Purl Too Tight!


:?? I am knitting the stokinette stitch, but when I start a new row of knit stitch, I am finding it impossible to slide the needle into the old purl stitch!!! I have tried to loosen up as I create the purl row, but it continues to hug the needle super snugly. What do I need to adjust so that the purl loops are not squeezing the life out of my needle?


Is there a chance that you are twisting your knit stitches? Look on this page: http://www.knittinghelp.com/knitting/basic_techniques/misc.php under ‘Fixing Mistakes’ there’s a video called ‘Recognizing an Accidentally Twisted Stitch’. If that’s the case, it would make it tight to purl into properly on the return row.

Or is it that you’re pulling on the working yarn a bit after each purl stitch? You shouldn’t pull on the yarn to tighten the stitches against the needle…just let it happen “naturally”

If it is just a case of knitting too tightly, here is a great article that offers tips and suggestions for how to loosen up!


Thank you all so much! I shall tackle all of your suggestions tonight and see how I fare.

If I don’t fare well… well then, uh… You’ll hear from me again shortly :?? but hopefully :XX:

Kemp, I’m not sure I understand your suggestion. I am knitting continental and so I am pulling the working yarn onto the right needle as I purl. It gets tighter as I knit along by default as the purl loops pile onto that needle… I suppose I can try to be more gentle with my right hand to not pull unnecessarily, but I have to pull that needle from the working yarn repeatedly. Any further thoughts? Or does anyone else know what she might be trying to show me :o) and whether it applies when purling continental?

I don’t know what I am doing wrong though. How do I find this out? Could I be purling wrong?

Have you watched the videos available on this site to see if you’re doing the knit stitch and the purl stitch properly?? Here is a link that shows different methods of the knit stitch:
And here is a link showing different ways of doing the purl stitch:

Hope this helps you figure it out.

Thank you Starsky!

It seems I am doing everything as instructed.

This one remains a mystery. It looks like my stitches are twisting, but I don’t know why because up and down it seems I am doing exactly as my Knitting Books says and the videos :wall: :frog:

You are a bright :sunny:

If I don’t figure it out by week’s end, I’ll take it up with the local yarn store. Stay posted… PLEASE!!! Grr.

Thanks for being here, I am left handed and I am teaching myself to knit with a book, knitting was fine but all of my purls were so tight I couldn’t fit my needle through them. I googled tight purls, found this thread, followed the helpful links and TADA!!! my purls were all twisted but now are all straight. Thanks for being here, I will definitely be sticking around here.

Happy to have you join us, the more the merrier! And that we could help you out.

I am also a continental knitter and when i first started I used to have this problem also. I was wrapping my yarn the wrong way. When purling continental it is trickier to bring the yarn through the stitch when you are doing it the right way, I guess that is why so many new continental knitters end up with twisted purls. Make sure your working yarn is in front of your left needle, then wrap it around over the top of the needle, bringing it all the way around to the bottom, then pull the loop through the stitch. If it is still unclear, then watch the English purling video to get a better picture of the direction the wrap needs to go, then watch the continental version again. It is a bit tricky at first, but you will get it.

oops, didn’t realize this was an old post.