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How to: decrease purl stitches (p2tog)

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To decrease purl stitches, you may see pattern p2tog as an abbreviation meaning to purl two stitches together. This creates a right-leaning decrease on the front of stocking stitch fabric.

You can find a p2tog at the end or within a row, so just follow your pattern to get the right result.

Decreasing doesn’t get much easier than working a p2tog, and it’s essentially the same as working a regular purl stitch, but instead insert your right-hand needle through two stitches on the left-hand needle in one go. Wrap your yarn around the right-hand tip as usual and lift off both stitches at the same time, to give you one new purl stitch instead of two. In stocking stitch, p2tog is worked on the wrong side and looks very much like a k2tog on the right side, with two columns of V stitches being merged neatly into one. The reason your pattern may call for a p2tog instead of a k2tog is to do with which row the shaping needs to take place on. Depending on your tension, the decrease on the purl side of the fabric is not very noticeable.


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