I learned to purl the way we learn to purl in Sweden. It’s not something I ever thought about, but I’ve always had a strong dislike for purling and I’ve avoided knitting flat to avoid having to purl too much.
Then I started noticing different purling techniques. First my friend Sara turned out to have her very own purl stitches. Nothing strange about that as long as it works for her.
The other week at my knitting group, Viffla/Linnéa showed me how she purls when she knits flat. I was very confused and this confusion stayed with me until I decided to look it up. It turns out I’ve been purling ”wrong” all the time! Who would have thought.
Not that there’s actually a wrong and a right purling method, but some of them are certainly more convenient for knitting flat.
The method I’ve learned is the one called combined purling method by Knittinghelp.com. It works well with ribbing because the purl stitches on the right side gets twisted and you get a more stretchy fabric. However, it’s very inconvenient as the stitches are turned the opposite way when you try to knit back which means you have to knit through the back loop to avoid twisted stitches.
The easy way is instead to purl this way, which turns the purl stitches right from the beginning and knitting back is much quicker. Another one of the knitting group members, a famously fast knitter, discussed this on Instagram and didn’t think this would make her any faster, but for me who have been dreading purl stitches and avoiding knitting flat this might prove extremely useful!