Craft · Knitting

How to Knit Backwards

There’s a handy way of knitting where you don’t have to turn your work. Why bother, I hear you ask? Well, there are certain types of knitting that you have to turn continuously and it can get repetitive. Also, this close to Christmas don’t you think it’s a good idea to speed things up even a tiny bit? I know I’m knitting furiously to get my gifts done!

Yesterday, ignoring all the knitting I need to do, I went along to The Little Green House in Whitby to take an entrelac class (and, afterward, teach a crochet class). They were running late so I helped rearrange the worsted weight yarn into rainbow colours. I know, I know. How horrible. I had to grope an insane amount of yarn for an hour. How did I cope?

By buying it all some of it, obviously.

Then came the entrelac. It is fascinating to knit and my teacher, Vickie, was excellent. I was the only one there so I got one-on-one tuition, wonderful! Half an hour in I already knew I would be addicted to entrelac knitting

For those of you that don’t know, entrelac is a way of knitting that gives the look of woven squares interlaced (the French for interlaced is, funnily enough, entrelacé). It looks like this:

Just a hat from wikipedia. Google it for more delicious awesomeness.

I’ll have pictures of my own entrelac once I filch my girlfriend’s camera.

It quickly became apparent, however, that turning the work every few stitches was going to get very irritating. Vickie, fortunately, had a solution that pretty much blew my mind.

Knit backwards. Knit. Backwards. What is this sorcery!?

This is this sorcery. You’re welcome.

It looks fiddly but it’s kind of like purling. I found it really helps to knit continental so that the yarn is in your left hand. That way it feels more natural and you can yet the live yarn out of the way of your work.

So if you really hate purling, give this a go. It’s worth it, once you’ve cleaned up your exploded brain.


5 thoughts on “How to Knit Backwards

  1. Hi. What a great way for me to start my week! I’m right there with you on the yarn fondling (LOL). I’ve done Entrelac in the distant past and now I want to try it again. The Backwards Knitting is what I do when I get bored with a flat piece, such as a scarf. Certainly revs up the brain cells. Wishing you a Keep Warm and Keep Knitting week. M.


    1. I can see knitting backwards becoming my anti-boredom trick in boring knitted pieces for sure. Though I mostly knit in the round (socks etc) and therefore don’t actually need to purl anyway. Hm. Thank you for your lovely comment! Happy knitting! 🙂


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