plenty of opportunities for creative expression in terms of colorwork or textured designs like bobbles or moss stitching. You can experiment with different combinations of colors and textures depending on what kind of look you’re going for – whether it’s something bright and bold or subtle and delicate – all while still using the same basic techniques such as knit and purl stitches.

No matter what type of project you decide to tackle, working with purl will give your piece an extra dimension that would otherwise not be possible! With its versatility for both beginner-level projects as well as advanced ones, there’s no limit to what kinds of creations you can make when incorporating this special stitch into your work.

Now let’s take a look at some benefits associated with using purl in our knitting projects…

Benefits of Using Purl

Using purl in your projects can give them an extra dimension, but what are some of the other benefits that this special stitch offers?

One advantage is the ability to create stitch variations. By alternating knit and purl stitches, you can add texture and color to any project.

Additionally, purl stitches provide a great way to control tension when knitting. If a piece looks too loose or tight, you can adjust your tension accordingly by simply increasing or decreasing the number of purl stitches used.

The use of purl also helps with shaping garments such as sweaters and hats. By strategically placing purls on either side of knits (or vice versa), it’s easy to create patterns for increases and decreases that help shape a garment around curves. This makes it easier for knitters to make pieces that fit properly without having to rely on complicated instructions or patterns.

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Finally, using a combination of knit and purl stitches is essential for creating more complex patterned items. Patterns like ribbing or cables require both types of stitches in order to create their unique look and texture. Knitters who want to move beyond basic stockinette stitch will find themselves relying heavily on the use of both knit and purl stitches in order to complete their projects successfully.

Purl has many advantages making it an important part of any knitter’s repertoire. From its ability to control tension, add texture and color, shape garments around curves, or even create complex patterns – there are plenty of reasons why you should consider adding this special stitch into your next project!

Moving onto tools and materials needed…

Tools and Materials Needed

Unleash your creativity with the right tools and materials needed for purling – you can create something truly unique!

To begin purling, you’ll need some basic supplies:

  • Knitting needles that are suited to the yarn weight
  • Yarn in a variety of colors, weights, and textures
  • Tapestry needle or crochet hook to weave in ends
  • Stitch markers to mark edges and pattern repeats.

Depending on the type of fabric you’re creating, you may also need some specialty items like circular knitting needles or double pointed knitting needles. Circular knitting needles are used when making projects like sweaters and hats while double-pointed knitting needles are typically used for small items such as socks or mittens.

You’ll also want to have a selection of stitch holders, cable needles, row counters, and blocking mats at hand for more advanced techniques.

With these items in your arsenal, you’ll be ready to start purling! Purl stitches can add texture and interest to any project and will help bring your vision to life. Whether you’re looking for soft cabled lines or unique color patterns, learning how to purl is an invaluable skill for any knitter.

With practice comes perfection – so don’t forget that it takes time to master this technique! Get creative with the tools available from your local craft store or online retailer today – it’s sure to give your work an extra dimension of style.


Whether you’re a novice or an experienced knitter, learning the purl stitch is a great way to add texture and dimension to your knitting projects.

With just a few supplies and some practice, you can master this simple stitch in no time.

Not only will you enjoy the satisfaction of creating something with your own two hands, but the beautiful textures of purl will make all of your projects stand out from the crowd!

Katherine Pearce
Katherine Pearcehttps://knittingpassion.com
Katherine Pearce is a knitting enthusiast and the founder of KnittingPassion.com. With a deep passion for the craft, Katherine aims to make knitting accessible to everyone, regardless of their skill level. Through KnittingPassion.com, she provides online tutorials and resources to help others discover the joys of knitting and develop their skills.

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