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Old 02-07-2008, 06:10 PM   #1
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New Knitter Needs Help...Front/Back of Stitch?
Hi Everyone -

Can someone please help me with what I am sure is a "basic" newbie question?

I have learned how to do the long-tail cast on and also have done a few rows of knit stitch. Now I am trying the purl stitch and its driving me nuts I am knitting using the English method (yarn held in right hand) and I'm not understanding the instructions when it talks about inserting the needle in the front/back of stitch?

Can someone just answer this and maybe it will help? I have just casted on using the LTCO method (see above) so this includes one row of knit stitch. I have the needle w/stitches in my left hand, right? Now: Where exactly are the casted on stitches supposed to be facing (ie: Pointing to the left, straight back or to the right?) And, does the work get placed in a different position when doing knit and a different position when doing purl?

I hope this makes sense

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Old 02-07-2008, 06:52 PM   #2
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I would strongly suggest watching some of the videos here on Knitting Help.

Purling: Your R needle should enter the stitch from Right to Left in the front of the stitch resting on the L needle. Most importantly, your yarn needs to be at the front of the work (not behind like when you're knitting).

For me, there is no difference in how the work is held. The thing that changes is where the working yarn is held. When purling: front of work. When knitting: back of work.

Using LTCO, you make the choice as to whether you'd start with purls or knits. Sometimes I knit the first row, sometimes I purl it. Experiment to see which you like best. Lately, I've been kind of partial to purling my first row. Don't know why, I've just liked it better lately.

Here are some great videos on Knitting Help that will help you in your quest to purl:


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Old 02-07-2008, 10:44 PM   #3
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Also, just as a clarification- the 'front' of the stitch is the part closest to you, the 'back' is the part farther away from you. So if you're holding your left needle horizontally in front of you, the side of the loop that is close to you is the front, the side away from you is the back.

When you knit, you insert the needle into the stitch so that the tip of the right needle is facing away from you, and you wrap the yarn on the side away from you. When you purl, you insert the needle so that the tip of the right needle is facing toward you, and wrap the yarn on the near side of the work.
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