There are only two basic stitches in knitting: the knit stitch and the purl stitch. The right side of a knit stitch looks like a “V,” while the right side of a purl stitch looks like a little bump. Also, the wrong side of a knit stitch is a purl and the wrong side of a purl stitch is a knit. This fact makes the combining of knits and purls endlessly fascinating, but before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s learn to purl!
Purling is a lot like knitting, with a couple of key differences: the working yarn comes from the front side of the needle and the needle enters the front of the stitch from back to front. Here’s what that looks like…
Hold the needle with the stitches on it in your left hand, with the working yarn coming from the right end. The working needle is in your right hand ready to go.
Insert the right needle through the first stitch on the left needle with a toward-you motion.
Use your right hand to bring the working yarn up the front of the right needle, and wrap it counter clockwise around the tip of the right needle.
Push the loop that is on the right needle through the stitch on the left needle in an away-from-you motion.
With a new stitch on the right needle, allow the stitch to fall off the left needle.
To purl the next stitch, make sure the working yarn is coming from the side of the needle that is closer to you (i.e. from the front of the work) and repeat the above steps. Insert the right needle into the next stitch on the left needle.
Wrap the yarn counter clockwise around the right needle. Push the loop on the right needle through the stitch on the left needle and remove the stitch from the left needle.