Purl through the back loop

Vogue Knitting, you fail me!

Okay, so given that I know how and have done Knit through the back loop many times, can someone help me with an explanation of purl through the back loop?

It just seems wrong when I try it. I’m pretty sure that the back loop one would use to knit with is the same one you’d use to purl with, but when I try it, I’ve got too much going on in there.

My main confusion is needle insertion. (I knit English, not Continental, though I’m thinking that makes no difference.) Do you have the front loop lay OVER the right needle as you insert it through the back loop as if to purl, or do you go straight to the back loop and have the front loop UNDER the right needle after it’s gone through the back loop?

Or some other way?

I DID check for a helpful video, but found none (maybe I looked in the wrong place.) I also checked Vogue knitting, SnB and Knitting in Plain English. But it’s neither an increase, decease, cast on or cast off, so it doesn’t get its own special illustration.

“HOLP, HOLP!” As my 2yo yells when I’m trying to change his poopy butt. “I StUCK I StUCK!” (Except he has problems with consonant combos, and leaves out the T.)


P.S. I’m trying to start the new year right by going through the perpetual calendar 365 Stitches, if context is needed. This conundrum is courtesy Jan. 3rd’s, today.



Ignore the front loop and how it lays, insert the needle from left to right through the back loop. You’ll have to twist both needles a bit so the points are facing toward you more, and you should be able to get it done. Or like the picture that Jan linked to.

No, it doesn’t matter whether you do it English or Continental. This is what I do. When I come to the spot where I need to Ptbl I turn the work in my hands (don’t switch needles in your hands or anything, just turn the work a bit) so that I have the knit side facing me. Then I just run the RH needle into the stitch from right to left (kind of like I was purling), then turn the work back around so the purl side faces and yarn around and finish purling the stitch.

It’s a little slower, but works. This will also allow you to see where on earth you are suppose to be putting the needle, and you will be able to do it without turning after a bit, if you want to.

Thanks guys, I think I’ve got it now. But I think the picture assumes that you’ve slipped the stitch knitwise first. And I was getting a yarnover doing it another way. I was just having difficulty seeing the twist, until I brought the yarn up to do the next stitch, then I saw that it had twisted like it is supposed to.

Many thanks!

The way I’m doing it: with the stitch as it normally presents, pushing the front leg to the left so I can get to the back leg of the stitch, inserting the needle as if it purl from right to left, with yarn forward, wrapping and pulling yarn throughlike normal, then return yarn for next stitch, and you can see that the stitch has been twisted.

Clear as mud?

You guys rock, especially for your quick replies.