Tips on how to purl like a pro

Ok - I have finally gotten the hang of casting on and the knit stitch. I feel pretty comfortable with those. I checked out the video for the purl stitch - I am all thumbs. I really am having a difficult time. It’s so discouraging :frowning: Any suggestions / tips on how to make it easier. One of my problems is that I hold my yarn unconventionally (left hand but I predominantly use my middle finger and index finger to guide the yarn). I soooo want to knit something! Help! Thank you bunches. I know we all have to start somewhere…I just want to get there! ha

Did you watch the video marked continental knitting? It is for those who knit like you and me. After that just practice… You can do this. I’m betting that knitting wasn’t comfortable for you at first either, but you kept at it until you could. You’ll be a pro at purling in no time too, you just wait to see!

In Amy’s video ,she uses her middle finger to pull down the yarn for the purl stitch. I don’t know how she does that! I keep all my fingers on the needles except the index finger which I pivot down towards me ,wrap the yarn around the right needle and pull through. Hope that helps. Ellie

I use my left thumb, instead of my middle finger, to wrap the yarn in a purl stitch. It took me some time to get the purl stitch consistent and to a place where I didn’t feel like I was all thumbs! Now, I’m pretty fast at purling (but not as fast as I can knit).

When I first started knitting the purl stitch frustrated me, too. Then I watched Amy’s video and the double pointed needle video. I also hold my yarn in left hand. Her video helped me. I played it over and over. Because of her videos, I love purling!!!
> WYIF, I insert right needle into stitch. Place working yarn over right needle.
> Push finger with yarn [B][I][U]below[/U][/I][/B] needles (it holds yarn over needle).
> Right needle travels under and behind left needle. Slip stitch off.
I hope this helps.

Like Ellieblue, I use my index finger to move the yarn, rather than the middle finger.

In the Continental purl video, the index finger holds the yarn far up from the needle. I work with my finger much closer, maybe an inch and a half of yarn, no room for the middle finger, lol. I form the stitch by sort of scooping with the right needle as I push/wrap the yarn down and to the right at the same time. My finger actually blocks my view of the stitch for a second as I pull the right needle back out.

I sometimes use my left or right index finger to sort of hold the stitch for a sec as I pull the right needle out the back, but that’s usually only at the beginning or end of a row when there’s less tension from previous stitches.

Wow, it’s really hard to describe, hope it makes sense. In any case, just practice a lot. After a while you’ll get a rhythm and way of forming the stitch that’s perfect for YOU. Although I watched the videos, after enough practice I just found myself doing it “my” way.

Just so you won’t think no one does it like Amy does… :wink: I’ll say, "I do it just like Amy does and learned it that way a long time ago. " Works for me too. Everyone has a different way of doing things. Pretty much anything goes that works for you. Some ways may be a little better than others, but if it works it works. I recently taught 4 different ladies to purl and showed them my/Amy’s way and I think they all have a little different spin on the way they accomplish it. I wonder, does anyone knit with their toes? :chair:

I hold my yarn pretty much the way Amy shows, around my pinkie, under my fingers, over my index finger. My middle finger to pinkie hold the left needle, the index finger is providing tension on the working yarn, and my thumb pulls the yarn down for the purl stitch.

But, if you’re not comfortable working on that right now, go ahead and do a project in garter stitch. Or do something in the round in stockinette stitch. Neither requires purling. Once you’re confident with everything else, purling should be a bit easier.

I really got good with purling by practicing seed stitch and 1x1 ribbing. The constant switching back and forth between knit and purl really helped set the feeling into my fingers.

I knit continental also and I practically purled a whole scarf until I got the hang of it…the more you do it, the more natural it will feel until it is just as comfortable as the knit stitch! You will probably develop your own method, so don’t worry if you do it differently than anyone else…

:muah: I cannot thank you all enough for your encouragement and your suggestions. I’ll keep plugging away and maybe one of these days I’ll acutally be able to make something :wink:

you can do it… it will get easier… just keep going…

I tried holding the yarn Amy’s way and it just didn’t work for me. As long as your putting the yarn through the right holes, you can figure out your own way to hold and move the needles and yarn.

I used to really hate purling, it was so tiring… but now I almost prefer it to the knit stitch… almost. Knit stitch is still simpler, but I enjoy the motion of the purl… :teehee:

Adrienne, do you have a Teddy Bear? Make him a seed stitch scarf. You know, cast on ten, turn, knit one, purl one, knit one, purl one, etc. I did that when I decided to learn Continental and it worked really well. If I’m not talking, I purl faster than I knit.

The best suggestion, IMHO, is Cristeens’ to do something in a garter stitch, so you can say “I made something!”

I’m certainly no pro, but I use my thumb with continental. (The picture may be combined but I’ve since switched.)
It only works for whole rows but keeps me thinking purl for the whole row.

With ribbing I suffer through it until the yarn gets into the right place on my index finger that I can pivot that hand over.

I’m currently working on a version of a ribbed fingerless mitt and am now using Amy’s method for purling. For some reason I couldn’t get my fingers to work the way hers do at first, but now I can. Go figure. Using my middle finger to work the yarn in a purl stitch is much more efficient for me.

I’ve found that purling is easier once I learned continental. Not to muddy the waters, but if you find that your purl stitches just aren’t as even as your knit stitches, I would recommend learning the Norwegian Purl. You can control the tension much better with this method. Plus, I was getting a repetitive pain from the normal purl, not so with the Norwegian.

Someone posted this YouTube video in the General Knitting forum. This might make it easier for you. :wink: