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How to Knit the Purl Stitch | Learn to Knit Beginner Stitch Series Part 4

Updated: Jul 1, 2021

Hello everyone and welcome to Love & Crochet's fourth post in the Learn to Knit from Beginner to Advanced series! Start with part 1 if you are a complete beginner or are new to the series, or continue reading this article to learn the purl stitch.

Not interested in going through the picture guide? Skip to the short video at the bottom of this post to see the purl stitch created in one step.

Before we get into the post, we have a super quick message for you. We use third-party cookies to display relevant advertisements on this page, and present affiliate links directed to products that we know and love. As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from and other shopping platforms. This helps us provide free articles and other quality content. Any purchases made from these advertisements will support us, at no additional cost to you! Thank you for being here and enjoy the article!

Note about the purl stitch: as you knit this stitch, you may notice that it looks like the garter stitch. Never fear—this is supposed to happen. The purl and knit (garter) stitch look identical but can be used together in the same piece to create beautiful patterns in your projects. We will get into these excitable techniques soon in the Learn to Knit Series (only a blog post away)!


Head to Part 1 for a quick overview of what you need to knit and a concise review of why we selected the specific products pictured below. We highly recommend that you purchase these materials! Just click on the links below to buy them immediately, or head over to Part 1 of The Learn to Knit Beginner Stitch Series to learn more.

Amazon links for the knitting needles, scissors, yarn, and embroidery needles ⬇

Joann Links for the knitting needles and yarn ⬇

I hope you will consider buying anything through the links above, as any purchase made from the links of these tried-and-true products will support Love & Crochet!

When you have all of the materials ready, learn how to knit the purl stitch using the instructions below.

How to Knit the Purl Stitch

1. Position your hands

After casting on, your grip on the needles should be the same as when you knitted the garter stitch. The picture below is a nice refresher in case you forgot!

2. Insert the right needle in the first loop (from the top)

A visual of step two is shown below on a purl stitch further down in the row.

3. Wrap the yarn around the right needle, from front to back (as shown in the following video).

4. Pull the right needle and yarn (wrapped around in the previous step) through the stitch

I suggest that you watch the video beneath this step, so you don't make a mistake. It's hard to explain this detail in words which is why the visual below is such a great guide.

5. Lift the loop (on the left) over the needle

This step is fairly straightforward but, as always, check out the following video for clarity.

6. Repeat steps 2-5 until the end of the row. Swap the needles in your hands and continue to repeat

A full video on how to knit the purl stitch is embedded below. Feel free to slow it down if need be.

There you have it! If you went through the previous parts in the Learn to Knit Series, you should now have a solid foundation in the craft of knitting. The knit (garter) and purl stitch are the two basic stitches that you use in combination to create beautiful patterns in knitting. We'll get into these special designs very soon!

Congratulations on making it to the end of our tutorial on the purl stitch, and thank you so much for being here! We hope to see you in our next post of the series, the stockinette stitch, and the tutorials in this series that are yet to come. Let us know if you have any questions. Until next time!

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1 Comment

Unknown member
Mar 01, 2021

Thank you so much for this tutorial! I've been looking for a purl stitch tutorial everywhere thats as easy to read and understand as this one is!

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