The Purl Stitch
Purl stitch works the opposite of a knit. Make sure the yarn is in front of your work before starting any purl stitch. Slip right needle into first stitch from right to left. This time your working needle (the right needle) ends up in front of the holding needle (the left needle).
The secret to the purl stitch is wrapping the yarn correctly around the working needle. It goes up over the needle, around to the back, and then up the front. The first few purl stitches may feel awkward, but with a little practice you will be flipping the yarn quickly over the needle, around and up. End up with the working yarn nice and smug between the two needles, ready to actually slip the stitch in the next step.
Use your working needle to pull the new yarn through that loop; it will be pulled from front to back. The slip the used stitch off the holding needle. Repeat purls across the row to end.
If you *knit one row, then purl one row*, repeating from * to *, you will make a nice knit fabric that is smooth on one side, and bumpy on the other. This is called stockinette stitch.
Congratulations! You are now a great knitter. All knit garments, no matter how fancy (lace, cables, color, entrelac) are made with nothing more than combinations of knit and purl stitches. You are ready for your first project. Follow this link and select skill level "easy start."