Purling stitches together

Although most knitting patterns have you decrease on right-side rows only, sometimes you may be asked to work a decrease from the purl side. When you do, you can purl 2 stitches together (abbreviated p2tog) instead of knitting them together. When you look at a p2tog decrease from the knit side, the stitches slant to the right, just as they do with a k2tog decrease.

When you need to work a single p2tog decrease on the wrong (purl) side of your knitting, follow these steps:

  1. Insert the RH needle purlwise into the next 2 stitches on the LH needle (see Figure 6-13a).
  2. Purl the 2 stitches together as if they were 1 stitch (see Figures 6-13b and 6-13c).


You can work increases and decreases on the edge or several stitches in from the edge. If a series of increases or decreases is worked 2 or more stitches from the edge, it creates a visible line, and the shaping is described as "full-fashion." This shaping technique is peculiar to knits and sometimes distinguishes a sweater that's cut and sewn from knitted fabric from one that has been knitted to shape. Working increases or decreases several stitches from the edge is both attractive and makes it easier to sew knitted pieces together because you have two untampered stitches at the edges to seam between.

Figure 6-13:

Purling 2 stitches together (p2tog).

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