- to knit with a reverse stitch.
- to finish with loops or a looped edging.
- a basic stitch in knitting, the reverse of the knit, formed by pulling a loop of the working yarn back through an existing stitch and then slipping that stitch off the needle.Compare knit(def 11).
- one of a series of small loops along the edge of lace braid.
- thread made of twisted gold or silver wire.
Origin of purl1
- to flow with curling or rippling motion, as a shallow stream does over stones.
- to flow with a murmuring sound.
- to pass in a manner or with a sound likened to this.
- the action or sound of purling.
- a circle or curl made by the motion of water; ripple; eddy.
Origin of purl2
Examples from the Web for purl
Here again they are attached with the help of pieces of purl.Embroidery and Tapestry Weaving
The stitches should be about the width of the needle apart to allow for the purl.Textiles and Clothing
Kate Heintz Watson
Cast on 50 stitches then knit or purl the same amount of rows as stitches.The Library of Work and Play: Needlecraft
Effie Archer Archer
(Make all decreases at this side, on the purl row in this manner).Beehive for Bairns, Vol. 2
The purl warms the cockles of Tom's heart, and makes him cough.Tom Brown's School Days
- Also called: purl stitch a knitting stitch made by doing a plain stitch backwards
- a decorative border, as of lace
- gold or silver wire thread
- to knit (a row or garment) in purl stitch
- to edge (something) with a purl
- (intr) (of a stream, etc) to flow with a gentle curling or rippling movement and a murmuring sound
- a curling movement of water; eddy
- a murmuring sound, as of a shallow stream
Word Origin and History for purl
"knit with inverted stitches," 1825; earlier "embroider with gold or silver thread" (1520s), probably from Middle English pirlyng "revolving, twisting," of unknown origin. The two senses usually are taken as one word, but even this is not certain. Klein suggests a source in Italian pirolare "to twirl," from pirolo "top." As a noun, from late 14c. as "bordering, frills," 1530s as "twisted thread of gold and silver."
"flow with a murmuring sound," 1580s, imitative, perhaps from a Scandinavian language. Related: Purled; purling.