Usually a beginner loom knitter learners the e-wrap knit stitch first. They zip along nicely with just that stitch for ages. Then they get adventurous. They learn the purl stitch. Most of them HATE the purl stitch because it takes them longer. But after time, they pick up speed with the purl stitch. But then comes the questions… How can I tell the difference between a knit and purl after it has already been worked? And what a great question it is too. And an important one. Especially if you are working ribbing or seed stitch, lay down the project, and forget which one is next when you get back. Or you are really zipping along on some ribbing and then realize that you got off somewhere and need to know how far back to go.
Let’s talk some knits and purls!
How do I tell the difference between a knit and purl?
Here are a couple of ways to tell the difference in the stitches when they are still on the loom.
You can look at how the stitches sit on the pegs from the front.
-Knit stitches lay low on the pegs
-Purl stitches rise to the top of the pegs
This is usually when the work has not been pulled or pushed down on the pegs. Some yarns are more obvious with this than others. Not a guarantee way to tell so there is another.
You can also look at the way the stitch is at the back of the peg.
-Knit stitches have a straight bar across the back of the peg
-Purl stitches look like a point
This is actually the reverse of what it looks like on the front of the peg, but the front is harder to see. Also different types of yarn make it harder to tell which is which as well like boucle’ and eyelash yarn. Those types of yarns can hide a multitude of mistakes.
Is that all??
Why yes. That is all there is being able to tell the difference between the knit stitch and the purl stitch.
But what if I am using a different knit stitch?
It doesn’t matter which knit stitch you are using. All knit stitches will do the same thing on the back of the peg and sit the same way on the peg.
But why doesn’t the pattern tell me which knit stitch to use???
Well now we are getting off topic for this article. But you can always refer to my previous article Loom FAQs: Which Knit Stitch??
Generally speaking though, if a pattern doesn’t say whether it is e-wrap or just a knit stitch, you can tell by looking at the finished product to see if the designer used e-wrap or not. If not, then you will need to use whichever knit stitch will achieve gauge.
Are you finished already?
Fear not! While this month was a short one, I will be back next month with another exciting episode of These are the Looms of Your Life! Wait… No… I mean Loom FAQs… Yes. That’s the one.
Until then, Happy knitting!!