Wrapping the yarn in continental purling

Does it matter which way you wrap the yarn in continental purling as long as you always do it the same direction? I wrap the yarn counterclockwise when knitting, but I’ve been wrapping it clockwise when purling. I just watched Amy’s video and realized I wasn’t wrapping the way she does. She goes counterclockwise on both stitches, though I don’t think she refers to it in this way.

My work looks normal to me, but maybe I’m too new at this to know. :??

I say if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. You are happy with the work, it looks fine to you, and you’re comfortable with the way you wrap the yarn. The only problem I could see would be the tightness of the stitches Let’s see what others say though…

I believe what you are doing is called a twisted purl. When you are working into these twisted purl stitches, are you working into the front loop or the back loop? If you work into the back loops of those stitches, it straightens itself out. I discovered this technique recently as a way to neaten up ribbing.

It shouldn’t be a problem for stockinette and garter, but it could create problems when you do decreases (maybe even increases–I dunno); they may not look right. Try them and see, though; if you’re happy with the way they look, don’t change a thing!

:shock: Um… I’m not sure what I do? I knit cont. style and when I purl, I wrap the yarn over the top of the needle from the front to the back. Is this clockwise or counter-clockwise? I really don’t know? :?? I haven’t watched the video for fear of this very thing - discovering that I’m doing something “wrong” and trying to fix it.

I’ve been knitting this way for years and have had no problems. I do cables and increases and decreases and… well, any thing that you purl. I have not seen anything that looks any different from my MIL’s knitting and she’s NOT a cont. knitter. Nothing is twisted either.

I’d go with what everyone else is saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” If you like the way your knitting looks, then it’s right! I would imagine that each of us has some little quirk that makes our knitting unique and that’s important! We don’t knit the same things so why should we all knit exactly the same way?

Hope this helps? Angela

(paranoia sets in) Am I doing it all wrong as well?
There should be a knitting fairy godmother who comes by, watches you knit, gives you all sorts of encouragement and pats on the head, tells you what you’re doing wrong, brings you coffee and then vanishes until you call her name again… In her spare time I’d like to think that my knitting godmother programs my husband so he’s extra sweet! And so that he’ll knit all the ‘boring’ parts for me. lol

I definitely am not purling through the back loop, but it still doesn’t look twisted to me. My stitches aren’t too tight because I’ve gotten used to it and have adjusted the tension. I have done some pieces that require increases and decreases, as well as cables and knitting/purling through the back loop and it all seems to resemble the photos.

The only time I noticed a difference was when I knitted a sample yesterday and changed the direction of my wrap mid-row. Then it looks weird. When I did a whole row of clockwise wrap and another row of counterclockwise wrap, I can’t tell the difference.

I guess I’ll keep purling clockwise. Sure makes it easier to get the yarn around the needle in continental. Perhaps you should try it. You might like it. The question now becomes: How do I teach others - the “correct way” or my way…


Your purl stitches shouldn’t look twisted in a rib if you wrap the same way every row, except maybe in the first row. I’ve been playing around with different continental purls, and found that I like the way it looks when purling from the back and wrapping clockwise (plus it’s actually easier for me to wrap purls clockwise than counterclockwise).


I had a hard time wrapping counter-clockwise until I started using my left middle finger to “push” the yarn underneath the needle so that I can scoop it.

I have been following this and am quite fascinated but… which way is clockwise! That sounds so stupid on it’s own! :oops:

What I mean is… does the yarn go over the needle from “front to back” or “back to front”? :?? Does my description make sense? I can’t figure out which way I should look at the work to describe which way I’m doing it! I’m confused. :shock:

Can someone describe which way is clockwise? I’m very curious now. I also know that I’m not purling through the back or anything and the stitches look right. I’m just interested in how others are doing it now. I don’t know too many people who knit in the Cont. style so it’s very cool to find others.

Thanks, Angela

In the conti purl, the yarn goes from top, to left, around the bottom, scoop with RH needle, and the loop is pulled through. That’s counter-clockwise, like if the hands of your clock were going backward instead of forward.

Oh, and Angela, you should check out Amy’s video of the conti purl. Maybe seeing it done will make more sense–I know it did for me!

:happydance: Yeah! Ang, I took your advice and watched the video - I was very nervous! Happily I am doing it correctly! Yeah! :happydance:

You’re right, the video was awesome and showed me exactly what I see every time I purl. Now I am happy. Thanks for the suggestion!


Not a problem–happy to help!

I LOVE Amy’s videos. I use them for everything. When I did fair isle, I watched the English knit stitch video a bizillion times; I knit with her for about 30 mins. before I felt comfortable knitting English on my own. :smiley:

I am a believer! I think it was simply fear of having learned it the wrong way. :oops: After 4 years, I’ve kinda gotten in the habit of doing it “my way” and was worried that I’d have to re-learn stuff. It’s just not a good time to do that - I’m still knitting for Christmas!

Thanks again! Ang