"Purls" of Wisdom Please

I learned to knit continental style and my continental "purl" is relatively tight (watch it!). I have recently been experimenting with the "Norwegian " purl. Some folks say that it makes your stockinette looser but Cat Bordhi says it tightens it up. I may need to practice alot more but my plain ole continent purl seems to be better than the "Norwegian". What has been y'all's experience?


albert's picture


I was curious to see whether anyone would answer your question. Since no one did, I'll share my opinion with you. I don't think that the "Norwegian purl" offers any advantage except in the case of ribbing. The "Norwegian purl" allows one to keep the yarn behind the left needle with both knit and purl stitches, possibly making ribbing more efficient if one thinks that moving the yarn to the front for the purl stitches takes too much time.

In my hands, a "Norwegian" purl stitch is no tighter than a regular continental one. However, there is a variation related to it called "eastern continental purl" on YouTube that does make tighter purl stitches. Like "Norwegian" purling, the yarn is behind the left needle. However, the yarn goes in front of the right needle, not around the back of it. The disadvantage of the resulting stitch is that the two "legs" of it are reversed, making it easy to (inadvertantly) twist the stitch on the next knit row.

The thumb purling method looks like it might be really efficient if one is knitting long expanses of purl (e.g. stockinette).

You might want to check out "Portugese" (also Greek and Andean) knitting on YouTube, for a completely different approach that's similar to the continental thumb purling method.

I hope that you'll report the results of your "research". Who ever thought that there'd be multiple approaches to purling!


PS. I find it easiest and quickest to do standard (German) purling, but that's probably just a function of habit.