Why can't i purl?

i have successfully learned to cast on and knit (thank you Amy for your helpful videos!) but for the life of me, my purl just isn’t working.

i’m working with size 8 needles on this pattern:

the pattern is really easy to follow. my problem is when it comes time to purl, everything seems to fall apart.
specifically, it’s when i bring the right needle back to slide the old loop off.
thats where im having difficulty. its almost like i dont know where to insert my needle to slide off the old loop. it makes sense in my head, yet my needles aren’t cooperating.
please help.

Here are some nice big pictures that explain various knitting techniques as well as purling.

The purse you are making has quite a big of open work so that might make it a little harder becauses the fabric won’t feel as sturdy. Keep going, you’ll get it!

oh Jan thank you!
those illustrations are HUGE and definitely easy to follow.
ok, now if i can just get a second to myself at work to practice!
thank you again. i promised myself im going to get through this pattern.

Ahhh you’ll have that purl down in no time! I think maybe beginners make the mistake of trying to make the needle face downwards when you don’t have to, I don’t anyhow, you go in downwards but I just point the needle upwards like the knit. It might be confusing but it’s natural after awhile.

You’ll get it! :thumbsup:

thanks for the support Victoise!
i’m not sure if i point my needle downward…must check that.
what was happening was when i was trying to slide the tip of the right needle through the center of the stitch on the left needle, i was fudging it all up. i think my stitches were too tight first of all. second, it seemed i was creating a double stitch when i pulled the new stitch onto the right needle. does that make sense? it just didnt look right.
i’ll get it.
my boss is leaving for a dentist appt in 10 minutes, and i just happen to have my knitting tote under my desk. :lol:

by the way…
this forum rocks!
i know zero knitters in “real life”.
i really appreciate everyone here!

:rofling: :rofling: I’m totally picturing you acting all professional as you talk to your boss about last minute work issues only to dive for the knitting bag as the door closes behind him/her! :happydance: :XX: :happydance:

stick with it, knittychrissy… I took a LOOOOONG time to figure out the purl stitch. I know how you feel, that’s the exact place I couldn’t figure out. pushing the right needle tip through the loop and pushing that loop off the left needle seems like all one motion to me now. just practice it and don’t give up. :slight_smile:

you ladies are awesome!
update: i’m over my purl anxiety. i finally got the hang of it.

second update: i got to row 20 in seed stitch when i realized i had almost doubled the amount of stitches on my needle. What the hell? Where did all these stitches come from?
i frogged the whole thing to start over. I was a little critical of my lacework anyhow and figured i’d start from scratch and count my stitches the whole way through.

does anyone have any thoughts as to where these extra stitches came from?

The best bet is that you didn’t move your yarn back and forth between the needle every single time. With seed stitch, this can be a pain, but it must be in the back before you knit and it must be moved in front before you purl. Otherwise you give yourself accidental yarn-over stitches.

This is why I avoid projects that have lots of seed stitch. I don’t mind a border, but for a whole sweater or blanket, no thanks. :wink:

i did realize the emphasis on moving the yarn back for knits and forward for purls, but that has to be where i screwed up.
my i looped instead of just moving the yarn?
thanks for your reply! i will definitely pay closer attention this time.
ugh, seed stitch. and i thought purling was bad!

Hey girl,
I’m a newbie too. I had the exact same problem at first with unintentional increases. My problem was not bringing the yarn to the back for knit, and to the front for purl. Hopefully you’ve figured out what was causing your increases, but I’d say that is a pretty good bet. Hang in there and I will too!

thanks loveswildflowers!
okey doke, i started aaaaall over. again. this time i obsessively counted my stitches after each row.
tada! i’ve gotten through the seed stitch part of the pattern without increasing my stitches. i even see those pretty “bumps” that seed stitch is sposed to create! woohoo!
holy crap knitting is hard…but so addictive.

It gets easier. Yet stays addictive. :wink:

I tried knitting a scarf with rib stitch and kept having those problems too. I finally decided to set that project aside and now I’m knitting a big piece, don’t even know what it’s going to be, but I am doing it in stockinette stitch. I really hate to purl, so my idea is to just keep doing it over and over till it’s as natural as knitting to me. So far, I do the knit row (200+ stitches) and hum along happily, then as I near the end of that, I start to turn sour, “Oh, it’s time for the purl row” and I get through that, and toward the end, I start to smile, “OH BOY! A knit row!” and so on . . .

:smiley: Kathi