Knooking: The Purl Stitch

7 Jan

The Purl Stitch

The purl stitch is a bit more challenging to make. It is basically the knit stitch, only backwards. You will be inserting the hook into the live stitch from back to front.


  1. Keep your working yarn in the left hand and to the FRONT of your project.
  2. Insert your hook from the BACK of your project, through the stitch, to the front.
  3. Grab the working yarn (remember, it should be held to the front), Yarn over and pull the yarn through the stitch.
  4. Ta-da, you did it!
  5. The first purl is usually the hardest to do, because you are juggling the working yarn. Once that first stitch is made, the yarn will stay towards the front of the project until you make a knit stitch.
  6. Keep working purl stitches across the row, keeping the loops you’ve made staying on the hook, and eventually passing on to the cord (if it is a large project). When you reach the end of the row, simply slide the remaining live stitches from your needle and on to the cord.

You can either remove the cord from the hook, leaving the cord in the project like a lifeline, and attach a new cord to the end of your hook. Or, you can slide the stitches closer to the end (making sure you have the clip attached), turn your work and work the next row.

Insert the hook from back to front

Grab (yo) the working yarn

Pull the yarn throught the stitch. Ta-da!

And for your viewing pleasure, a video tutorial for the purl stitch.

16 Responses to “Knooking: The Purl Stitch”

  1. Teri January 8, 2010 at 9:51 am #

    Great site!! Love your videos and pics! We have a YahooGroup dedicated to “Knitting with Crochethook”

    • photojenic January 11, 2010 at 11:48 am #

      I’ve linked you up in Intro Pt. 2. I hope to have a sidebar of links up soon, and will be sure to put the group there too. Thanks!

  2. Julie January 8, 2010 at 11:46 am #

    Great video! Your blog looks awesome.

    • photojenic January 11, 2010 at 11:47 am #

      Thank you so much for your kind words. πŸ™‚

  3. planetjune January 8, 2010 at 10:17 pm #

    Thank you so much for making the videos. They are so helpful! I can’t wait to get hold of a suitable hook and try this technique πŸ™‚

  4. FP Wear January 9, 2010 at 3:14 pm #

    Thanks for posting this.
    Is it possible to do knitted lace with this technique?

    • photojenic January 11, 2010 at 11:45 am #

      Theoretically I suppose knitted lace is possible. I myself have never tried, but it sounds like a good experiment to try! If you do, let me know and maybe you can be a guest blogger here. πŸ™‚

  5. jimbo January 11, 2010 at 10:33 am #

    LOVE your video tutorial and “Knooking” process!! I’ve had inquiries from folks who’d like me to make them Knooking hooks. I could do that but worry that there might be a proprietary interest and wanted to inquire first. I’d certainly not like to step on other hook maker’s toes.

    Thanks for the great blog!!

    • photojenic January 11, 2010 at 1:09 pm #

      As far as I have been able to tell, the technique of knitting with a crochet hook came from Japan. There is a specialized plastic hook and books you can order. AmazingYarns is an American company that modifies Chaigoo bamboo hooks to do the same thing. The locker hook on the other hand, is for a completely different craft, yet is also basically a crochet hook with a hole at the end. And I have no idea how long Tunisian hooks with cables have been around.

      So as far as I can tell, the *idea* and application of being able to attach a cord to the end of a crochet hook has been around for a long time, in several different forms. There are no real “Knooking hooks,” it’s term recently invented for this technique. I’ve searched around for a “real” name, but there doesn’t seem to be one, so I adopted “Knooking.” πŸ™‚

      I don’t know if this answers your question. But my guess would be that making a hook that can hold a cable wouldn’t be stepping on any toes.

  6. Stra January 11, 2010 at 8:22 pm #

    Does the cable need to be able to pull through (ie, like yarn through a needle), or can it be fixed?

  7. photojenic January 11, 2010 at 10:27 pm #

    Are you asking if the cable/cord needs to be able to detach from the end of the hook? Then the answer is “yes,” it’s best if it can come off.

    You could do it with a fixed cable hook, like a Tunisian with the knob cut off, but then you’d have the leave the hook and cable dangling from the project as you worked the next row.

  8. Kathy Rhodes December 5, 2010 at 6:51 am #

    I learned how to alter my own crochet hooks and figured out how to do this sort of knitting w/ a crochet hook without EVER knowing about the Amazing Needle or any of the other hooks you talk about or even that such a thing as “knooking” existed and I’ve been doing it for years. Anything you can do with two knitting needles is possible using this technique.

    Was surprised when I viewed your video that you and I do both knit and perl stitches completely differently though!

    My perl stitches are done as follows:

    Holding the yarn at the front and keeping it there with the thumb of your left hand, put the hook through the stich from right to left (just as YOU do for your KNIT stitch), then yarn over and pull it through the live stitch. This is MY version of a perl. It is exactly how one does a perl stich in Tunisian or Afghan crochet.

    This version of a perl combined with YOUR version of a knit stitch will not produce stockinette though — it produces the twisted knit stitch.

    The WAY I do my knit stitches is as follows: Holding the yarn at the back, put the hook through the stitch from left to right, yarn over and pull through the stitch. (This is a little awkward at first rather like Reverse Single Crochet (Crab Stitch) but like anything becomes easier the more you do it.

    This knit stitch in combination with MY perl stitch produces true stockinette stitch.

    For me anyway, it is MUCH easier to to the KNIT stitch in what we crocheters would consider a backwards approach (left to right) than it is to do the PERL version you demonstrated.

    OH and if working in the round, one can do the easier knit version (going through loop from right to left) and because one is always on the SAME side in the round it does NOT produce the twisted knit stitch, but rather a true stockinette.

    Oh and with Garter Stitch (knit every row) it does not seem to matter if one does either YOUR knit stitch or mine, righ to left or left to right, it works either way as long as you do it the same way every time.

    Thanks for putting this web site up – until now I thought I was the ONLY person on the planet who was doing this!

    OH and making your own hooks is quite easy even when using metal crochet hooks. I simply use a hammer and pound the ends flat against a vise and then drill a hole large enough for a nylon tipped FLAT nylon shoestring to go through and sand it all smooth. If you are good at drilling through rounded shapes, you need not even pound it flat, but that is hard for me so I make the end flat before drilling. The flattened ends are a tad bigger than the hook circumference BUT it doesn’t seem to make any difference at all. AND those NYLON tipped flat shoestrings are cheap and come in a variety of colors and lengths. The slight stretch of them is wonderful AND because they lie flat it makes doing the knit stich through the loop from left to right really easy! I tried “rounded” shoestring cords and they are a real pain to work with! When working with really fine yarns, (baby yarn, fingering yarn, even cotton crochet threads) these shoestrings are too big, in that case I simply use yarn or thread that is just a tad bigger than the yarn I am knitting with.

    • Barbara Myers February 5, 2015 at 6:15 pm #

      Kathy, are you still knooking? Your post is the best I’ve seen and I wondered if you’ve done a video. You are correct, the stitch that has been shown doesn’t produce a true v-knit stitch but Leisure Arts video makes no sense at all.

  9. Mary Ann Detering July 23, 2011 at 5:20 am #

    Hi! I am new to Knooking and just finished watching two videos…yours and liesure arts….they say we must NOT yarn over as in normal crochet…and I notice you do. Can you tell me if this makes any real difference in the finished product?

    • photojenic July 23, 2011 at 10:30 am #

      There has been some discussion on Ravelry that yarning over the “crochet way” can produce twisted knit stitches. I am not a proficient knitter, and never could see a difference myself. I don’t like making YO’s the other way, so I just kept making them the way that felt most comfortable for me.

      If you love what you are making, and getting the results you want then that’s all that matters!

  10. meadowchild June 11, 2014 at 11:50 am #

    Thank you sooooo very much!!!

    I have searched far and wide for a sensible explanation of the purl stich when knooking and this is the first one I have found after a zillion sites and video etc., etc. So, Kudos!
    You dispelled a lot of confusion!!!
    And…. – your voice is pleasant and your demeanor is calm – that helps a lot πŸ™‚

    Hugs and Kisses from Germany

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