Purling is working a knit stitch backwards: Instead of going into the stitch from front to back, you enter it from back to front. Combining knit stitches with purl stitches enables you to make a wide variety of textured stitch patterns, many of the most common of which we include in Chapter 5.
To purl, follow these steps:
1. Hold the needle with the cast-on or existing stitches in your left hand, pointing to the right. Insert the tip of the RH needle into the first loop on the LH needle from right to left and back to front, forming a T with the needle tips.
The RH needle is in front of the LH needle, and the working yarn is in front of your needles (see Figure 4-10a). This is the reverse of what you do when you form a knit stitch.
A new stitch is made on the RH needle. You can see how it should look in Figure 4-11b.
5. Repeat Steps 1 through 4 until you're comfortable with the movements.
When you purl, the yarn strand comes out of the new stitches on the side of the knitting facing you. When you knit, the yarn comes out of the new stitches on the side facing away from you.
A purled swatch looks just like a knitted swatch. Why? Because purling is simply the reverse of knitting. Whether you knit all the rows or purl all the rows, you're working a garter stitch (see Chapter 5 for more on the garter stitch).
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