Right and wrong your knitting

How do you recognize the “right side” of your project


When you’re a beginner, there are many parts of the models that can be confusing. One of the most common problems is finding out what is the right side compared to the wrong side.

Your pattern can start out like this:

Row 1 (and all the wrong side rows): Pearl.

What does this mean and how do you know which side of your project is wrong? It’s actually quite easy, and like all knitting, you just need to break it into pieces. As you gain more experience, the recognition of right and wrong sides becomes a second nature.

Right side vs. wrong side.

The “right” side of the knitting means the side that faces the clothes or other project, that is the side you want to show. This includes the outer side of a sweater or bag or the beautiful side of a scarf or Afghan man. This is, of course, assuming that the line you are using is irreversible.

The easiest way to distinguish sides is to look at a simple sample in Stockinette Stitch. The flat side with all V’s on it is the right side. The bumpy side is the “wrong” side. If your pattern requires the reverse Stockinette, it’s the other way around.

In other templates, you can quickly recognize the right and wrong sides after processing a few lines of the template. Most often, the right side is dominated by knitted stitches, while the reverse side is dominated by lining stitches.

  • For example, a simple “herringbone” pattern looks like a fabulous set of knitted V-shaped figures in an overlapping series of V-shaped patterns on the front side. The back, however, looks like a bunch of dirty blows.
  • When working on a ground knitting project like Fair Isle, you will always want to twist the yarn on the wrong side. This ensures that your extra yarn is hidden at the end of the job.

Right and wrong sides of reversible patterns

It is quite easy to distinguish the right from the wrong with a line that does not look the same on both sides. What about stitching garter, ribs or other patterns that look the same on both sides? It gets a little more complicated here, but there is a simple solution.

In this case, if you have instructions that call for the formation of, say, every other “right side” line, you will need to make a decision. Just choose which side you want to call the “right side” and stick to it consistently while working with the template.

There are several ways to remind yourself of which side you have chosen:

  • When you start, stick a stitch marker on one side of the work and declare that side as the right side.
  • Or you can wait until you need to decide which side is the right and choose a side that looks more appealing to you.

With reversible patterns, it really does not matter which side you choose. What matters is that you are consistent in this and leave yourself a clear indication of your choice.

If you have not worked on a knitting project for a week or more, you want to be able to get back to it without messing up your pattern. Over time, each knitter will have little reminders that are best for them, and so will you.


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