Learn How to PURL STITCH in the Absolute Beginner Knitting Series by Studio Knit

Easily learn how to the Purl Stitch in 4 basic steps! Think of Purling as creating an inverted Knit stitch. When you insert your needles from the top of a loop and pull a new loop up and through the first stitch, you are purling. In your knitting, for each stitch, there is a Knit and Purl side. It’s like the head and tail of a coin. Each Stitch (coin) has a Knit side (head) and a Purl side (tail). It all makes sense when you see the detailed photo and video instructions below!

The origin of the word purl is derived from the Middle English word Pirl, which means twist. After you understand how to Knit Stitch, you are ready to learn this other basic stitch in knitting. You are able to create amazing knit stitch patterns with just these two stitches. Once you see the abbreviation “P” in future knitting patterns, you’ll be purling stitches like a pro!

Learn How to PURL STITCH in the Absolute Beginner Knitting Series by Studio Knit


STEP 1: Prepare needles and yarn

How to Purl Stitch: Step 1

  • Hold the knitting needle with the stitches on it in your left hand.
  • Hold the knitting needle without any stitches in your right hand.
  • With the yarn in the front of your work, insert the right needle from back to the front of the first stitch, or you can think of it as straight into it. Your right knitting needle will be resting over your left needle.


STEP 2: Wrap yarn in a downward counter-clockwise motion

How to Purl Stitch: Step 2

  • Starting with your yarn in the front, wrap your yarn around the right side of your right needle counter-clockwise direction, finishing with your yarn in the front of your needles again.


STEP 3: Slide right needle with yarn on it

Learn How to PURL STITCH in the Absolute Beginner Knitting Series by Studio Knit How to Purl Stitch: Step 3

  • Slide the right needle down and bring the point from front to back of the stitch, bringing the yarn with it.


STEP 4: Pull new loop off the left needle

How to Purl Stitch: Step 4

  • Slip the old stitch off the left needle. Now the new stitch is on your right needle.



  • Repeat these four steps for each stitch on your left needle.
  • At the end of the row, all the new purled stitches are on your right needle now and your left knitting needle is empty.



Combinations of these two knitting techniques, knit and purl, to create an infinite number of textures and patterns. When you knit every row, you are creating what is called the most basic Garter Knit Stitch Pattern.

When you Knit one row then Purl the next, you are creating the Stockinette Knit Stitch Pattern. Oh, you’re getting fancy now! Find all of my Favorite Beginning Knit Stitch Patterns you’ll be ready to tackle once you know how to Purl!

Find NEW Knit Stitch Patterns and Videos by Studio Knit for Beginning Knitters


I hope you are inspired to begin purling! If you’d like even more great knitting ideas, please make sure you join my mailing list. Subscribing to my YouTube channel Studio Knit is another easy way for us to stay connected and help support my work for free.

Kristen McDonnell Studio Knit

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How to Purl Stitch Instructions Learn How to PURL STITCH in the Absolute Beginner Knitting Series by Studio Knit