Tips and Tricks: pult stitch in “Knit Your Own Dog”

This post was inspired by a reader who posted on my FO Friday entry about my Toy Gromit, made from the Border Collie pattern in Knit Your Own Dog by Joanna Osborne and Sally Muir.

Emily says …

I have the same book and am working on the Scottie dog. I cannot for the life of me figure out the “pult” stitch. Could you help me? I’m pretty sure all the dogs had this stitch in them.

I feel her pain!  All (?) of the dog patterns in this book use this stitch at the end of short-row shaping in the head sections. It helps close the holes created by short rows, so the stuffing doesn’t show through.  I’ve done a lot of short rows in my time, mostly in sock heels and toes, but this pult stitch was new to me. At first I wasn’t sure how to do it, but I muddled through and got reasonable results.  I’m not promising that I’m doing it right of course–only that this is what worked for me.

Here is the description of the stitch from the book:

pult pick up loop below next st on left needle by inserting tip of right needle from back of work through loop–this stops a hole forming when turning work–then turn, leaving rem (number stated) sts on left needle unworked

There are a few key bits:

  1. First is identifying the loop to be picked up. In Cat Bordhi terms (from her video on lifted increases), we are focusing on the “mother” of the first stitch on the left needle.
  2. Second is making sure to pick up it correctly: poke the right needle into that mother stitch from back to front, and leave it on the right needle.
  3. Third is turning the work without losing any stitches. This is trickier than it sounds. Trust me.
  4. Fourth is making sure to follow the directions for the next row correctly–every time the pult is used, the first thing on the next row is a k2tog or a p2tog, which joins the picked-up loop with the first st of the row.  This ensures that the stitch count stays constant–no stitches are created or destroyed in the use of this short-row technique.

So, without further delay, here is my video of my interpretation of this technique:

One thing I would like to try is using some other short-row technique, and see if I like the results. I usually just “wrap and turn” and then work the wraps together with the wrapped stitch.  Maybe when I make my next toy dog!


51 thoughts on “Tips and Tricks: pult stitch in “Knit Your Own Dog”

  1. Your technique here has 1 left behind stitch, then 2 the next row then 3, then works its way back down. That’s great because your are pult into a different stitch each row.

    The problem with the “knit your own dog” pattern is that it tells you to leave behind 3 sts on each side and pult into the same left- behind stitch 4 times (West Highland White terrier, p57, rows 5 through 10.)

    I can’t pult into the same mother stitch that many times without it looking awful.

    Am I reading the pattern wrong?

    1. You’re right Aimee! Some of the dog patterns do pult into the same stitch again and again. The BC did this too, if I recall. I tried to keep the re-used stitch from stretching out, with moderate success. Ultimately I ended up tightening up the hole during seaming.

  2. I am reading the pattern from the net the Jack Russell dog in which they also use the term “icos.” Any idea what this means ? This is also from the same book, and there is a brief explanation on pult , just not on icos. Any suggestions on icos ? thanks

    1. I don’t see any “icos” — but I do see the term “ibos.” This is defined in the glossary as “including bound off stitch” and relates to counting stitches after binding off several at the beginning of a row, then counting worked sts.

    1. I’m fairly certain it was a typo — should have been “ibos” (including bound-off stitch), which is in the list of abbreviations and is used a lot.

      I haven’t found the patterns in the book unclear — but I’ve only worked a few. I didn’t find any mistakes either — unlike the other “knitted toys” book I own.

  3. Is anyone else having trouble understanding how to knit the neck and head in the “knit your own cat” book? I don’t undersand it as you seem to go from having 18 stitches on the needle,to the instructions on row 11 which says “K15 (18 stitches on left hand kneedle) – I’m confused! Help please!!

  4. I really don’t like this PULT stuff. I’m knitting the scottie terrier. I never had any problems with the ol’ wrap and turn short rows but I’m determined to get through this. Video helped a lot but I don’t think the results are that great as far as not leaving a hole.

  5. P.S. You know what would be GREAT? 🙂 If you would show another short row technique, like the wrap and turn, on this same pattern. (pretty please?)

    1. I think I remember the designers commenting that they changed the short row technique for the next book — I haven’t checked to see if this is the case, however.

      1. Could “icos” mean “including cast off stitch” just as “ibos” means “including bound off stitch?
        (just two abbreviations that mean the same thing.)

  6. Hello

    Thank you for the great pult video!

    I am so confused by the head of the jack russell!
    Row 7 – it says to pult & turn, which I did. But it then says just to continue in bk (& not k2tog). So that’s what I did. I still have 18 stitches somehow.

    Row 8 – it says ‘Working top of head on centre 12 sts only, p2tog (first st of p2tog is loop picked up at end of last row), p11, pult.

    I have NO idea what to do for row 8!????!

    If anyone can help I would greatly appreciate. So disappointing to get to this later stage in project & be so completely stuck!
    I tried the Best In Show community page but the link on the Best in Show website didn’t work.

    Help! Thank you!


    1. Let me see … I haven’t made a JRT, but all the dogs I have made (Border Collie, Husky, Scottie, Poodle) have the same basic head construction.

      On Row 7, you work across in the colors as described for 15 sts. Then “pult” (with RH needle, pick up loop under first st on LH needle, then turn). You should have 3 sts (unworked) on the RH needle, and then 15+1=16 sts on the LH needle. (I think you might have forgotten to turn?)

      On Row 8, leave the 3 unworked sts on the RH needle and work back the other way. P2tog, p11, pult — Now you have 12 sts plus the picked-up st to work in the middle, leaving 3 sts unworked at the end. Now you have the center 12 sts (plus a picked up st), with 3 unworked sts on both ends.

  7. Please help me! I have been knitting a modified labrador but when it comes to row 8 I am completely lost. I have looked at your video but it does not really follow the pattern that I am doing and I need help.

    1. Do you mean you are having trouble with Row 8 of the head? This is the first (of many) short rows that form the curve of the head. Can you clarify which part is confusing you?

      On row 7, you should have k20, then pult, leaving 6 sts unworked on the left needle.

      On row 8, you work a p2tog with the pult st (created at the end of row 7) and the first st on the needle, p 13 more, pult. Again, 6 sts are left unworked on the left needle.

      Rows 9 -12 are worked over just those center 14 sts, with 6 sts on either side left untouched.

      1. I too am working on the Labrador head. But I’ve had the same problem with the Schnauzer head. I THINK I get PULT, because the work DOES turn, but backwards! I’ve left the Schnauzer for now, thinking the Lab would be simpler. I get all done with the PULT rows and guess what? The dog is looking backwards. I know your by heart. WHAT AM I DOING WRONG!!!

        P.S. I thought I was an experienced knitter. I’ve done all kinds of complicated knitting, but I’m completely thrown!

  8. Good day, I hope some one can help me today. I have the book and, and I’m trying to do the jackrussel. but im confused on the legs. do i do four seperate legs and put them on stitch holders, or do i continue what i have and keep them joined. i keep taking my work apart b/c i’m lost. help please.

    1. I haven’t made the JRT from this book.

      However, I think the instructions are pretty clear — after each leg’s instructions, it explicitly says, “hold X sts on spare needle for Right (or Left) Side of Body.” The Right (and Left) Side of Body instructions specifically address how to add in each leg. If you look at the picture, you can clearly see that the body is knit upwards from the legs.

  9. i’m unsure of were i go from leg. do i knit four separate legs and continue from each leg or do i knit one then two leg then three leg then four leg. i am doing four separate legs and holding them on separate needles.

  10. Having a very difficult time sewing the French bull dogs head together to get a boxy result. It doesn’t look like a bull dog….

    1. I’m sorry you’re having a hard time … you might try contacting the designers for help. (I’m just a fellow knitter — I’ve made the scottie, the border collie, and the poodle successfully.)

    2. I am also having trouble figuring out how to sew the French Bulldog’s head together! Were you ever able to figure it out? I’ve asked for help on the designer’s FB page and on Ravelry and on YouTube, but I can’t find any tutorial to help… It’s super confusing… I’ve double, triple checked that I knit the head part correct, but it doesn’t make any sense how it all comes together… Hoping you were able to figure it out?

    3. Were you able to figure it out, Brenda? I too am having a horrible time trying to figure out how it’s sewn together!?!? It doesn’t make any sense. I’ve posted questions on the designer’s Facebook page with no response. And I can’t find a tutorial anywhere. I’ve also asked for help on Revelry with no success. Sigh. It’s super frustrating. And it’s beyond me why the designer doesn’t put out a tutorial or at least a sketch on how it all comes together 😦 Sad!!

  11. I’m having big trouble with this. I don’t understand how you can have 22 stitches at one part and keep knitting 2 together in number 3 and 5 rows….leave stitches to the side….knit 2 tog in 9 10 11 12 13….AND… still have 18 stitches when you get to the end of row 13. Row 16 17 18 19 20 21 etc have knit 2 tog as well, and you’re still expected to have 18 stitches again at the end of row 21?????? This is messing with my brain. I’ve ripped it back I don’t know how many times now. Am I missing something…..I must be.

  12. Sorry I mean’t to ask in the last question I left…does anyone know what to do with the 3 sts left in 7, and the 4 in row 15??? I know I’m dumb lol…sorry!!

  13. Thanks for your helpful video!!! I’m currently making the poodle, and it is super tricky to find the right loop with the boucle yarn on such small needles, so I think I’ll start using wrap and turn instead. I also have another question about the loopy stitch on the poodle. When you did the loopy stitch on the purl side, did you make the loops all on the same side of the work (front)?

    1. You’re welcome! I think you’ll find that in later editions from these authors, they went with a more “standard” wrap&turn short row :).

      The loopy stitch is for fur — so the loops all need to go on the “right side” of the piece.

      Good luck with your poodle!

  14. I’m working with the English bulldog pattern from this book I’ve reached a point in the pattern that I’m unsure of. When knitting the head, I’ve reached the row right before you work in section.
    It says purl. Bind off four sts at beg of next two rows. Does this binding off include the purl row, two rows not elaborated, or the first two rows in the segment that follows?

    Sorry if I’m looking too far into this

    1. I haven’t made the Bulldog, so I can’t say for certain. (Just as an FYI, this isn’t my pattern book — I just made a few of the dogs, and shared my video.) You might try asking on Ravelry — I think I remember there being a discussion about the Bulldog head. Good luck!

    2. Hello Heather. I’m stuck at the exact same spot you were. Did you ever determine which rows are supposed to have the “bind off four sts at beg of next two rows? I’m guessing that they are two rows not elaborated, but it’s a guess!

      Many thanks.

  15. help! I’m doing the red setter and the labrador and I can’t work out for either where I am supposed to join the tummy section ‘under where the jowls begin’ or ‘under the chin’ (in the case of the lab). In each case it also says to sew uo the sides of the head but once you sew the tummy section in there are no ‘sides’ . I have unpicked it twice and am confused.

  16. I am knitting the Wire Fox Terrier. I can do the pult stitch ok, but my terrior head is facing backwards. I have torn it out 4 times and retried, and get the same result. What am I doing wrong.

  17. Thanks so much for making this video (almost 2 years ago!). I would have never, ever, NEVER figured out how to pult without seeing it!

  18. thanks for all the tips, Im knitting the Airedale and was looking up ICOS. I shall now bookmark this page so I can come back and look at all the tips again.

  19. Thank you so much! I’ve spent 3 days knitting and undoing the head of one of these dogs and looked at your page to find help. I received the best help for my frayed nerves just reading everyone elses frustration had me in fits of relief laughter. I will now try your modified pult . Many many thanks – I even took the book down to the local wool store for help and they also threw up their hands in defeat after attempting for about 15 minutes!!

  20. Danke für die Hilfe ,hatte nicht verstanden aus dem Buch ,dass es sich um verkürzte Reihen handelt.
    Nun müsste es funktionieren .Liebe Grüße Regina

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