View Full Version : we're just knitting backwards aren't we?

03-14-2006, 11:56 PM
Hey Guys:

I'm just new to knitting but it seems to me that because when we get to the end of a row, the fabric on the needle is actually turned around 180 degrees before we can start the next row, knitting one row and then purling (which is the opposite of knitting [who would have tought you could use 'purl' as a verb?]) the next, is merely a way of putting all the knit rows on the same side of the piece. If purling is the opposite of knitting, then the opposite of the opposite is knitting again, right? Is this what we are doing? Would we get the same result by always knitting if we could find a way when we turn the fabric around, to start at the other end? Would we then eliminate the need to purl?



03-14-2006, 11:58 PM
Theoretically, I would think so. You're right about purling being a way to get the "knit" stitch on the other side of the fabric.

03-15-2006, 12:00 AM
There are people who knit backwards to avoid purling.



Some sites if you're interested.

I often say that knitting is just one stitch. Period. It's all what you do with it.

03-15-2006, 12:08 AM
Ingrid, what would they do for stitches that aren't stockinette, then? How would you avoid purling in ribbing?

03-15-2006, 12:11 AM
Good question! I guess they knit backwards to avoid purling for stockinette! The very idea of trying to knit backwards makes me break out in a sweat, so I think I'll stick with what I know.

03-15-2006, 12:55 AM
That'd be handy for getting a gauge swatch for 'in the round'.

...Once you get good enough to knit the same gauge backwards and forwards.

Guess I'm one of the oddballs, but I don't mind purling. I almost like it better than knitting. I think I go faster. :thinking:

03-15-2006, 01:38 AM
Seems strange, as if it would take MORE effort than purling. I mean really, why not just purl? Unless you are doing a lot of short row stuff on something like a large entrelac project where turning it back and forth would be cumbersome, I'm not seeing a whole lot of advantage to it. Are there people who are really that purlphobic? ;)

03-15-2006, 07:49 AM
Knitting "backwards" well I am ambedextrious. Ultimately I feel most comfortable knitting with my left hand. But in the early learning stages I learned to knit back across the row I had just finished. It was easier (until I discovered that my left hand really has the upper hand).
But its not a solve all. As noted eventually you DO have to learn to purl.
Also, at least for me, knitting back across the row causes twisted stitches.

03-15-2006, 08:41 AM
Purlphobic! :roflhard:

I like to purl, too, but I guess if you can get even tension knitting both ways, it would save a bit of time if you don't have to turn your work.

03-15-2006, 02:54 PM
I believe the correct term when a person avoids purling is PAS-Purl Avoidance Sydrome. Although I don't have PAS, I currently suffer from CGTEES (pronounced see-gee-tees) Can't Get the Edges Even Syndrome.

03-15-2006, 04:43 PM
I suffer from POSF - Puts Off Seaming Forever. ;)

03-16-2006, 01:33 AM
What's so difficult about purling? :??
I thought it was quite easy to master...

03-16-2006, 08:44 AM
I think purling is more difficult with conti knitting. I knit English, so it isn't a problem for me, either.

03-16-2006, 10:02 AM
Ohhhh, maybe THAT's it! Everyone should just knit like we do, Ingrid. :roflhard: :rollseyes:

03-16-2006, 10:52 AM
I don't have any troubles with my purls... but then again I'm basically a Conti thrower. :thinking:

03-16-2006, 12:27 PM
I also think it's just easier to purl than knit backwards. I am an english knitter, but tried continental just yesterday and I actually thought purling was easier!

I think the interest in knitting backwards is, for me at least, "theoretical". It is cool to think about new ways to do the same stitch! It's very mathematical. And since I'm a physicist I suppose I can't help trying to find math in everything I do. :thinking:

Are there any "knitting theory" links/book out there? There is a field in mathematics called "knot theory", so I would find it logical to try to relate this to knitting!


03-16-2006, 03:19 PM
OY! Knittin gbackwards. I looked at those sites, I read carefully and looked at the pictures and I just don't get it. :doh: It makes my brain hurt. I'll just purl

03-16-2006, 03:27 PM
I don't have trouble purling with conti... I just have trouble knitting into the purl stitches the next row around!

03-17-2006, 06:02 AM
I knit and pur conti and I find it much easier than english. That whole throwing thing feels so choppy to me. I can't get a smooth rhythm going. Knitting backwards.....yeah right. I don't even like driving backwards. I will park at the very back of a parking lot and walk miles to the store entrance just so I can pull into the space in front so I can just drive out. No reverse! Reverse is just scary...ask my bumper! :shock:

03-17-2006, 03:12 PM
April! you and I are kindred backing spirits! I have a motto... AGF - Always go forward!

Had some trouble on my drivers test due to backing...

03-17-2006, 04:19 PM
This thread has caused me to come up with the following questions.

1) Is knitting "backwards" the same as "reverse stockinette" which I see in some patterns, and

2) Is this something that I, as a combination/eastern uncrossed knitter, ought to be attempting? It was my understanding that my purl row was what set the stitches aright for the next knit row, by reversing the twist.

03-17-2006, 04:24 PM
1) I think that refers to stockinette with the purly side being the right side instead of the wrong side.
2) I have no idea. :D

03-17-2006, 05:45 PM
Reverse stockinette is when the purls are considered the 'right side.'

This is actually knitting across as normal and then knitting back instead of turning and purling. One of the posts has a link to directions.