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Purl Stitch (p)

The Purl Stitch: A Knitter's Essential

The purl stitch is a fundamental technique in knitting, offering versatility and texture to every project. Let's explore its characteristics, uses, and execution.

Understanding the Purl Stitch: The purl stitch creates a bumpy texture on the wrong side of the fabric, complementing the smoothness of the knit stitch. It's perfect for adding variety to your knitting projects.

In stockinette stitch, whether worked in rows or in the round, the stitches create the same fabric appearance, with smooth "V" shapes on one side and bumpy texture on the other side. This is because each row alternates between knit stitches on the right side (smooth) and purl stitches on the wrong side (bumpy.

When worked in rows, the right side of the fabric faces you as you knit, so you knit the stitches on one row and purl them on the next, creating the characteristic smooth vs. bumpy texture.

When worked in the round, stockinette stitch still maintains a "wrong side," which consists of purl stitches. The difference is that in circular knitting, the right side of the fabric is always facing you as you work, so every round is worked as knit stitches. This means that the "wrong side" of the fabric is effectively hidden on the inside of the tube created by circular knitting, resulting in a smooth appearance on the outside of the fabric. However, if you were to turn the work inside out, you would see the purl stitches, indicating the wrong side of the fabric.

To Execute the Purl Stitch:

  1. Hold the yarn in front of your work and insert the right-hand needle from right to left into the first stitch on the left-hand needle.

  2. Wrap the yarn counter clockwise around the right-hand needle.

  3. Pull the right-hand needle through the stitch, ensuring the yarn passes through the loop and creating a new stitch on the right-hand needle. Then, slide the original stitch off the left-hand needle.


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