Jun 1, 2014

How to Knit and Purl…and rhymes!

by Angela | 21 Comments


How to Knit and Purl tutorial

How to Knit and Purl

These are two basic stitches you’ll learn when first starting out knitting.  Learning how to knit and purl is easy and fun, and will form the foundation for all of your knitting knowledge!  I’ve included 2 videos below for each stitch.  Practice them a few times, and you’ll be clicking those needles like you’ve been doing it for years! 🙂  Knitting is such a wonderful world with endless possibilities…here’s to your journey!

How to Knit:

Knitting is a lot like purling, only reversed!  I remember a rhyme a friend told me when I first learned how to knit: “Go through the front door, & around the back, peek through the window, & off jumps Jack!”  This really helped me remember all of the steps!  I’m sure people in public that saw me saying this to myself, thought I looked strange!  LOL

You will create a “V” when you knit as shown below.  Always start with your yarn held to the back when beginning a knit stitch.  Steps 1-4 will show you how to knit a stitch.

How to Knit and Purl


Step 1: “Go through the front door”

How to Knit and Purl


Step 2: Criss cross your needles, with the right needle to the back.

How to Knit and Purl


Step 3: “and around the back”

How to Knit and Purl


Step 4: Bring right needle under loop & drop loop off left needle. “Peek through the window & off jumps Jack!”


How to Knit and Purl

How to Purl:

Purling is also very simple to do, & will create a “purl bump” as shown below.  Here fun purling rhyme: “Under the fence, catch the sheep, back we come, off we leap!”

Always start with your yarn held to the front when starting a purl.  Follow steps 1-4 to purl a stitch.

How to Purl


Step 1: “Under the fence”

How to Purl


Step 2: “Catch the sheep”

How to Purl


Step 3: “Back we come”

How to Purl


Step 4: “Off we leap!”

How to Purl


I hope this helps you keep your needles clicking!  What rhymes or tricks helped you?  Let me know by commenting below.

Happy Knitting!

Angela Signature

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  1. Kathleen Sedlar says:

    Excellent Videos.
    Everything clicks.
    Very well done!

    1. Angela says:

      Thank you so much Kathleen! So happy it helped you! 🙂

  2. Nicole says:

    Hi, I’m new to knitting and I’ve been struggling with my yarn getting too tight to work with that’s across my needles. I’m pull in it too tightly, I guess, but as much as I try not to, I still end up doing it and so pretty soon it’s nearly impossible to knit anymore and I have to start over. Is there anything I can do to stop this? And also, my yarn always ends up looking messy and frayed. Is there anything I can do to stop that from happening? I’ve been trying to be careful how I handle it as I knit, but so far, I’m still making a mess of it. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you!

    1. Angela says:

      Hey Nicole! It sounds like your tension is too tight…meaning your yarn is being wrapped very tightly. To solve this, you just need to find out what is causing it. The good news is I think I might know what is causing it! 🙂

      When I was new to knitting I had the same problem. I realized I wasn’t pushing the width of my right needle through the stitch all the way when completing a stitch. In the final step of knitting a stitch, it’s important to push the entire girth of your right needle through the stitch. This will keep your tension even and uniform as the width/size of your knitting needle determines the size of your stitch. It’s very common for new knitters to finish a stitch using only the tapered tip of the needle. Try this and see if it changes things for you.

      If this is not the issue, it could be you just need to relax your hands a little and loosen up how tight you are holding your yarn. This takes practice, but you will develop a system of holding your yarn that keeps a nice even tension that isn’t too tight.

      Hope this helps, and let me know how it goes! 🙂

  3. Daisy says:

    I liked it but I’m left handed if you can show it left I would love it more

  4. Allie says:

    Hi! I’m in need of help and I have nobody to ask. I’ve watch your video (and many others) and have followed exactly how you do it, yet I cannot get my knit to make the V formation. It looks like a cross between a knit and a purl. I need help if you have any advice or know what I’m doing wrong. I can take a picture of it, I just don’t know how to add it.

    1. Andrea says:

      I was having the same problem and discovered that if you knit stitch in every stitch for several rows, you won’t get a “v.” You get bumps on both sides because it’s the garter stitch. It looks basically the same as if you purl in every stitch for several rows. The “v” happens when you knit a row, then purl a row, which is the stockinette stitch.

      1. Angela says:

        Hey Andrea! That is true when you are working a flat garment (working both the front and back side of a project). When working in the round, you can knit every row and get the “v’s” since you are working only one side (the right side). 🙂

  5. Amy says:

    I am knew to knitting and am a bit confused My pattern says to cast on 15 stitches, which I did then row 1 knit, row 2 k3 p9 k3 which I did, but now I have more than 15 stitches what, if anything am I doing wrong

  6. Charlene says:

    I love your videos. I want to learn to knit and these videos are very helpful but……how do you start the very first stitch ?

  7. Twyla Henderson says:

    How do you cast the yarn on to the
    needle ? I’ve never knitted before but I totally want to learn .
    Thank you

  8. Kerry Webb says:

    You make knitting look so simple I’m going to take the leap and try! I have the same question as Twyla…how do I get the yarn onto the needle? I have the needles and yarn but am puzzled about how to truly begin. Thanks so much!

  9. Becky says:

    Thanks a bunch!!!! Recently found a knitting project that was not finished. Your videos helped me remember me how to complete the blanket.

  10. Stephanie says:

    Wonderful pictures and easy to follow! I LOVE the rhymes. I’m excited to learn how to knit. Thank you!

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