Knit and purl

After casting on stitches, you knit or purl them according to what your knitting pattern requires. The basic techniques for making knit or purl stitches are very simple and, once mastered, they are used to build up the knitted fabric.

the knit stitch The knit stitch is the first stitch you will learn by following the steps below. When you have worked all the stitches from the left-hand needle onto the right-hand needle you have completed a 'row'. You then turn the work, transferring the needle with all the stitches to the left hand, and continue as before. When all stitches in all rows are knit stitches, it forms a reversible fabric called garter stitch. When purl rows are alternated with knit rows, it forms a fabric called stocking stitch, as shown below (on the 'right' side).

1 With the cast-on stitches on the needle in your left hand, insert the right-hand needle from left to right and from front to back through the first cast-on stitch.

2 Then take the yam from the ball on your index finger (the working yam) around the point of the right-hand needle.

3 Draw the right-hand needle and yam through the stitch, forming a new stitch on the right-hand needle, and at the same time slip the original stitch off the left-hand needle. Repeat these steps until all the stitches from the left-hand needle have been worked. This is called a row.

1 With the cast-on stitches on the needle in your left hand, insert the right-hand needle from left to right and from front to back through the first cast-on stitch.

2 Then take the yam from the ball on your index finger (the working yam) around the point of the right-hand needle.

3 Draw the right-hand needle and yam through the stitch, forming a new stitch on the right-hand needle, and at the same time slip the original stitch off the left-hand needle. Repeat these steps until all the stitches from the left-hand needle have been worked. This is called a row.

knit and purl the purl stitch After the knit stitch, the next stitch to learn is the purl stitch. If every row is worked as a purl row, it creates the same fabric as if you had knitted every row garter stitch. Stocking stitch, alternating knit and purl rows (as shown below on the reverse side of the fabric), is the most commonly used knitted fabric. When working stocking stitch try to keep your tension consistent (see page 34) on both knit and purl rows. Uneven fabric is produced by working one side tighter or looser than the other, giving a 'stripy' effect.

1 With the yam to the front of the work, insert the right-hand needle from right to left into the front of the first stitch on the left-hand needle.

2 Then take the yam from the ball on your index finger (the working yam) around the point of the right-hand needle.

3 Draw the right-hand needle and the yam through the stitch, thus forming a new stitct" the right-hand needle.

1 With the yam to the front of the work, insert the right-hand needle from right to left into the front of the first stitch on the left-hand needle.

2 Then take the yam from the ball on your index finger (the working yam) around the point of the right-hand needle.

3 Draw the right-hand needle and the yam through the stitch, thus forming a new stitct" the right-hand needle.

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