Top 2 ways to purl a stitch

Top 2 ways to purl a stitch

Friday was a big learning day for me. I picked up all sorts of random stuff from Ragga Eiriksdottir in the course of learning to steek. (I steeked! And I was in the local paper!) I took another Mary Jane Mucklestone class wherein I learned the Norwegian purl — purling without moving the yarn to the front. Life altering! And then that night in the Marriott lounge, Brooke taught me to knit the Portuguese (ish?) way so I could knit Rosa Pomar’s ridiculously great hat as intended. (Coincidentally, Brooke had learned this from Mary Jane last month, in her Andean knitting class.) And wow, that is the most genius way of knitting EVER.

You knit with the “wrong side” facing — so it’s all done in purl — and the working yarns looped around the back of your neck, one each direction. So instead of working out how to hold two yarns, you hold neither! For tension, you just pull down on the work. And to purl, you insert the right needle into the stitch and use your thumb to pop the appropriate yarn over the needle. Hard to describe but I’m telling you: genius. I only want to knit this way forevermore.


Vogue Knitting Live was good — much smaller than Stitches West, less manic — and once again it was great to see/meet so many of you. (And Laura from the Purl Bee! And Jared Flood!) Anna and I did do a Tag Team Sweater Project photo shoot on Saturday, with none other than Kathy Cadigan as our photographer, and I can’t wait to show you the results on Wednesday. But I’m in the van today headed back to CA and am pretty fried, so please forgive me if I don’t manage to get a post up in between. Blogging on a mobile device still leaves a lot to be desired!


23 thoughts on “Top 2 ways to purl a stitch

  1. You STEEKED!!! How awesome, it’s on my to learn and do list for the year. I am curious about learning a new way to purl, I never thought about there being more ways, good to know. Glad you had a great time, and meeting Jared Flood, wow!

  2. Of COURSE you steeked! I’ve been knitting almost as long as you have been alive, and I have never had the nerve to do it! So much great info in this post. Great pic!

  3. Oh that’s interesting. Being Norwegian I didn’t know that I purled differently then others. Learned that just a couple of years ago.

  4. I was about to give up on ever really spending any time knitting when I discovered Norwegian Purl. It is pretty much the only way I knit. There are a few things that I clumsily do a “normal” purl on (p2togtbl anyone?) but mostly it is Norwegian all the way.

    I don’t think my unruly hair would like the Portuguese way, but it sounds fascinating.

  5. I learned how to do Portuguese/Greek-style knitting a few years from a DVD by Andrea Wong, but don’t use it often. Don’t know why, though. It’s brilliant and much easier on the hands. You’ve inspired me to give it another go.

  6. Karen, I wish I could have come down from Whidbey Island to see you and experience Vogue Knitting Live. Must MUST try this hat and learn this knitting technique! Its so beautiful.

  7. Are there any videos for this different knitting method? If it’s easier on the hands (as someone above said), then I want to learn.

  8. Wow. I saw this once! My portuguese mother in law’s mother was knitting this way and I didn’t get it why she would loop the yarn around her neck!? Unfortunally I was just beginning to knit by the time and did not ask her to explain it to me…but hopefully I will have the chance to learn it during our trip to Portugal this summer :-)

  9. LOVE Norwegian purl! I learned from a workshop with Beth Brown Reisel, and it has made ribbing a much more pleasant experience!

  10. oh so envious! i’ve been knitting over 30 years and still haven’t been to a festival! sounds like so much fun!

  11. wow! very cool photo in the seattle times, your sweater is looking quite lovely! i signed up for ragga’s craftsy class, its a top down lopi cardigan, she seems like a great instructor.

  12. Karen, it was a delight finally meeting you! And thanks for the quick lessons in your booth. I’ve got to look into this Portuguese (-ish?) knitting style some more and that Norwegian purl too. So much to learn…

  13. Pingback: This is not a pretty picture | Fringe Association

Comments are closed.