How to Knit and Purl Into the Back of a Stitch

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Non-knitters may think knitting is just the knit stitch and the purl stitch. They would be almost right. Knitting does involve those two basic stitches, however if knitters used only these two stitches, they wouldn't be able to create much more than square potholders. Creating interesting and varied projects involves many different variations on the knit and purl stitch. One is knitting and purling into the back of a stitch.

  • Determine where you need to knit or purl in the back of a stitch. If you're going by a pattern, the abbreviation is usually K1B for knitting in the back of a stitch, or P1B for purling in the back of a stitch.

  • If you're not using a pattern, you can use knitting or purling in the back of a stitch for tightening the last stitch in a cable, creating a neat edge on a piece of work and other decorative uses such as twisted ribs.

  • Begin the stitch the opposite of the usual way. To knit in the back of a stitch, slip the working needle behind the front loop of the nearest stitch and behind the needle holding the stitches.

  • If you're knitting right-handed, you're slipping the right needle behind the left needle-vice versa if you're knitting left-handed. To purl behind a stitch, loosen the stitch by bring it down the point of the needle.

  • Insert the needle from the back to the front of the piece. You'll be pushing it through the stitch from left to right if you're right-handed or right to left if you are left-handed.

  • Finish off the stitch as normally. For both knitting and purling, you'll wrap the yarn around the needle counter clockwise, called yarning over, bring the yarned over yarn through the stitch. Then, slip the stitch off the non-working needle.

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