Purl 2 together (p2tog) is a 1-stitch decrease. Most knitters use it on the wrong side of the fabric, or on the right side of the fabric in a purl section (such as in the purl column of ribbing). It is just like purling normally, except you work in 2 stitches at the same time.
Purl 2 together leans to the right, which is barely noticeable on the purl side. If you look at the reverse side of a p2tog, it looks just like a k2tog (knit 2 together), which also leans to the right.
In this video, I show you how to knit this stitch in both English style and Continental style:
Other purl decreases include slip slip purl (ssp) and purl 2 together through the back loop (p2tog tbl). These decreases are similar to each other and lean to the left. The difference is that p2tog tbl twists the stitches and ssp does not. (Read my SSP tutorial for an explanation of how decreases lean.)
How to P2tog
- Insert your working needle as if to purl through 2 stitches at the same time
- Purl those 2 stitches together as if they were one stitch and slip them off the left needle
Now look at your purl 2 together. It won’t be very noticeable on the purl side, but if you flip your work over and look at the back of it, it will look like k2tog.
Want to Practice P2tog?
The best way to learn a new stitch – and truly understand how it affects your work – is to use it in a project. Our Brady the Snowman knit along is a fantastic little project for learning and practicing p2tog, as well as several other increases and decreases. All the lessons are online. Check it out at https://knitalongclub.com/course/brady/.