How to Knit the Purled Ladder Stitch

For an easy way to add texture, try the purled ladder stitch

Do you like texture? I do, and that’s why I love these knitting instructions for the purled ladder stitch. This stitch is so easy; it will fast become one of your favorites.

While it’s fun to occasionally bite into a challenging pattern that tests your knitting skills, it’s always good to have a project on the needles that you can do without a lot of thinking. Sometimes your brain just needs a rest. You want to knit, but you’re not up to a challenging pattern. That’s why I love the purled ladder stitch, and I think you will too.

Instructions for the Purled Ladder Stitch

The instructions for knitting the purled ladder stitch are simple. All you’re doing is a pattern of two knits and two purls. Once you finish that row, you follow the pattern by knitting your purls and purling your knits.

You’ll work in multiples of 4 + 2. Cast on such a number, say, 38.

Rows 1 and 2: knit

Row 3 (RS): p2, *k2, p2; rep from *

Row 4: k2, *p2, k2; rep from *

Rows 5 and 6: knit

Row 7: Repeat Row 4

Row 8: Repeat Row 3

The purled ladder stitch gives you a great textured pattern that looks just as good on the back as it does on the front. The photo below shows a swatch I knitted using this stitch, with a garter stitch border on all sides. You can find one in a light color on this page, just scroll down a little.

Put it to Use

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So now that you know how to do the purled ladder stitch, what can you do with it? Plenty!

First, this stitch is great for making baby blankets and afghans. You simply cast on in multiples of 4 plus 2 extra however wide you want your finished project to be. Once you get into the rhythm of the stitch, you can work quickly and turn out many projects for gifts and charity using this simple stitch.

Other great projects would include socks, rectangular shawls or dishcloths. I especially like the idea of using this stitch for dishcloths because the added texture will provide more scrubbing power.

For socks, just take a basic sock pattern (I really like the tutorials in Silver’s Sock Classes and this Knit Picks Two at Once, Two at a Time, Magic Loop pattern) and add the stitch pattern to the leg and the top of the foot. (Or, if you happen to have the book Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch, you’ll find a pattern for purled ladder socks!)

The purled ladder stitch is one of the easiest textured stitches you’ll find, making it great for beginners. Try this new pattern if you’re new to knitting and want to knit something to practice your stitches. Or knit this pattern if you’re an experienced knitter needing a repetitive pattern to give your brain a break. Either way, you’ll love this stitch.

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