How to knit the Purl Stitch – a photo and video tutorial

Learn to knit the purl stitch

In this post I’m going to show you how to knit the purl stitch. I’ve taken this from my “Learn to Knit for Beginners Course”.

Because I thought you might want to have a handy reference guide for different technique, I’ve split my course into a series of specific posts like this one too.

If you’re just starting out, check out my Learn to Knit for Beginners course for lots more techniques and a “getting started” guide.

Lets get started with the purl stitch

How to knit the Purl Stitch

Cast-on the number of stitches required by your pattern.  If you are just casting on to learn to knit, try casting on 25-30 stitches.

If you’re not sure how to cast-on, see my quick tutorial here to show you how to make a long-tail cast-on.

If you’re not sure how to hold your needles and yarn, check out this introduction to knitting post here.

When making a purl stitch, you will make the same movements as you did for the knit stitch, except that the working yarn will be in front of your knitting.

Hold the knitting in the same way, but this time, have the working yarn in-front of your needle as shown in the pictures below.

We will make the purl stitch as follows:

Step 1


Step 2


Step 3


Step 4


Step 5


So, all you have to do now is repeat these steps for the next (and all stitches) in the row.  You have now purled a row of purl-stitches!

Now, practice purling a few rows, if you purl every stitch on every row, you will be creating something called “Garter Stitch”.

As you can see from the picture below, there are a number of different textures that you can create from just two stitches.  If you want to make any of these, you will need to learn how to make the “Knit-stitch” too. You can find my tutorial on the Knit-Stitch here.

Different knitted fabrics

It may seem a bit complicated if you’re just starting out, but don’t worry, I have put lots more information on different knitted fabrics in Lesson 2 of my Learn to Knit for Beginners, which you can find here.

How to knit the Purl Stitch – Video Tutorial

Just in case it helps, here is a video showing the purl stitch steps:

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