While there's a lot you can do with only the knit stitch, learning how to purl opens up an infinite amount of stitch patterns and projects!
The purl stitch is the exact same as the knit stitch, it's just made backwards. Fun fact: if you make a square using only the knit stitch, it will look identical to a square made with only the purl stitch!
A little heads up, purling will feel awkward for a while! It's common for purling to take a long time to feel as natural as knitting. That doesn't mean you won't be able to do it, just that it's typically not quite as easy as knitting. Don't be discouraged, though, it's a very useful stitch to know!
If you are practicing purling for the first time, we recommend following our Beginner's Guide for step by step instructions and lots of good information.
If you haven't already, familiarize yourself with the different styles of knitting before continuing. There are three different ways to hold your yarn when knitting and you want to make sure you're watching the right technique for you.
The purl stitch is one of the only techniques where we show you an extra style: Norwegian! Norwegian purling is used alongside Continental knitting. If you are relearning knitting and you originally learned how to knit in or around Norway, or by someone who was from Norway, you may have learned this style! We recommend using this style if you previously learned this way, or if you have a hard time Continental purling (because it's a bit easier on the hands). Otherwise, stick to the style you learned to knit with.
Another heads up, continental purling can be much more difficult to learn that continental knitting. It requires much more finger dexterity, so it may take more time to learn than other new stitches. Don't let that get you down, it's definitely worth learning because it allows you to switch between knit and purl so, so quickly!
If you're not sure of how to hold the yarn correctly, watch this video on bringing yarn forward in Continental.
If it's still too frustrating, we recommend trying Californian purling (above) or Norwegian purling (below), or try finding your own style that works for you!