Trouble combining knit & purl

I’m new to knitting and have been teaching myself with a book. I do just fine with entire rows of knitting and purling (stockinette and garter patterns are a cinch). BUT — I can’t seem to k1, p1, in the same row without making a mess out of it. It looks tangled, I pick up extra stitches, etc. Argggh.

Can anyone explain what I might be doing wrong? I’ve been very careful to watch what I’m doing - even watching the videos to make sure I got the knit and purl techniques right in the first place. (Which I have.) I’m exhausted from trying to figure it out. Many thanks.

(This site is great by-the-way…)

When you do a knit stitch the yarn has to be behind the needles and when you do a purl stitch the yarn has to be in front of the needles.

So when you have just done a knit st and want to purl the next you need to bring the yarn between the needles to the front.

And when you have just done a purl and want to knit the next you need to pass the yarn to the back, again between the needles.

Not repositioning the yarn in either case will result in an extra loop on the needle, as will repositioning it by going round the outside of the needles.

One technique for deliberately increasing is the "yarn over " and not repositioning the yarn between ks and ps is one way of doing it.

Hope this helps!

Dearest Jacquie,

Your pointers should surely help me! I think that I was wrapping the yarn around the outside to switch from knits to purls. (I pretty much had pulled out all of my hair!)

Telling me to pull the yarn BETWEEN the needles is I think what I needed to see and hear. Such a simple thing - go figure… I tried a few stiches and it seems to be working - even though I feel like I have twelve thumbs. It’ll all smooth out, I know.

Thanks SO much!

Good point!! I think I’ll include a video on k1, p1 ribbing, and mention this, for other beginners!

CHeck this out — it made knit/purl sooooo easy for me!

(English knitting style — I’m not coordinated enough for continental yet :shock: )


Hope this helps!!!

Great illustration, Roxy! I’ll include a link to that with the ribbing video!


I know this may seem biased, but you will find it so much easier to K1,P1 using the Continental method of knitting. Also, knitting using this method is so much faster. I don’t even think about where to put my yarn (front or back) using the Continental method. It just comes naturally. I think if you give it a try, you won’t go back to the slow English method. I learned this from a college friend who told me when still in my late teens to knit using the Continental method because it is so much faster. Therefore I never learned the English method - and watching the way the English method is done, and how slow it seems, I’m glad I didn’t. Just my 50 cents worth. It might feel awkward at first, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll zip right along!

Thanks so much to everyone who wrote with help! I will keep working at this. Still having some troubles and feeling clumsy.

Amy - I’m looking forward to your ribbing video. :slight_smile:

Another vote for continental method :-). It is very natural for me to lift the yarn with my finger from front to back for k/p in the same row without letting go of the needles. I tried using the English method and felt very clumsy with it (dropping the needle when I threw the yarn, etc…)


Annie, I put up the ribbing video a few days ago! (Sorry I didn’t let you know personally at the time, but I have a hard time keeping track of the requests I get for videos.) It’s in the Basic Techniques/ More page.

To keep aware of future site updates, look for new posts to the “Site Updates Log” thread. When I add a new video, I post it on this thread.

Happy knitting!

Amy, thank you SO much for that video!!! It helped me tremendously.

For some reason, I was pulling the yarn between the needles from the bottom, instead of from the top. Sheesh. I knew it was something simple that I was overlooking. Oh — being a beginner. Anyway… now I’m flying through my seed stitch poncho.

This is such a great site and wonderful resource. Much appreciated!

Thanks again to all who shared.