How To: Change a Purl to a Knit (and Vice Versa) – NorthCoast Knittery

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How To: Change a Purl to a Knit (and Vice Versa)

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     Happy New Year! 2016 already feels like it's going to be a great one. One of my biggest goals for this year is to create more how-to and demo blogs to share with you- for knitting, weaving, embroidery, crochet, and perhaps even spinning...? I am open to suggestions and ideas, so please, if there are any techniques or questions that you want explained, send them my way at or leave them in the comments section below!

     The inspiration for today's how-to blog post came to me while I was fixing a pattern error in my current WIP (work in progress). It's the Mona Lisa pullover, using the classic elite yarn Wynter. It's a simple design- with garter stitch edges and a textural stitch pattern of purl bumps forming diagonal ridges across the stockinette body. After setting up the first row, reading the stitch pattern isn't necessary. The counting inside my head sounds like this: "one, two, three, four, five, SIX, one, two, three, four, five, SIX...." until I get to a "one, two, three, four, CRAP!" which then indicates that I need to fix a mistake in my purl bumps. While I've given myself enough practice to become a pro at this technique, I knew that not everyone would have such an easy time. So, below you'll find my video on how to travel down a few rows to flip knits into purls, and purls into knits.

     Here's my sweater. It's looking nice, but WAIT, what's that?! What was I thinking?!! (Ok, actually I made these mistakes on purpose just for the demo, but play along!). I will be demonstrating with a crochet hook because that's what's easiest, however you could get by with just using your needles. You'll be able to do that once you grasp how this works. 

      In order to fix the stitches in previous rows, you're going to need to drop the stitch and let it run down to the error. The first thing you need to recognize is the ladders. Notice how the ladders from purl stitches are in front of the stitch, and the ladders from knit stitches are behind. This makes sense, right? Just think about how you move your working yarn in front when you're going to do a purl stitch. 

 Purl ladder in front of the stitch

Knit ladders behind the stitch

Since it's better to actually show you, I made a video! Watch and learn- you'll find that it's a lot easier than it seems. 

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  • Virginia (NCK Marketing Assistant): January 08, 2016

    So glad you’ve found it helpful, Jean! Let me know if there are any techniques you’d like me to demo in the future :)

  • Jean Montgomery: January 08, 2016

    This video was very well done and easy to follow. Very helpful.

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