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Purling Tips: How To Purl Continental Style

Blog » Continental Knitting » Purling Tips: How To Purl Continental Style

Purling Tips: How To Purl Continental Style

Liat Gat - Founder

May 13, 2011

So many people have been asking for tips on how to purl Continental that I'm giving this Premium video from my class away free here. Purling is the most challenging part of Continental knitting, so go slow and have patience with yourself as you practice.

Purling ContinentalEven though this video is part of my Continental Knitting Video Class, so many people have been asking for tips on how to purl Continental that I’m giving away this video here!

As you are practicing Continental purling, keep in mind that having the proper tension for your yarn is much more important than the movement you make for your purl stitch.

KNITFreedom - Purling Tips: How To Purl Continental Style
KNITFreedom - Purling Tips: How To Purl Continental Style

Want a private Continental-knitting lesson with me? Check out my video class:
The Complete Guide To Continental Knitting

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If you liked this video on how to purl Continental, post in the comments!

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14 thoughts on “Purling Tips: How To Purl Continental Style”

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  1. Liat, your videos are so very good. I was taught how to knit Continental as a school age child by a master European knitter. She could knit stockinette without looking, knit backward, amazing accuracy and speed, just about any technique including all of them English style. Lily has long passed but I think of her work and skills often. I also marvel at how one afternoon lesson can come right back forty years later with very little time and effort basically on muscle memory alone.

    Would you consider a new video on teaching children to knit? Lily never taught me English and I think knowing both is worthwhile. Thanks for all you do!

    She taught me but I never was a knitter thereafter until my 50’s when I decided I had to learn for grandbabies. In taking on the journey I found you and though it’s been years, if I have a question Liat on Knit Freedom are where to go. I purl differently and learned that as you say tensioning is the key, but I never got my left index finger to be able to drop down without losing tension. I don’t knit regularly but in my quest for efficient ergonomics when I do I will play with your demo style for purling.

    As a teacher you have it all, humor, lightheartedness, clear instructions using familiar images like the clock face here to make it all make sense. Next time I want to learn something new I will be back!

    1. Hi Susan,

      Thank you so much for this wonderfully kind comment and beautiful story! I would love to have known Lily, she sounds amazing.

      I’m so sorry for the delayed response – I had written the above when I was called away and have just now gotten back to answering you.

      I am continually looking for new knitting styles to support those for whom purling the most common ways doesn’t quite work. I’ve recently tried Combination knitting (I have no videos as of yet) but you basically wrap the yarn the opposite way when purling and then knit through the back loop when knitting (this is for knitting flat). It is quite a joyful way to knit and I highly recommend it!

      Big hugs to you,

  2. Hi Liat,

    First, thank you for all of your very helpfull video’s. I’ve been teaching myself to knit continental from the start and have trouble purling. I do what you say is wrong. You said something about getting the stitches twisted? I do not understand why that is a problem! I’ve been using it for 1×1 rib mainly and it doesn’t look bad… Could you explain that a little more somehow? Thanks!

    Ps: I hope my English comes across, I’m not a native speaker. I live in Amsterdam, the Netherlands :-)

    1. Twisted stitches don’t look bad, but they do look and behave differently from regular stitches. When stretched, they compress instead of expand. It’s just a good idea to do them on purpose rather than by accident.

  3. I don’t have the words to thank you. As a chrocheter that used to crochet bass akwards, I was told, “What on earth? That’s like knitting.” So, I figured out how to really do it and then, after years of crochet, this idiot decided learning to knit at 48 was a good idea. Ummmm… I knit fine as a thrower, but my bad habits crept back into my crochet. I’m dyslexic, it ain’t easy without spell check.

    I finally figured out that if I could learn Continental Knitting, I’d be less of a dork. I’ve spent, and I am not kidding, two days on hundreds of websites, You Tube channels, thinking about driving across the state because the women who got through to me about the knit stitch on You Tube, did not get the purl through. I found you. I’m not a total idiot! I did it and the tension isn’t so tight I can’t get my needles in. I am just so happy, I’d clean my house. Except the four boys and husband spent the weekend making a disaster of it, so they can clean it. :)

    The dog is now giving me a dirty look. My deal with myself is that if I could crochet, and knit, I would learn to spin. I’ve always wanted to. She’s a Siberian Husky and is, “blowing coat,” right now. I keep brushing out all that gorgeous undercoat and thinking, “This would be wonderful mixed with alpaca. Soft, strong and a bit of Mani-Nana forever. She just read my mind and whined, while she looked at me. Maybe I should just keep using it to keep deer out of the back yard. :)
    Nancy Liedel

    1. Nancy you are a riot! I’m so happy my Continental-knitting videos finally helped you get it, and not hold the yarn too tight. I have a complete course here that I think you will love. I think you should absolutely follow your dream of learning to spin! I have a friend who is a rep for a spinning wheel company and she always tells me how much she loves it. Go for it!

  4. Love all your video’s and review them a lot and you explain them really well. The continental tips do you have the “U” will not load.

  5. Hi…………. I love all these responses to problem questions too. It helps me a lot…I find just reviewing your videos confirms or improves what I already know. I love improving “how to” and you sure are a comfort to listen to, and WATCH.
    Thanks for all your patience and support. So glad I found you.

  6. The times I’ve attempted Continental knitting, it was the purling that threw a wrench in it for me. After watching this video, I’m ready to give it another shot. Thanks once again for sharing your expertise!

  7. THANK-YOU!!! I just sat here with my knitting to practice along with your video, and it is much more efficient than the movements I was making. It will take me some time to create the muscle memory to do it without so much thinking, but I’ll get it.

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