K2, P2 ribbed pattern

Along with another thread I started on the same project…this is kind of a huh?

A simple ribbed scarf from LionBrand. K2, P2 across. Cool, I’m good with that (although I struggle with purl) Next instruction is to K in knit stitches and P in purl stitches. Me…my stitches on the last row ended in purl so I need to start the new row with purl since I P in purl. NO…it doesn’t work that way. After many youtube videos I learned that what was P now becomes K because you turned it around to start the next row. Huh? Why not just say row two starts with P2 then K2 and follow that pattern to the end? Repeat 1 & 2.

Because in my “in the box” thinking…When I start row 2 I should be starting with purl because that was my last stitch on row 1.

How is a beginner to know that your stitch changes name when you flip it over? OY!

Forever a beginner, I’m afraid.

If you look at your stitches, you can see the difference between the knit and purl stitches…Jan has a really good picture on the forum somewhere of what the knit and purl stitches look like…The knit stitches look like V’s and the purl stitches look like bumps…When you turn your work, your knit stitches will now be purl stitches and you’ll notice that by the bumps, similarly, your purl stitches, once your work is turned, will look like knit stitches, you’ll notice the V’s. If that makes any sense…lol…So, knit stitches look like V’s and purl stitches look like bumps…lol…If you do something in stockinette stitch, you’ll definitely see what the stitches look like…On one side, the knit side, you’ll see all V’s and on the purl side you’ll see all bumps. Hope I haven’t confused you!! :teehee:

A lot of patterns assume some knowledge unfortunately. :wink:

Yep, you knit the knits and purl the purls. :thumbsup:

LOL Jan…yeah…but my last stitch was a purl. In my mind, just because I turned it over, it doesn’t change the last stitch. But I guess it does.

Reading your knitting is one of the most important things you can do. If you look at the stitches up near the needle you can see that they are different. Learn what a YO (yarn over) looks like and a twisted stitch. It makes it easier to do a more complicated pattern if you know what they all look like. :thumbsup:

Here’s a sample you’ve probably seen in here. I share it regularly when I’m helping for this very thing.

I get that, but I didn’t realize the name of the stitch would change just because you turned your work over. Remember, I’m new. If my last stitch was purl, I turn over…then I expect to P in purl. But wait…because I turned it over it is now considered knit. Perhaps I’m the only one who finds this confusing.

I get the instruction now but I think the instructions could be written so newbies would get it. For instance the pattern I was originally talking about…could’ve said K2, P2 row 1. Then P2, K2 row 2. Repeat. But no…K in knit (which in my mind as a beginner was a knit from the last row) and p in purl (same idea).

Perhaps I over think things? I don’t want to struggle with each pattern which is why I decided to try knitting. I seem to struggle with each crochet pattern. I eventually get it but dang if it isn’t a hard row to sow. Takes the joy out of it and I don’ want that.

Jan - I don’t think your link posted. Would you mind reposting?

Jan - thanks for your post. I guess as a beginner I find that some “easy” patterns assume more knowledge than they should. I’m not trying anything difficult. This is a simple, boring scarf. I can’t imagine, if I have issues with this, how I’m going to do anything else.

Oh you will. The more you knit the more you learn. Eventually you’ll be trying all kinds of things. We all started out where you are right now. But Jan is right, learning to “read” your stitches will make life SO much easier down the road. Besides, you’ve got excellent help right here! :slight_smile:

You work the stitches however they appear [I]on the row you’re on now[/I]. You’re done with the previous row, so it doesn’t count anymore.

It’s kind of like this: You have your left needle and your right needle. When you’ve worked a row and now all of the stitches are on your right needle, you turn it around and put the full needle, which was your RIGHT needle, into your left hand and it becomes your LEFT needle. Or if you’re driving on a road A and have to turn south onto road B. But if you’re coming from the other direction on road A, in order to turn in the same direction, you would now have to turn NORTH on road B.

The knit vs. purl thing is not about the stitch, it about the action you’re taking with the stitch. When you do a purl action, the bumps are towards you and the Vs are in the back. When you do a knit action, the Vs are towards you and the bumps are in the back. So which ever effect you’re trying to accomplish, you do that. When you have purled a stitch, the bumps were facing you. Now, you turn it around, and the Vs are now facing you. So now you take the knit action, instead of the purl action. The stitch hasn’t changed-- you’re just on the other side of it. So a better analogy is that if you are on one side of a door, you push it out to open it. If you are on the other side, you pull it to open it. Get it?

Oh, and by the way-- there are 2 issues with knitting patterns. One is that most do assume some knowledge. The other is that there are so, so many people writing and publishing so, so many patterns, and very few of them have taken courses in pattern writing, and half of them completely ignore the CYCA standards for abbreviations. Books and magazines are notoriously badly edited, to the degree that they have entire webpages devoted to corrections. (What does THAT tell you?!) Or, as a friend recently discovered, in a book she’s using, the designer knitted up the nicely photographed item with one stitch pattern, and then wrote up the directions using another. The publishing companies are in such a rush to get this stuff out that I think they barely skim the galleys before sending off to the printers. In the old days, there wasn’t much being published, it was a much smaller and slower process. Add to that, that a lot of patterns on-line are by people who have designed something wonderful, but that doesn’t mean they’re good at translating it for other people to do. The best source for error-free patterns are usually those booklets or on-line patterns from the big commercial companies-- Patons, Bernat, Lionbrand.

But the components of knitting are actually just a few simple things: knitting, purling, increases and decreases, and casting on and off. Because all knitting is made up from these 6 things, once you’re familiar with them, you’ll be fine!

Thanks everyone! You’ve all been a great help to this newbie. :muah:

The easiest way to remember this is to remind yourself that a purl is a knit from back view.

Look at your knit stitches… now turn the work around and you will see that what was knit on the front, is purled on the back… so if you knit it one way, you must purl it going back for or you will just get a bumpy garter stitch.

I have been looking at the very same YouTube videos (too fast! too showy offy!) and am now Utterly Confused! The yarn to the front and yarn to the back bit had escaped my logic entirely and now I am not sure what I am knitting and what I am purling. I’m going to pick up my needles and just give it a try!


The yarn goes to the front [I]between the needles[/I] when you purl, and you take it to the back to knit, also between the needles.

And there’s a Knit the Knits and Purl the Purls thread that shows how to do them and what they should look like.

Thanks for the video - great to show me what to look for and it is always good to learn what your stitches look like BUT what do you do in the next row???

I have now ‘ribbed and ripped’ my 3 rows of K1P1 10 times and am determined to get it right. I understand the yarn back and forwards to go between purl and knitting stitches bu when I turn what should I knit? e.g

row 1 - k, p, k, p, k… (for 65 stitches in this example)
row 2 do I - k,p,k,p,k as before or do I p,k,p,k,p ?

I am just not getting the raised ridges I am expecting. Am I right they should look ike stocking stitch on one side?

Would I be better to go for a k2,p2 or maybe k3,p3 as this is my 1st attempt and the ribs would be clearer to see?

Many thanks for your help,


When you get to the next row, look at the sts. If the next one is a knit (as you look at it) knit it, if it looks like a purl, purl it. It takes several inches for it to look like ribbing, and k1 p1 can look like stockinette unless it’s stretched out. So yep, you might try, k2, p2 and maybe you can see the pattern easier.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I did get a bit of ‘knitting rage’ this afternoon after frogging yet again but went out into the snow and cooled down. This is why I love knitting - the challenge!

thank you again!