Um...are my knit and purl supposed to look the same?!

So I grabbed some white yarn, so that the stitches would be easy to see…and I began practicing (I’m very new at this).

Anyway, I think I might be doing something wrong. When I knit on every row, it looks like the half circles like it’s supposed to, but if I purl every row it looks exactly the same…is that supposed to happen? I thought that purling every row would look different.

Now if I ALTERNATE the rows, knit one row, purl one row, etc it does look different, so that’s right…but I just thought it was wierd that if I knit 10 rows and then purl 10 rows they look the same to me…looks like 20 rows of garter stitch. :frog:

They should look different… are you sure you are purling the last ten? I thought I was but I wasn’t when I tried :smiley:

nope, i’m not sure at all…in fact, I’m sure I’m not if they are supposed to look different!! :slight_smile:

So, which one is supposed to look like Vs, is that the purling?

Also, how do I tell if I am working on the Right Side (RS) of the work or on the Wrong Side (WS)??

While Knitting flat, Knitting every row and Purling every row will look the same, both produce garter stitch. A purl stitch is the backside of a knit stitch.

Will take you to a picture of garter stitch (knit every stitch) scroll to the bottom to see… :smiley:

That is an example of purl stitch :slight_smile: HTH :smiley:

If you purl every row, yes it will look the same as knit every row. Garter stitch. To get stockinette, knit one row, purl one row.

well it’s good to know that I’m not just doing it wrong!! :slight_smile:

If you pulle your knitted piece height-wise you will see the little V’s of the knit stitches when doing garter stitch. You are seeing the U’s of the purl side only because they tend to poke out and “envelope” the V’s. But either way, garter stitch done in all purls or all knits are going to look identical in the end.

To really see a difference try a swatch of say 40 stitches.

Row “A” - k8, p8, k8, p8, k8
Row “B” - p8, k8, p8, k8, p8

alternate row A and B until you have enough to see…

The “right” side will have three columns of stockinette divided by two columns of reverse stocking stitch.

The “wrong” (or “private” side) will have two columns of stocking stitch between three columns of reverse stockinette.


thanks mmario i will try that tonight! :slight_smile:

you guys are so much help I LOVE THIS PLACE!!! :woot:

I just learned to knit using YouTube. I have to agree that Knit and Purl look exactly the same! My goal was to do one ball of yarn in Knit stitch and one ball of yarn in Purl. My confusion is that they do look the same. I don’t see any difference in the stitches. Does the difference only display when you Stockinette or Ribbing?

Also, I am having problems getting the correction tension now that I am purling. I moved up to continental method for the knit stitch, and since I am just starting to practice purl, I am throwing the stitches. My tension is just lacking and I don’t know how to fix that.

Any suggestions would be helpful.


Hi and welcome to KH and to knitting!
If you knit all the rows or purl all the rows, you make a garter stitch fabric which looks the same on both sides. Either way you’ll produce the same end result.
As you say, if you do stockinette or ribbing you’ll see the difference between the knit side and the purl side. For these stitch patterns, you’re knitting on one side and purling on the other side (or alternating knits and purls).
Even tension is something that comes with practice for both knit and purl stitches. Trying several methods is a good idea that will help you find a method that is comfortable for you. It may be a combination of purling by one method and knitting by another. It sounds like you’re well on your way, trying new things and playing around with the stitches. Enjoy learning and practicing!

There’s sort of only one stitch in knitting - the back of a knit stitch is a purl, the back of a purl is a knit. They’re made differently depending on which side you work from. You won’t see a difference in the stitches until you alternate a row of knits with a row of purls and that will make stockinette stitch. Or ribbing which is mixing knit and purl stitches on the same row.

The right tension for you comes with practice and even if it’s a little off at first, when you wash the items, the stitches will even out a lot.