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How to Continental Purl

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Posted: Thursday, March 26, 2009
Last Updated: Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Our very own Laura (Jimmy) stars in this knitting instructional video about how to purl continental style. There is a first part of this video on how to continental knit (check the article list for this video). We hope you enjoy it!

How to Continental Purl

This is part 2, please see How to Continental Knit

Purling is the reverse of knitting so nearly everything is done exactly reverse of knitting.

To Continental Purl:

  1. Tension your yarn the same as you did when Continental knitting.
  2. Bring the yarn in front of the work
  3. Insert the tip of the needle from right to left under the front loop of the stitch making sure that the tip of the right needle goes in front of the left needle
  4. Wrap the yarn over the top of the needle and back to the front, in other words counter-clockwise. (Note: It sort of appears that you are wrapping in the opposite direction from when you Continental knit but you aren't really, it's just that the starting position of the yarn when purling is a bit more to the right and when knitting it's a bit more to the left. You still wrap the yarn over the needle counter-clockwise either way)
  5. Laura uses her index finger to push the yarn down in front of her work to keep it taut while she draws the yarn back through the stitch on the left needle in the reverse of how she inserted it. Then slid the old stitch off the left needle.

Some people use their middle fingers, others twist their wrists, do what works for you.

Retension your yarn as needed.

It's the same four step process as Continential Knit except you are starting with the yarn in front:

  1. through the stitch on the left needle, right to left
  2. wrap yarn around needle
  3. draw yarn back through
  4. slid old stitch off left needle


  • Use the middle finger of your left hand to regulate the movement of stitches on the left needle, this helps keep them from sliding off the needle before you are ready.
  • Likewise use the index finger on your right hand to regulate the movement of stitches on the right needle.

The yarn Laura used in this video is Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran and the needles are US 9 Lantern Moon Ebony single points.

Thanks for watching!

We hope you enjoy this article! This article and the associated photos are only for personal non-commercial use and are not for resale. All rights reserved. Permission granted by Jimmy Beans Wool and to copy and share this article for non-commercial personal use. Users do not have permission to display on any retail or wholesale website other than and without express permission from Jimmy Beans Wool.
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