Perfect purling

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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.

  1. With your right hand, wrap the yarn around the back of the RH needle from right to left and down (see Figure 4-10b).
  2. Keeping a slight tension on the wrap of yarn, bring the tip of the RH needle with its wrap of yarn down and through the loop on the LH needle to the back side of the LH needle (see Figure 4-11a).
  3. Slide the old loop off the tip of the LH needle.

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.

Figure 4-10:

Purling.

Figure 4-11:

Finishing your purl stitch.

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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