How to p2tog – Purl 2 together

A step-by-step tutorial on how to purl two together for beginners. The easiest knitting decrease for purl stitches.

Most knitters will agree it’s easier to decrease stitches on the right side with k2tog. But sometimes you are knitting in the round through a purl section or you have to decrease on the wrong side and then you need to p2tog. In this tutorial, I am going to show you how.

a swatch decreased with p2tog purl two together on a wooden table
A swatch decreased with p2tog four stitches in from the right edge in every second row.

P2tog creates a left-slanting decrease and you knit almost like the standard purl stitch. It will appear like a right-slanting decrease on the right side (so, pay attention!). In fact, knitting this decrease will have the exact same results as a k2tog. The corresponding left-slanting decrease is p2tog tbl or SSP.

a swatch decreased with purl two together as seen from the right side
The same swatch as seen from the right/knit side

ⓘ P2tog stands for “purl 2 together”, sometimes it is also capitalized “P2TOG”. If your pattern says “P2tog (3 times)” then you have to repeat this stitch three times in a row. If your pattern tells you to decrease stitches in a purl row, then this decrease is a safe bet.

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Instructions: How to purl two together

Someone showing how to purl two stitches together p2tog

Purl two together is a left-leaning decrease and is worked through two stitches at the same time.

Active Time 1 minute
Total Time 1 minute


  1. Bring the working yarn to the front.

    bringing the working yarn to the front of the project
  2. Enter the first two stitches on the left needle from right to left.

    entering both stitches form right to left at the same time wiht the right needle
  3. Wrap the working yarn around the needle counter-clockwise.

    wrapping the yarn around the the needle counterclockwise
  4. Pull the working yarn through towards the back.

    pulling the yarn through both stitches
  5. Drop both stitches off the left needle and tighten up.

    dropping both stitches off the needle


If that is a bit too difficult, try to loosen up the second stitch before you try to enter them at the same time.

As an alternative, you can also:

  1. slip the next stitch over to the right needle purlwise/point-to-point
  2. Purl the next stitch
  3. Pass the second stitch on the right needle (the one that you've slipped) over the first one

This will result in the exact same left-leaning decrease.

Reading tip: Here’s how to decrease for beginners

P3tog – Purl three together

Insert the right needle into two stitches to purl three together

If your pattern requires you to p3tog (like the beautiful Star Stitch), then you can knit it in exactly the same way. The only difference: You have to insert the needle into the first three stitches at the same time instead of only two (see picture above).

This is a very fast decrease and will create a very visible little bump in your fabric. There are a lot of stitches that use this to create fantastic shapes, but for stockinette stitch and other flat patterns, you usually avoid it.

-> Here’s a detailed step-by-step guide on how to P3tog.

P2tog tbl

wrapping the yarn around the needle counterclockwise for the p2tog tbl decrease

A variation coming variation of this decrease is “purl two together through back loop” or P2tog tbl. A lot of lace patterns use it. Here, you decrease by purling two stitches together as well. But instead of inserting the right needle from left to right through the front loop, you insert it from right to left through the back loop (like the regular ptbl) and then you purl them together. This can often be somewhat tricky and it helps to loosen the loops a bit before with your right needle.

-> Read my full tutorial on how to p2tog tbl here

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

So, That’s how you p2tog. I hope I was able to help you with knitting this decrease. Feel free to comment with your questions!

How to purl two together for beginners

2 thoughts on “How to p2tog – Purl 2 together”

  1. Hello
    I am knitting some bunny rabbit bootees but as I need a sharp edge around the sole by knitting the present purl row together with the corresponding stitch 7 rows below I am finding it difficult, any hints to make it easier please.


  2. I have finally worked up the courage to try dpn for a hat.
    Your videos make it all so clear and helped me so much at 2 am when I was stuck. Thank you so much!


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