Ask SweaterBabe.com — Knit the knit sts and purl the purl sts?

April 28, 2007 at 12:49 pm 2 comments

Our “Ask SweaterBabe.com” advice will now live here on the SweaterBabe.com blog.  That way, you can search on a topic easily and more of your questions can get answered.  Please keep your great knitting and crochet questions coming by emailing them to advice@sweaterbabe.com.  Here’s one that I’ve been asked a lot!

“Dear SweaterBabe.com, The pattern says, row 2 and all WS rows: knit the knit sts and purl the purl sts. What does that mean?” — Susan H.

Dear Susan, “To knit the knit sts and purl the purl sts” means to work the stitches as they present themselves. For example, as you are about to work the next stitch, see if you are looking at a knit stitch (which looks like a “V”) or a purl stitch (which has little horizontal bars that look like ripples). Then, do what you see by knitting any stitch that looks like a knit stitch and purling any that look like purls.

Here are some photos to illustrate what the knit stitches look like vs. the purl stitches:

Knit Side

The bottom half of this swatch shows the “Knit” side of the Stockinette stitch.

The top half shows “Knit 2, purl 2” ribbing, so you can see how distinct the knit stitches look with their “V”-like look.

Purl Side

Here is the flip side of the swatch. The bottom half of this swatch shows the “Purl” side of the Stockinette stitch, which can be thought of as little “bumps,” “ridges,” or “pearls.”

The top half shows “Knit 2, purl 2” ribbing, so you can see how the purl stitches appear next to the knit stitches (which seem to “pop” upwards).

Ribbing

This is an example of knitting the knit sts and purling the purl sts to maintain a stitch pattern (in this case, the “Knit 2, purl 2” ribbing).

The next stitch on the left-hand needle to be worked is a knit stitch, therefore, you knit it.

Ribbing Purl Next

The next stitch on the left-hand needle to be worked now is a purl stitch, therefore, you purl it.
If a pattern says “row 2 and all WS rows: knit the knit sts and purl the purl sts,” it is often that the complex part of the stitch pattern is only happening on the odd rows (all the RS rows), e.g. the yarn-over-ing, the skp’s, etc. for a lace pattern; the cable or twist stitches for a textured pattern, etc.

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Entry filed under: Ask SweaterBabe, Knitting Questions and How to.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Brenda Hudgins  |  April 28, 2007 at 3:58 pm

    I really love the alternate between purl and knit stitches. I think they are so pretty when it comes to making a sweater.

  • 2. Brenda Hudgins  |  April 28, 2007 at 4:05 pm

    Hello. I am looking for a shrug or a bolero knitting pattern for free. I need it to be with long flared sleeves. I ould appreciate it if you got one.
    Thanks,
    Brenda Hudgins at
    denzilhudgins6@aol.com

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