How to P3tog – purl three together

A step by step tutorial on how to P3tog – A left-slanting knitting decrease often used in patterns for advanced knitters.

So, you are wondering how to P3tog, right? Well, then you came to the right place. In this tutorial, I’m going to show you step by step, how to knit this left-slanting decrease.

It’s a bit harder to knit than the corresponding P2tog and is used in beautiful patterns like the Star Stitch. You have to be careful when using this decrease, as it will shorten your fabric quite fast and this often leads to a little bump or a ridge – especially when you decrease multiple times across different rows. Advanced knitters can use this effect for some stunning textures, though.

ⓘ P3tog stands for “knit 3 together”. Sometimes it is also capitalized “P3TOG”.

P3tog instructions

So, without further ado, here’s how to P3tog.

Step 1: Insert the right needle into the first three stitches on your left needle from left to right just like for a regular purl stitch.

Insert the right needle into two stitches to purl three together

Step 2: Wrap the yarn around the needle counter-clockwise. Push the working yarn towards the front to increase the tension.

wrap the yarn around counter clockwise to purl three together

Step 3: Now, pull the working yarn through the three loops.

Pull the yarn through to purl three stitches together

Step 4: Slip the three stitches off the left needle. And there is your p3tog.

P3tog on the right needle

The final P3tog stitch should have three loops around its base. If it doesn’t you might have inserted your needle only in 2 stitches and dropped one. So, be careful there.

P3tog tbl

Sometimes a pattern tells you to purl three together through the back loop (P3tog tbl). This is a very tricky decrease. You are purling three stitches together as well. But instead of inserting your working needle into the front part of the three loops from left to right, you insert it into the back from right to left. It’s often quite hard to wiggle your needle through.

So, use your right needle to loosen up the individual loops before. Simply insert it and pull a bit. Then, once you inserted your needle through three back loops, purl it and slip them off.

Anyways, that’s it. That’s how you p3tog. I hope I was able to show you this advanced knitting decrease. Still, have troubles? Feel free to ask your questions in the comments below!

How to purl three together for beginners - p3tog

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