Learning to Purl

stillday's picture

Today, my wife introduced me to the purl stitch......AAAAAAARGH! @#$%&!**$#@......Ahh.....I feel better now. The fingers seem to be ignoring what the brain is telling them to do. Thanks for listening, guys. Back to purling practice.

BTW the garter stitch scarf I'm working on is coming along o.k. I'll put up a picture as soon as I get a camera hooked up.

Comments

You might want to check out

You might want to check out the Eastern Combined method of purling ---
it really is just like a knit stitch in reverse and is pretty easy on the hands.
You have to pay attention to the stitch mount on the next row, however.
There are video demonstrations of it on YouTube.

BuduR's picture

Oh yes, the days of

Oh yes, the days of wondering when my hands went retarded on wrong side rows. This too shall pass.

MWK's Token Estrogen-American

lowey's picture

Heheh, I only learnt the

Heheh, I only learnt the purl stitch last week; I'd always thought it was something mystical that would take ages to learn. In actual fact I found it surprisingly easy once I realised that it was just a backwards knit stitch. Someone standing on the other side of your work watching you make a purl would basically see you doing a normal knit stitch.

The finger trouble is literally just "muscle memory" (I hate that term, but I guess it's the most commonly accepted phrase) and so it won't take long to get used to it, like with typing, tying your shoe laces, or making a knit stitch. :) I reckon by the time you've done that stockinette swatch you'll be purling like a pro.

stillday's picture

Thanks for the

Thanks for the encouragement. I stepped away for a bit and then tried again before going to bed (I work the graveyard shift). It started to come together a little bit better. It will just take practice, practice, practice.

My wife is teaching me the Continental way of doing things since that's how she was taught and how she knits. The practice swatch is knit one row, purl the next, and then repeat. She says it called stockinette.

MMario's picture

yup - well one side is

yup - well one side is called stockinette, the other side is called "reverse stockinette"

MMario - ambiguity is cultivated, it doesn't happen in a vacuum!

gardenguy42's picture

You know Elizabeth

You know Elizabeth Zimmerman, the mother of modern knitting, hated purling (and darning seams) so much she was inspired to invent circular-knitted sweaters and other delightful things that could be produced by knitting in the round and never purling a single stitch unless absolutely necessary. Don't fret it. Maybe you will be inspired to invent something new yourself....

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Asbjörn's picture

It took me a shift in

It took me a shift in knitting style to understand anything of what I was doing (especially purling). I originally taught myself English style as I read it is the most common method in the US, I figured that would keep me on par with most US knitters if a question arose. My confusion with the English method is hard to explain but nothing about it seemed clear to me. On a whim, I started teaching myself Continental knitting and instantaneously everything fell into place. I suddenly understood the differences in the stitches, how each stitch laid on the needles and in the finished work. It really clarified things for me. I'm not suggesting that as a beginner you should drop everything and shift gears completely, but if after much practice things aren't more clearly and you're not confident in your work I would suggest having a go at it (rather than quitting).

MMario's picture

yeah - what they said. To

yeah - what they said.

To be perfectly honest - it took me 40 plus years in order to figure out how to do a purl ...but once I figured it out it only took a couple of days for it to feel almost as natural as a knit stitch. I still don't like 1 x 1 rib though.

MMario - ambiguity is cultivated, it doesn't happen in a vacuum!

Nobody likes 1 x 1 rib, and

Nobody likes 1 x 1 rib, and if it took you 40 years to figure purling then you must have started knitting in the first grade.

MMario's picture

prior to first grade. g-mom

prior to first grade. g-mom taught me before I started school. tho' I am in my second half-century.

MMario - ambiguity is cultivated, it doesn't happen in a vacuum!

Naah - you're kidding me.

Naah - you're kidding me.

MMario's picture

wish I were. My current

wish I were. My current avatar picture was taken shortly after my 46th b'day - in 2000.

MMario - ambiguity is cultivated, it doesn't happen in a vacuum!

If you say so - but I've

If you say so - but I've still been knitting (and purling) longer than you.

purlyman's picture

Yeah, don't worry about

Yeah, don't worry about it... it'll become just as easy and natural as the knit stitch. Honest.

So true. I used to hate

So true. I used to hate purling but find myself rather enjoying the stitch now.

Asbjörn's picture

As do I, especially when you

As do I, especially when you see the world of things the two stitches allow you to create.

jrrenola's picture

I feel your pain - the

I feel your pain - the purling feels awkward for the way I hold the yarn. Keep it up, the brain pain is worth it!

QueerJoe's picture

Don't worry...in no time you

Don't worry...in no time you won't even remember that your fingers didn't execute perfectly uniform knit and purl stitches.

I'll look forward to seeing your garter progress.