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Topic: Oh the perils of purls  (Read 999 times)
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« on: July 13, 2009 09:21:39 PM »

For the life of me I can't keep a constant tension on my purls. I personally think that I knit too tightly so that throws me off a little, but I've frogged a pattern four times now because I can not get my purling to cooperate with my hands. Are there any tips for new knitters who can't control a purl? I'm using size 9's, so the stitches aren't too small or anything.
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2009 05:30:40 AM »

Try wrapping the yarn the other way around the needle. (this is soooo much easier to explain 'live' rather than with words...). When you do the purl, if you now wrap the yarn around the needle by going 'over the needle' try wrapping the yarn "under the needle"  Wrapping the yarn 'under' when you purl (and 'over' when you knit) is also called 'combination knitting' (I hope I didn't get that backwards  Embarrassed) there's a bunch of links on this site.

Or, don't change how you wrap the yarn, and just take an extra second to be sure the tension's right for the stitch.  After a while it'll become second nature and you'll do it automatically.

Or, if you're doing stockinette, use a larger needle in your right hand when you do the purl rows
« Last Edit: July 14, 2009 05:31:00 AM by ThreadOrYarn » THIS ROCKS   Logged

« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2009 07:13:23 AM »

Do you knit english or continental? Either way, try holding your yarn differently than you do now. Look at youtube for ideas. As for wrapping the yarn the other way, unless you knit into the back loop on the next row, you'll have twisted sts. You should wrap the yarn the same direction you do for a knit st, the only thing that changes between knit an purl is how the needle is inserted. Just like with the knit st, even tension comes with practice. If you have a garter stitch project, try doing it in purl instead of knit, see if that helps.

« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2009 07:24:16 AM »

As for wrapping the yarn the other way ... you'll have twisted sts.

That's true, but I don't know which way she's wrapping the stitches so the stitches may be twisted now, and wrapping the other way may not twist the stitches...

« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2009 04:30:35 PM »

Right, which is why I always say that you should wrap purls the same way you wrap knits, just so they know that's the usual way.

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« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2009 11:11:33 PM »

Thanks for the links. I suppose I just need to practice until my hands fall off. It's just frustrating since, while my knits might be tight, they always look uniform. But the purling is usually loose or lumpy looking from the non-uniform tension.

I wrap the yarn anti-clockwise around the needle when kniting, as learned on knittinghelp.com. I think that's Continental, or English or something. I'll try watching more videos and see if that helps as well.
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2009 08:04:51 AM »

Look at the videos for both english and continental on knittinghelp.com, you'll see the wrap around the needles is done the same direction, either way. Also look at the 'combined' method which can result in stitches being twisted (therefore tight) unless you knit through the back loop on the knit row to untwist them. My brain gets confused when people mention clockwise/counterclockwise, so I don't think of it that way.

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