Knitting into the back of a stitch

I knit continental- and when doing stockinette (on straight needles) my knit rows have the knit stitches laying the opposite way of the knit stitch video on Hard to describe, but to “pick” them off the needle I need to pick them from the back. Now I have a pattern that says “knit in the back of the stitch”–What part of the stitch do I pick? I’m at a loss. Thanks in advance.

It sounds like you’re purling using the “Combined Knitting Method” of purling (see “Basic Techniques/Purling”). This will result in a twisted stitch on the following knit row.

A lot of people purl this way; it’s nice and fast. But you need to know how to untwist the stitch (and sometimes the following stitch as well), before working certain instructions.

To untwist a stitch, turn it clockwise and place it back on the left needle, so that the back loop is now in the front, and the front loop is now in the back. If you turn it the right way, it will not appear twisted. The front loop will connect to the knitting you’ve done, and the back loop will connect to the upcoming stitches. (Maybe I’ll ad a video on untwisting a stitch…as soon as the clouds clear out here, and I can shoot!)

…after you’ve untwisted it, you knit down into the back loop, as you’re accustomed to doing.

Thanks for the reply, I guess it’s safe to assume - all of my “knit rows” are actually “knit in back” rows. I’ve only been doing this 30+ years. :oops:
Do you know of an image available on-line where I can view a close up of how the stitch should lie in the fabric, I’m curious to see the “inverted U” accurately- it’s difficult to see the detail when I pause the video clips?

You have the right idea.
I just made a video on how to recognize a twisted stitch on the needle. It’s on the “Basic Techniques / …More” page.


As a combined method knitter I really think very highly of the method. There are only 2 times when it can e confusing:

  1. Working decreases. K2tog will lean the way most peoples’ SSK leans and vice versa.
  2. Grafting. Most kitchner stitch directions say "insert needle as if to knit (or purl)"
    I just remember that most people insert their needle to knit from left to right nad purl from right to left.

Otherwise, if knitting in the combined method is comfortable for you, don’t go changing for the sake of anyone else.

As for KTBL which is sometimes called for, I have taught myself to think of the “back loop” as the edge that is further behind, or the “trailing leg” In the case of combined knitters, this will be the front of the stitch, but it still trails behind the part of the stitch at the back of the needle. All thse stitches will look the same, when your piece is finished, regardless of which method you use.

I’m so glad I was able to see the video on twisted stitches- I have actually been creating the knitted fabric correctly (all these years), just using the combined method with picking up twisted stitches - fast, looks good and with extremely even tension.
I also appreciate the response on KTBL- that’s what was confusing when my knitting style was different than generally described.