How to Purl: Beginners Guide

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If you love simply love knitted or stitched clothes and would want to make them on your own, you’re on the right page on the internet. In this article, we’ll share with you a detailed guide on how you can knit the purl stitch as a beginner. This article will provide you with all the steps involved in doing basic purl stitching. This method of purl stitching can be used when making your own clothes, garments, accessories, and many others. so, without further ado, let’s get right to how to purl.

How to purl as a beginner

Before you begin knitting the purl stitch, it is important that you understand what knitting is all about and what it needs.

There are actually many ways on how you can make clothes, however, when it comes to the oldest way of doing it – it would be through knitting. Yes, knitting has been among the oldest way to build and make clothes from scratch. The best thing about knitting is that you don’t need any fancy materials and equipment to start – you just need a pair of needles and a yarn. A wide variety of knitting machines are used today for commercial purposes however there is no better and more enjoyable way to knit and stitch than with the hands.

So, knitting basically involves interlinking or knotting the yarn multiple times until fabric is made. This knitted fabric can be turned into clothes, garments, and other end products. The number of knitting and stitch types increases through the years and develops based on the need or purpose. Among the knitting and stitching types that are commonly used include warp knitting and weft knitting, as well as basic knit stitch and purl stitch. The most popular of which is the purl stitch because of its wavy look and resemblance to interlaced ropes.

So what do you need before you start knitting?

Knitting requires patience:

First of all, knitting requires patience. Knitting involves having to go through every single stitch and knit as you work your way through your desired outcome. Depending on the level of patience that you put on your work, you can have simple knitted work for home use, to knitted work that is good enough to be sold. Many people are attracted to the intricacies and beauty of knitted clothes and garments and are always willing to spend a good amount on them. so, if you’re looking to make money out of your knitted work, or simply would want a fabulous knitted garment or clothe to show to others, it is important that you put a good amount of patience while doing it.

Need Consistency:

Along with patience, you will also need consistency when knitting. Knitted fabric or clothes are composed of uniform linings of stitches – this is among the things which make knitted clothes attractive. However, if there is no consistency on the knitted fabric, the linings are not uniform thus creating an awkward look on the fabric. Consistency when knitting means you need to be mindful of the spaces and the gaps between the stitches. Having ununiform stitches in between distorts and even destroys the beauty of the knitted fabric, clothe, or garment.

Good Pair of Eyes:

Of course, you will also need a good pair of eyes when knitting your clothes or garments. The level of detail along with the uniformity of the stitches will depend on how well you’ve set your eyes on every stitch. A keen eye for detail will give you consistency in your work and you’ll never miss a spot as you knit. Also, knitting will take a lot of time which can strain the eyes, which is why you need to make sure your eyes are always fully charged and rested. When knitting, it is advised to take constant rests to avoid straining the eyes and hands.

Design idea:

Lastly, you will need to have a good idea of what your final output should be like. While it is good to have an idea of what your final output is when knitting, it is important to draw or put it on paper where you can always refer to as you work. If not a sketch, have a picture as a reference for your knitted product. Having a visual of your target outcome will help you achieve the outcome that you desire.

Learning how to purl as a beginner

Now that you have a good understanding of what knitting is and the basic requirements, let’s get right to it! Here’s how to do a purl stitch.

Bamboo needle

What you will need:

One of the important things that you’ll need when knitting is yarn. You can have your choice of any color or quality of yarn, and make sure you have enough for your particular goal.

Next is the pair of bamboo needles. Steel or metal needles, as well as wooden needles, could also be a great choice however these are very slippery and are not cost-effective. Bamboo needles would be the optimum choice since you’re just starting as a beginner.


In this particular guide on how to do the purl stitch, we’ll try to do it as basic as possible so that it will be easy to remember and execute without the need for any tutorial video.

  1. First is to cast or put on as many stitches that you like on one needle. To cast the yarn on your needle, wrap the yarn around your left thumb and hold the needle with your right hand. Pull the yarn that is wrapped around your thumb using the needle. Repeat the process until you have the number of casts that you like for your model. Make sure that the end of the yarn is always at the front or facing towards you. Forgetting to put the end of the yarn in front will make the stitches look tangled or distorted thus ruining the aesthetics of the fabric.
  2. Next is to work on inserting the other needle (using your left hand) to the knots of the yarn casts on the right needle. Simply slide or insert the tip of the needle around the last cast where the yarn is hanging. As you insert the needle around the yarn knot, wrap or tie the yarn counterclockwise. If you’re facing the needles, the wrapping of the yarn on the needle starts from below, pulling it towards you, and going up, then going to the back of the needle to fully make a wrap. Make sure to wrap only the needle on your right hand.
  3. Now comes the tricky part. Pull the right needle off the knot of the left needle. As you pull the needle carefully, make sure that the knot or wrapped yarn does not pull off from place. This can be done by putting both hands and fingers close to the ends of the needles. For better accuracy while doing this, make sure to keep the left hand with the needle steady and let the right needle do most of the work by tilting it at convenient angles to pull out the yarn. The knot is pulled out by the right needle, slide off one cast of the left needle – this then makes one purl stitch.
  4. Basically, you’ve done all the process in making a purl stitch at this point. You’ll just need to repeat it until you accomplish your target goal. As you finish every purl, make sure to tug or pull the end of the yarn to righten the stitches.

Now that you’ve learned about the bare essentials of how to purl, you can now move on to incorporating this knitting technique into other techniques and patterns. Doing so will provide you with more variations on your knitted clothes and garments. You can combine the purl stitch with other stitch patterns so you can create florals, shapes, and other forms on your knitted works.

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