Purling gets a bad wrap. I mean its almost always on the wrong side, which we automatically associate with something bad.
I can just imagine crossing over to the wrong side of the tracks because I have to walk through that area of town to eat at my favorite chicken and waffles place. On the corner is an older lady in an outfit that shows too much skin for her age, wearing more makeup than a kid from Toddlers & Tiaras. She takes puff from her cigarette and in a voice that sounds like Rod Stewart asks, “What’s your name Mr. Bald Dark and Handsome?”
Slightly flattered and mostly appalled I nervously answer, “Johnny. What’s yours?”
“Purl,” she responds.
“Nice to meet you purl, can’t talk though. I’m just passing through on my way to meet my friend, Knit.”
Here’s the thing. Purling is just knitting in reverse and anything you can do on the right side, you can do on the wrong side. Which includes increasing and decreasing.
So today we’re going to look at one of those overly complicated decreases that sounds as scary as a trip to the wrong side of the tracks, the Slip Slip Purl Through the Back Loop Decrease. Good thing we’re here to hold your hand.
This video knitting tutorial will help you learn how to knit the slip slip purl through the back loop decrease (spp tbl). This method of removing stitches to shape your work is used on the wrong side of your fabric. It compliments the purl two together decrease by creating a left slant on the right side of your work. It also achieves the same result at the slip slip knit through the back loop.
You will want to work your pattern until you reach the stitch before the place you want to decrease.
Step 1: Insert your working needle into the first stitch on your main needle knitwise and slip it off.
Step 2: Repeat step 1 with the next stitch on your main needle.
Step 3: Transfer both stitches back to your main needle.
Step 4: Insert your working needle into the back of the second stitch purlwise and through the first stitch.
Step 5: Wrap your working yarn around your working needle and purl the two stitches together.
Step 6: Slip both stitches off your main needle.
Example of the Slip Slip Purl Through the Back Loop Decrease (SSP TBL) on the purl side. (click for larger)
Example of the Slip Slip Purl Through the Back Loop Decrease (SSP TBL) on the knit side. (click for larger)
Johnny is the founder of New Stitch a Day and Head Honcho at Craftory Media. When he's not making knitting and crochet tutorials he's probably at the movies, drinking hard cider, or going on adventures with his wife and daughter. Learn More About Johnny