Purl 2 together, through back loop

As I delve further into the world of lace knitting, I keep coming across Purl 2 together through the back loop.  When I started with lace, I was always just purling on the wrong side row.  Now I’m working on more challenging patterns that work increases and decreases on both sides of the lace.

Purl 2 together through the back loop will create a right leaning decrease on the side of the work facing you while you work it.  I’m usually working this decrease on the non-public side, or wrong side of the work.  If you turn the work around to the public side, this decrease will be left leaning and look like an SSK, or slip, slip, knit on the right side.

Here’s how to work the decrease.


You take your right hand needle around the back side of the next 2 stitches on the left hand needle.  You insert the right hand needle into the 2nd stitch from the needle first.  You have to twist the needle and your work around a bit to get your needle inserted correctly.  Then just purl 2 together as usual.  If this method doesn’t make sense, you can work a purl 2 together after changing the stitch mount of your stitches on the left hand needle.  That means you take the stitches off the left hand needle, then replace them so they are twisted.  When the stitches are twisted, the back side yarn will lie forward, or closer to the needle tip than the front side yarn.  You can also twist your stitches by slipping them one at a time as if to knit, then replacing them back on the left side needle without reorienting them. Then just purl 2 together through the front loops like normal.


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