Knit the Knits and Purl the Purls


scraprn, could you possibly be doing repeated rows of your stitches. I mean, if you think you are knitting correctly but knit each row you will get a fabric that is bumpy on each side. And if you purl every row, even if you are purling correctly, you will get fabric that looks exactly like if you knitted each row.

To get a fabric that is smooth on one side and bumpy on the other you need to knit a row and then purl a row and continue that sequence.

Sometimes it is hard for a beginner to tell what is being made if you just look at one stitch.


The back of a knit stitch is a purl, the back of a purl is a knit. If you knit every row or purl every row you’re going to get garter stitch where the purl bumps look more prominent. If you stretch that lengthwise, then you can see the knit sts better. When you alternate them - knit a row, purl a row - then you have stockinette stitch and all the knits are on one side and all the purl bumps on the other side.


Can you post a photo to show us how your fabric looks after knitting and purling on opposite sides? You might be twisting one of your stitches, which would make the stitches look very different from the norm.

Have you tried using the videos that Amy made on our website to help you with your knitting and purling?


Thanks for the help. I was knitting every row. I’m taking a class and in the first class we learned the knit stitch. In the second class we learned the purl so now I have a smooth and a bumpy side.:woot:


I’m so glad you got it figured out! :thumbsup:
Now, your projects will be easier to make.


I like knitting,it is interesting and it is a happy thing to knit for your families,Don’t you think so?


I just made my first square tonight… I thought I had knit the whole thing, turns out, I’ve done a weird half knit, half purl stitch all the way through it. lol Thanks to all who posted samples, that really helped!


I so wish I had read this thread all the way through days ago. I’m new to knitting and have been driving myself totally nuts trying to figure out why my stitches didn’t look like the examples in the book. I went to my local yarn shop to learn how to start, but they have been extremely busy with people trying to get Christmas projects finished, so I didn’t want to bother them. After reading here I “get” it, thank goodness and thanks to all of you who are so patient answering questions. And, thank you to everyone who asked the questions, most of them were questions I had. I’m so happy, this is like opening a Christmas present!! :muah:


This was my problem!!! So glad you asked about this!


Thank you so much! I could not make sense of this. Great video.:cheering:


I just realized I purled the last 20+ stitches on previous row. Is there a way to fix those when I knit back to them or do I have to unravel back to those stitches? It’s a really long row & I really hope there’s a way to fix!


To fix you can drop the stitch as you come to it, push the strand through the loop the other direction and put it on your needle. There’s a video for that on the Tip page under Fixing Mistakes. But by the time you undo and redo each stitch as you come to them on this row, it’s about the same as going back to the end of the row and reknitting them.


I started knitting a month ago, and I now know how to both knit and purl but this post confused me. My knits are not perpendicular to the needle, they are horizontal and so is my purl stitches. Can someone clarify what I may be doing wrong or if I am doing something wrong. My blog has pictures of my progress. Please help!


What you have is garter stitch, done as all knits or all purls. The back of a knit is a purl, the back of a purl is a knit, so it looks the same on both sides, whether you did them as purls or knits. The one picture where you were doing it in knit then switched to purls, with the gap is actually stockinette stitch for 3 rows. I’m not sure what you mean by wanting the sts perpendicular to the needle. What you’re seeing parallel to the needle is the [I]row[/I] of purl bumps. Maybe you mean you want them to be stockinette stitch with all the knits on one side and all the purls on the other side. To do that, you alternate a knit row with a purl row.


SuzeeQ is right.

I just looked at your blog, knitgiinner.
You will not notice a difference between knit and purl unless you follow a pattern. If you purl every stitch on every row, it will look exactly the same as knitting every stitch on every row.


ha ha no wonder it doesn’t thank you so much now i just need to learn left and right twist x


i dont get it!:x:


Tasneem, if your pattern tells you to knit the knits and purl the purls it means: As the work faces you as you are preparing to begin the next row, as the stitches appear on the left hand needle is the way you want to work them. If the stitch looks like a knit, knit it. If it looks like a purl, purl it. Don’t worry about any other row and opposites or any confusing thing, just knit the ones that look like knits and purl the ones that look like purls. Go back to post #6 in this long thread to see a good picture showing what a knit looks like and a purl.

If you are working Stockinette St back and forth so that it is worked flat, you knit a row and purl a row. You do this same thing when you do this stitch. As a side is facing you to begin a row if the knits face you you knit them, if the purls face you you purl them. This continues to put all the smooth knits on one side and all the purl bumps (as I call them) on one side.

When you are working more complex stitches you often have a mixture of knits and purls on the same row. Often, but not always, on the public side of the fabric they tell you a certain set up of stitches and on the return row (non-public side) they tell you to knit the knits and purl the purls, or to work the stitches as they appear (both mean the same thing).

When you are working most kinds of ribbing once you have the pattern of knits and purls set up you always knit the knits and purl the purls no matter which side you are working on.


The back of a knit stitch looks like a purl, the back of a purl looks like a knit. So when you go to work a row, forget what you did to the stitch on the other side, and just knit what look like the knits now on this row, and purl the sts that look like purls.


I only see this thread now - I was baffled by this “knit the knits and purl the purls” too. I did understand what I had to do as there was a picture of the end result next to the description, but to me it made no sense to describe it like that. It still doesn’t. I get it, but I do not think it is logical :p. I would not know what else they have to say though “knit (WS) the purls from the previous row (RS) and purl the knits”? I can imagine how that would be confusing for others as well :cool:

Anyhow, glad to read I am not the only one who did not understood it at first. :cool: