Help for my mother who refuses to learn to purl!

Hi Everyone! :hug:

So I taught my mom to knit a few months back, and she’s been addicted since. She knits continental, like me, and has so far made an almost-finished scarf (she got bored with it and wanted a change of pace), and just finished her first ever beanie hat on circular needles. She is now completely in love with in-the-round knitting on circular needles. She’s not really feeling the dpn love yet, but I told her that will change with practice.

Anyway…my knittin’ mama has one little problem…she refuses to learn to purl. That’s right, my friends, my mom won’t purl! She watched Amy’s video ONCE and decided that it’s too hard and she loves the knit stitch, so she’s just gonna knit-stitch-it forever. Which, of course, makes it almost impossible to find easy patterns for her! :hair:

So! I’m here for help from you wonderful knitters. Number 1: I’m looking for some very basic beginner’s patterns knit on either straight or circular needles that require NO PURLING whatsoever. None. Nada. Because Mother Dearest won’t purl.

And Number 2: I’m looking for a complete beginner’s book–similar to Stitch n Bitch, but different because I already have SnB and she could just borrow that if she wants. I want to get her something that’s just hers and will explain all the basics so she has a reference when she doesn’t feel like getting on the computer. Any recommendations? My mom’s pretty young and hip, but I’m only 22 and I find SnB a bit too hip for even my tastes, so something a little more serious but still cool would be just perfect.

Thank you to anyone who can offer any suggestions! :heart:

This is going to require a little role reversal.

Ask her what she would have done if you had refused to be potty trained because it was “too hard” :slight_smile:

Alternatively, you could teach her a “new technique”, call it Easy Stitch or something. After she’s got it down, you can confess that she is really purling. This worked great when my brother didn’t want to eat stroganoff. My mom just called it “Mr. McGilagoo” and put it over rice instead of noodles and my brother LOVED it.

:roflhard: :roflhard: :roflhard:

I agree, purling continental is difficult, but it’s not quite as necessary to learn as potty training… :wink:

For books, there’s Sally Melville’s The Knit Stitch. I think it’s all garter or stockinette stitch in the round.


Yes, The Knit Stitch is completely knit-stitches only, and it’s wonderful! I just gave it to my mother for her birthday (and both of us can purl… we’re just not really fond of it! :teehee: )

hmmm maybe what I would do is to show her tons of beautiful patterns. If there are some that she absolutely loves, her motivation to purl might increase, because she would then see all the possibilities… of course she could ask YOU to knit them for her… there is a risk there! :teehee:

Thanks for that book recommendation, guys! That’s exactly what I’m looking for!! I think she’ll love it!! :cheering:

I recently purchased, not your mama’s knitting.

I think it as absolutely wonderful, technique wise and pattern wise.

Here’s the link.

Not Your Mama’s Knitting

If she gives this to her mom, won’t it become her mama’s knitting? It would be an oxymoron. Does she like irony?

This whole thread has just cracked me up…let us know if your mom ever decide to purl!!!

I think it’s interesting that everyone thinks purling is difficult continential style…I’m a continential knitter and think I purl faster than I knit…I wonder if we find it harder b/c we learn it second??? I wonder if we learned to purl first if we’d find the knit stitch to be difficult…

I love this thread! Good luck with your pattern finding.

One of my gal friends told me that when she taught herself how to “knit” she found out she was actually “purling” the entire time. We both got a great chuckle out of that.

I think there’s something to that. When my mom taught me, she taught me with a p1,k1 rib so I never found purling more difficult. Then when I taught myself continental, I learned knit first then purl…and settled on mixed knitting (which has a name I just learned today, but can’t remember. Could possibly be mixed knitting!) Of course if I’m doing a rib, I stick w/regular because who wants to swap yarn back and forth every few stitches!

I did recently see the video on this site and I figured out what I was doing wrong, though I have yet to actually TRY it to confirm :slight_smile:

I met someone this weekend, who said the same thing. She doesn’t purl. How can you knit and not purl? That really really limits one in the knitting world. I told her of this website and that there were videos and a great forum where she could get questions answered.

I would try some techniques to get your mom to purl. I like the idea of calling it something else. It is just like learning the knit and how to hold the needles, a little uncomfortable, but after 100 stitches very natural.

Another thought…if she’s perfectly happy with the knit stitch and the whole point of knitting is for fun then why does it matter? Maybe she’ll come around, maybe she won’t. There are lots of things you can do with the knit stitch alone if you add a few YO, elongated stitches, color, etc.

Here’s a book with patterns for the knit stitch alone.
The Knit Stitch

Amazon is cheaper, but you can look inside at Knitpicks.

:roflhard: :roflhard: :roflhard: Y’all are cracking me up!! Lotsa nice reverse/subversive psychology goin’ here - just like what are mums did for us :wink: (still doing?? :eyebrow: )

I’d say give her some time - and like someone else said, if she’s enticed enough by more difficult patterns that require purling, then she’ll have her own incentive to learn. Like that ol’ saying goes, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink … at least, that’s how I operate :wink:

In the meantime, lotsa options per Jan’s post for just the knit stitch…

Ha, yeah right, Stitch n’ B****! Like you can really learn anything from those overly cartoony “diagrams”. Man I hate that book. :stuck_out_tongue:

“450 Knitting Stitches” looks to be pretty clear on explaining the purl stitch.

I am so glad I’m not the only one who did that when I taught myself to knit! :teehee:

I learned to knit (and purl :wink: ) from that book. :shrug:

If she doesn’t want to learn to purl, that’s one thing, but then asking you to dig through patterns to accommodate this is another. Maybe you should suggest she look for her own patterns, and then after contantly going “I wanna make that” and finding out she needs to purl, she’ll decide to learn. Or maybe not, but at least then you won’t have to do the work for her.

But lots of people like The Knit Stitch, so maybe that’ll be enough for her.

[color=green]This post’s Swedish word/phrase: “Du kan ju prova det här…” = “You can try this…”

Why don’t you have her knitting backwards? :shrug:

I learnt to knit backwards a couple of months ago when I worked on an entrelac scarf and I really liked it! Give it a shot!!! :happydance: