How to pick up stitches purlwise


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Sometimes when knitting a garment the pattern calls for picking up stitches to add the finishing touches: knit the neck, the button band on cardigans, sleeves, or even special effects in the fabric. In this other tutorial we showed you how to pick up stitches on the right side of your work knitwise, but what if you have to pick up stitches on the wrong side purlwise? Let’s see how it’s done!

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For this tutorial we used size 11 knitting needles and a skein of our  fine wool The Meriwool.

Before beginning this step-by-step tutorial the only thing you need to know how to do is purl.

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The first thing we will do is place the project on a flat service wrong side up, so we are sure where to begin.


We are going to pick up the stitches along the side of our project, always keeping the wrong side facing us.

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Step 1

Using the knitting needle pick up the first stitch, inserting the needle from back to front, the same way as if you were going to purl the stitch. Be sure to pick up both strands of the stitch.

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Step 2

Now we wrap the yarn around the needle, just as you would to purl stitch.

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Step 3

Once you have wrapped the yarn around the needle, you pull it through as shown in the photo above. You have now picked up the first stitch.

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Repeat steps 1, 2, and 3 for as many stitches needed.

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Make sure to pick up the stitches as evenly as possible. For our example we picked up 1 stitch for every 2 rows, but follow the instructions in your pattern because the distance may vary from one project to the next.

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Once you have finished picking up the number of stitches called for you can continue knitting as usual.

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We hope you liked this step-by-step tutorial and that you put it to good use to create different effects and finishes on your projects. We’d love to see how you use it by sharing your projects on social media using the hashtag #weareknitters. See you next time!