How to Knit a Centered double decrease for the purl side (CCDP)

A step-by-step tutorial on knitting the purl three together (p3tog) centered

A lot of knitters don’t like purl stitches very much. As a result, most modern patterns try to avoid decreases on the wrong side as much as possible. But what if you are knitting garter stitch in the round and need a neat double decrease? How do you knit a centered doubled decrease for the purl side?

close-up of a knitted swatch with the centered double purl decrease forming a neat line the middle of the wrong side

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to knit this really uncommon decrease step by step. It is considerably harder to knit than a regular p3tog, and I guess it’s not exactly part of the standard knitting canon. Still, I always love tinkering around and finding new techniques and stitches for my readers.

the centered purl double decrease as seen from the right side of a knitted swatch (looks exactly like k3tog centered)
The centered double purl decrease as seen from the knit side

This stitch will look exactly like a k3tog centered (ccd) from the right side (knit side) and form a really neat decrease line for the middle of shawls, etc. In knitting patterns, you may also find cddp – for centered double decrease purl. And just in case: check out this tutorial for a right-leaning purl double decrease (p3tog tbl)

So, let’s dive right into it, eh?

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How to knit a centered double decrease for the purl side

a knitted swatch decreased with p3tog centered - the centered purl double decrease as seen from the wrong side

There are a couple of ways to p3tog centered but I found this is the easiest version, even though it involves a bit of awkward slipping back and forth:

Active Time 1 minute
Total Time 1 minute


  1. Slip two stitches knitwise to the right needle - one at a time.

    slipping two stitches knitwise
  2. Slip the two stitches back to the left needle purlwise as a unit.

    a hand illustrating how to purl three together centered (p3tog)

    Insert your left needle from right to left into both stitches at the same time. This will feel somewhat strange/unusual.
  3. Insert your needle into all three stitches purlwise & wrap the yarn around counter-clockwise.

    wrapping the yarn counterclockwise around the needle
  4. Pull the yarn through carefully, and slip the three stitches off your left needle.

    pulling the yarn through to finish p3tog centered as the last step


Make sure to use sharp & sturdy needles if your pattern features a lot of these stitches. I feel it's quite manageable with a bit of patience and good lighting.

Reading tip: If this is too difficult, here’s how to decrease knitting stitches for beginners.

An alternative way to p3tog centered

The alternative way to knit this is quite cumbersome. It works really well for a k3tog centered but if you mirror it to the purl side, it’s not very viable in my opinion.

  • Step 1: Purl one stitch.
  • Step 2: Slip the next two stitches knitwise as a unit (so go into both at the same time).
  • Step 3: Slip all three stitches back to the left needle.
  • Step 4: Pass the second and third stitch over the one you purled (a bit like a bind-off).
  • Step 5: Slip the remaining stitch back to the right needle.

As you can see, it does involve even more slipping. On the plus side, you avoid working through three stitches at the same time. After all, this can be a problem when working with very fine needles and yarn.

And I guess that’s the reason why I felt like including this option anyway. The easier alternative would probably still be trying to skip the wrong side and keep all the complicated stitches on the right side.

Reading tip: The ultimate list of knitting decreases – centered, right-, and left-leaning alternatives for every project.

Anyway, that’s how to knit the centered double decrease on the purl side. Feel free to comment below in case you have any questions.

how to purl three together (p3tog) centered

1 thought on “How to Knit a Centered double decrease for the purl side (CCDP)”

  1. This was just what I needed – as a beginner knitter, knitting Portuguese style due to arthritis seeing how to do things from the purl side is wonderful. I don’t know why it works yet, I’ll just follow blindly for now and hope that one day the actual mechanics makes sense.


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