The holiday season is approaching! Now is the time to plan your gift ideas. In these challenging economic times I cannot think of a more cost effective and personal gift than a handmade craft. Knitting is one of the most popular and easiest crafts to learn.
Today we are going to learn one of the basic stitches in knitting which is the purl stitch. First you will need to purchase one pair of knitting needles and a skein of yarn. Knitting needles are available in various sizes. I would suggest using larger needles (size 8 and up) which will enable you to see your stitches more clearly. Remember when shopping for a skein of yarn choose a brand that is easy to handle. If you are having trouble selecting the right type of yarn consult a clerk at your perspective store.
Now we are ready to learn the purl stitch. The instructions will be for right handed individuals.
- You must cast-on stitches on the left needle for a foundation. Make sure to hold the needle with the cast-on stitches in your left hand. The other needle will be held in your right hand.
- Keeping the yarn in front of your work, place the right needle from back to front into the first cast-on stitch on the left needle. Please note that the right needle is in front of the left needle.
- Create a loop by wrapping the yarn around the top of the right needle. Next bring the right needle under the left needle and pull a loop through the stitch. Now the new stitch is on the right needle.
- Slip the first stitch off the tip of the left needle. You now have a completed purl stitch. Continue this process until all the cast-on stitches are completed.
Practice the purl stitch on a small swatch or sample of stitches until you become comfortable. You will notice that the purl stitch appears to have a ridge or bump at the base. Be sure to maintain an even tension with the purl stitches. An even tension means you are not making your stitches too tight or too loose. When following a pattern the abbreviation for the purl stitch is P. If you are experiencing problems or have questions, one helpful suggestion would be to view instructional videos online.
Accomplishing the purl stitch will enable you to make wonderful crafts such as hot pads, stuffed animals, sweaters and Afghans.