Stitch orientation is something you need to pay attention to when knitting. If you do not, your stitches can become twisted. This tutorial will show you how to avoid and correct twisted purl stitches.
In fact, there are usually two reasons why your purl stitches get twisted. Firstly, it can be because of the yarn being incorrectly wrapped around the knitting needle.
Secondly, it can be due to the stitch being placed backwards on the needle.
A stitch placed backwards can happen if you have dropped the stitch and then you accidently return it backwards to the needle.
Stitch Orientation: Standard and Non-Standard
Standard and non-standard are the two different stitch orientations when knitting.
Typically, Western knitters (English and Continental knitters) will use the standard stitch orientation.
Furthermore, the non-standard stitch orientation will typically be used by Eastern knitters.
And finally, a combination of the standard and the non-standard stitch orientation will be used by Combination knitters.
Wrap the Working Yarn Correctly and Avoid Twisted Purl Stitches
If your purl stitches are constantly twisting, you can start by checking how you wrap the working yarn.
Which way are you wrapping the working yarn when you are creating a new stitch?
The standard way to wrap the working yarn around the knitting needle is counterclockwise.
First, purl one stitch.
Carefully, take a look at the newly created stitch on your right-hand needle.
Is the yarn exiting the stitch in front of the needle? If yes, it is in the non-standard position. A further indication is that the leading stitch leg is in the back.
To fix the twisted stitch, just undo it and then purl it again. Make sure that you this time wrap the working yarn counterclockwise around the knitting needle.
Look at How You Insert the Needle and Avoid Twisted Purl Stitches
Should you find that the issue is not how the working yarn is wrapped, you may want to look at how you are inserting the right-hand needle.
Which way are you inserting the knitting needle when you are creating a new purl stitch?
One major cause for a purl stitch to twist, is by working into the back of the stich when it is in the standard position.
Start by looking at the stitch on the left needle. Is it in a standard position?
Work into the front of the stitch if the answer is yes. This will ensure that it will not twist.
Conversely, if the answer is no, you need to work into the back of the stitch. This ensures that the purl stitch does not twist.
Learn How to Correct Twisted Purl Stitches
Whenever you encounter a purl stitch that has already been twisted, it can easily be fixed.
Firstly, look at your knitting project so you can determine where the twisted stitch is. It might be several rows down. In that case, you will probably want to drop stitches down to correct it. (See separate tutorial.)
On the other hand, if the twisted purl stitch is just on the row below, you can follow the steps below to fix the problem.
Start by purling to where the twisted purl stitch is.
Purl into the back loop in order to correct the twisted purl stitch.
The purled stitch should now appear as “normal”, with no cross at the bottom.