I remember learning to knit when I was about 8 years old sitting beside my Grammie who was just so good at every craft you can imagine. She even had award winning Dahlias! But I stuck with the crochet as a child, thinking (wrongly) that it was easier to rip out tons of stitches if I had a mistake than it was in knitting.... until I learned to do "Knitting Surgery" and just drop down to the mistake, correct it and go back up... but that was years later!
When I met my friend Laura www.PoorMissFinch.com she inspired me - actually, now that I think about it, she just ridiculed my crochet - until I picked up knitting again.... Of course, La knits English, or "throws" with her right hand. I caught back onto the knitting pretty quickly as she is an amazing woman and a great teacher (but No, I don't knit socks inside out! Ahem....) ... many of the things Grammie taught me as a kid began to come back... I just had to hold my yarn in my left hand like I did in crochet. (and I'm not knocking crochet, I still do a little from time to time!)
So, I began figuring out how to do it with the yarn in my left hand. This was before the age of the world wide web and youtube and everything else we have to learn from.... this was the dark ages where we actually read books made of paper and talked to our friends face to face....
I have over the years developed a way to purl that works and I am reasonably fast at it. I'm not trying to brag, but I am a pretty darn good knitter! For being mostly self taught and learning from articles like Interweave Knits and later on Knitty.com, Ravelry and various websites, I feel like I could do just about anything I wanted to make. I have done all kinds of things, my favorites being intricate lace with beads and Moebius! However, I have always felt I could find a better way to purl... I've tried all kinds of things, read articles, watched other knitters who also knit Continental (who knew my weird left hand way of knitting had a name!) and still, I kept going back to the weird way I was doing the purl... I remember Grammie was smooth and fast and couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong. Unfortunately, despite several communications with our great Lord and Savior, she hasn't whispered any advice in my ear. Or if she did, I wasn't getting it.
Today, I found this video with Lorilee Beltman, owner of City Knitting in Grand Rapids... She makes purling look smooth! I am excited to grab some yarn and get to purling! I never thought I would say that!!!