Which is the right side of knitting

Which is the right side of knitting

When it comes to knitting, one of the questions that often arises is which side is the correct side. Is it the side that faces you while you’re knitting, or is it the side that faces away from you? The truth is, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. It actually depends on the pattern you’re working on and the look you want to achieve.

For most knitting patterns, the correct side is the side that faces away from you while you’re knitting. This is often referred to as the right side, or RS. The RS is usually the side that is more aesthetically pleasing, with the pattern design or stitch pattern showing clearly. The wrong side, or WS, is typically the side that faces towards you while you’re knitting and may have a less polished appearance.

However, there are some patterns where the wrong side is intended to be the right side. This is often the case with reversible patterns or with patterns that have texture on both sides. In these cases, it’s important to follow the pattern instructions and pay attention to the specific terminology used. Some patterns may even have a specific stitch or edge that indicates which side is intended to be the right side.

Learning the Basics of Knitting

Knitting is a versatile craft that allows you to create beautiful textiles, garments, and accessories. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced knitter, understanding the basics is essential for success. In this guide, we will walk you through the foundational techniques and terminology of knitting.

1. Choosing the Right Tools

Before you begin knitting, you will need to gather the appropriate tools. The basic knitting supplies include:

  • Knitting needles: These come in various sizes and materials, such as bamboo, metal, or plastic. Choose a needle size that is suitable for your project.
  • Yarn: Select a yarn that matches your desired project. Different yarn weights and fiber types will produce different results.
  • Tape measure: This will help you ensure that your gauge and finished project have the correct dimensions.
  • Scissors: Essential for cutting yarn and trimming loose ends.
  • Tapestry needle: Used for sewing seams and weaving in yarn tails.

2. Casting On

2. Casting On

Casting on is the process of starting a new knitting project. There are several methods you can use to cast on, including the long-tail cast on, the knitted cast on, and the cable cast on. Each method creates a different edge, so choose the one that suits your project best.

3. Knit Stitch

The knit stitch is the most basic stitch in knitting. It creates a smooth, interlocked fabric. To knit, insert the right needle through the front loop of the stitch on the left needle, and then wrap the yarn around the right needle. Pull the loop through to create a new stitch, and slide the original stitch off the left needle.

4. Purl Stitch

The purl stitch is the reverse of the knit stitch and creates a textured fabric. To purl, insert the right needle through the front loop of the stitch on the left needle, but this time, wrap the yarn counterclockwise around the right needle. Pull the loop through and slide the original stitch off the left needle.

5. Basic Stitch Patterns

Once you have mastered the knit and purl stitches, you can combine them to create a variety of patterns. Some basic stitch patterns include garter stitch, stockinette stitch, and ribbing. Experiment with different combinations and see what you can create!

6. Binding Off

When you have finished your knitting project, you will need to bind off to secure the stitches and create a finished edge. To bind off, knit the first two stitches, then lift the first stitch over the second stitch and off the right needle. Knit another stitch, and repeat the process until only one stitch remains. Cut the yarn and pull it through the last stitch to secure.

7. Practice Makes Perfect

Like any new skill, knitting takes practice to master. Start with simple projects and gradually work your way up to more complex ones. Don’t be discouraged if your first few attempts don’t turn out perfectly – every knitter learns from their mistakes. Keep practicing, and soon you’ll be creating beautiful knitted items!

Remember, knitting is meant to be enjoyable and relaxing. Take your time, be patient with yourself, and have fun exploring the world of knitting!

Understanding Knitting Needles

Knitting needles are essential tools used in the process of knitting. They come in different materials, sizes, and types, each serving a unique purpose. Understanding the different aspects of knitting needles can greatly enhance your knitting experience and help you achieve the desired results.


Knitting needles can be made from various materials, such as:

  • Metal: Metal knitting needles are durable and often have a smooth surface, making them ideal for both beginners and advanced knitters. They are also great for working with yarns that tend to snag or split.

  • Wood: Wood knitting needles offer a warm, natural feel. They are lightweight and have a slightly grippy surface, which can help control slippery yarns. Wood needles are suitable for most knitting projects.

  • Bamboo: Bamboo knitting needles are lightweight, flexible, and have a smooth surface. They are great for knitting with yarns that require a delicate touch, as they have less grip compared to metal or wood needles.

  • Plastic: Plastic knitting needles are affordable and lightweight. They are often found in beginner knitting kits and are suitable for basic projects. However, they may not be as durable as other materials.


Knitting needle sizes are measured in millimeters (mm) or in the United States, in both millimeters and corresponding US sizes. The size of the needle determines the gauge or tension of your knitting project. A larger needle size will result in a looser knit, while a smaller needle size will produce a tighter knit.

Common needle sizes range from 2 mm to 25 mm (or US sizes 0 to 50). However, different regions may use different sizing systems, so it’s important to check the conversion charts if you’re using needles from another country.


There are several types of knitting needles to choose from, including:

  • Straight Needles: Straight needles are the most traditional type of knitting needles. They come in pairs and have a point on one end and a knob or stopper on the other end to prevent stitches from falling off. Straight needles are ideal for flat projects, such as scarves or blankets.

  • Circular Needles: Circular needles consist of two flexible needles connected by a cable. They are versatile and can be used for both flat and circular projects. Circular needles are great for knitting in the round, such as hats or socks, as well as larger projects like sweaters.

  • Double-Pointed Needles (DPNs): Double-pointed needles are shorter needles with points on both ends. They usually come in a set of four or five needles. DPNs are primarily used for knitting small items in the round, like gloves, sleeves, or socks.


Understanding knitting needles is crucial for any knitter. By considering the materials, sizes, and types of needles, you can choose the right tools for your knitting projects and achieve the desired results. Experimenting with different needles can also enhance your knitting skills and open up new possibilities in your craft.

Choosing the Right Yarn

Choosing the right yarn is an important step in any knitting project. The type and quality of yarn you select can greatly impact the final result of your knitting. Here are some factors to consider when choosing yarn:

  • Fiber Content: Yarns can be made from a variety of fibers, such as wool, cotton, acrylic, or a blend of different fibers. Each fiber has its own characteristics that will affect the feel and drape of your knitted fabric. Decide what qualities you want for your project and choose a yarn that matches those needs.
  • Weight: Yarns come in different weights, from lace weight to super bulky. The weight of the yarn will determine the size of the needles you should use and the overall thickness of your finished project. Consider the pattern you are following and choose a yarn weight that matches the recommended gauge.
  • Color: Yarn comes in a wide range of colors, and the color you choose can greatly impact the final look of your project. Consider the color palette you want to work with and choose a yarn that fits your vision. You can also experiment with different color combinations to create unique effects.
  • Texture: Yarns can have different textures, such as smooth, fluffy, or textured. The texture of the yarn can add depth and interest to your knitted fabric. Consider the stitch pattern you are using and choose a yarn that will enhance the texture of your project.
  • Price: Yarns can vary in price, depending on the fiber content, quality, and brand. Consider your budget and how much you are willing to spend on yarn. Remember that higher-quality yarns tend to be more durable and result in better-finished projects.

Once you have considered these factors, it’s a good idea to swatch with your chosen yarn before starting your project. This will help you determine if the yarn is suitable for your desired stitch pattern and gauge. And remember, don’t be afraid to experiment and try new yarns – it’s all part of the fun of knitting!

Learning the Knit Stitch

The knit stitch is one of the fundamental stitches in knitting. It is the stitch used to create the majority of knitted fabric. Learning how to do the knit stitch is the first step in becoming a competent knitter.

To perform the knit stitch, follow these steps:

  1. Hold the knitting needle with the cast-on stitches in your left hand.
  2. With your right hand, insert the right knitting needle into the first stitch from left to right, going under the left needle.
  3. Wrap the working yarn clockwise around the right needle. This creates a loop of yarn around the right needle.
  4. Using the right needle, pull the loop of yarn through the stitch, bringing the right needle back to the right side of the work.
  5. Slide the old stitch off the left needle, transferring it to the right needle. You have now completed one knit stitch.
  6. Repeat steps 2-5 until all stitches have been worked.

It is important to maintain an even tension throughout the knit stitch. Too tight tension can result in a stiff fabric, while too loose tension can create holes in the fabric. Practice is key to finding the right tension for you.

When working with the knit stitch, it is common to see a “V” shape formed by the stitches. The side of the fabric with the “V” shape is usually considered the right side or the public side.

Once you have mastered the knit stitch, you can experiment with different knitting patterns and techniques to create a variety of designs. Knitting opens up a world of possibilities for creating beautiful and functional items.

Mastering the Purl Stitch

The purl stitch is an essential knitting stitch that is often used in combination with other stitches to create various knitting patterns. It is the opposite of the knit stitch, resulting in a different texture on the fabric. Mastering the purl stitch will open up a whole new world of knitting possibilities.

Benefits of the Purl Stitch

Understanding and mastering the purl stitch is important for several reasons:

  • Versatility: The purl stitch can be used to create a variety of patterns, textures, and designs in knitting. It adds depth, dimension, and variation to your knitting projects.
  • Balance: Using both knit and purl stitches in your knitting projects creates a balanced and visually appealing fabric.
  • Ribbing: The purl stitch is commonly used in ribbing, which adds elasticity and stretchiness to the fabric. This is useful for cuffs, collars, and other areas in knitting.

How to Purl Stitch

Follow these steps to master the purl stitch:

  1. Hold the knitting needles with the right needle in your right hand and the left needle in your left hand.
  2. Insert the right needle into the first stitch on the left needle from right to left.
  3. Wrap the yarn counterclockwise around the right needle, crossing the yarn over the left needle.
  4. Slide the right needle down, pulling the loop of yarn through the stitch on the left needle.
  5. Transfer the stitch from the left needle to the right needle, completing the purl stitch.
  6. Repeat these steps for each stitch until you have completed the desired number of purl stitches.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

When learning the purl stitch, watch out for these common mistakes:

  • Twisted stitches: Make sure not to twist the stitches when sliding them from the left needle to the right needle.
  • Loose stitches: Avoid creating loose stitches by pulling the yarn tightly after each purl stitch.
  • Mixing up knit and purl stitches: Pay close attention to the pattern instructions to ensure you are using the correct stitch.

Practice and Experiment

The best way to master the purl stitch is through practice. Start with simple patterns that incorporate purl stitches, such as ribbing or seed stitch. As you gain confidence, try more complex patterns to expand your knitting skills. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different yarns, needle sizes, and stitch combinations to create unique and beautiful knitted creations.

Identifying the Right Side of Your Knitting

When knitting, it is essential to know which side is the right side (RS) and which is the wrong side (WS) of your work. This knowledge is crucial for achieving the desired aesthetic of your project and for following knitting patterns accurately.

Here are some tips to help you identify the right side of your knitting:

  • Visual Inspection: Take a close look at your knitting and examine the stitches. In most cases, the right side will have smoother, more defined stitches, while the wrong side may appear bumpier or less polished.
  • Pattern Instructions: Consult the knitting pattern you are working on. Most patterns will clearly indicate which side is the right side. Typically, the pattern will specify which side to start the pattern from and may also include specific instructions for the wrong side.
  • Row Counting: Pay attention to the row you are currently on. If you are following a pattern with a distinct stitch pattern or shaping, the right side may have a different number of rows compared to the wrong side. Counting the rows can help you identify which side you are on.

Additionally, here are some methods you can use to mark the right side of your knitting:

  • Safety Pin or Stitch Marker: Attach a safety pin or stitch marker to the right side of your work so that you can easily identify it. Be careful not to snag the yarn or your knitting needle.
  • Contrasting Yarn or Thread: Thread a contrasting yarn or thread through the stitches on the right side. This will create a visible line that can be easily spotted.
  • Clip-on Stitch Marker: Use a clip-on stitch marker that can be easily clipped onto the edge of your knitting. This marker will stay in place until removed.

It is important to note that some knitting techniques, such as garter stitch or stockinette stitch, do not have a distinctive right or wrong side. In such cases, it is up to personal preference or the specific requirements of the pattern to determine which side is considered the right side.

By following these tips and using the suggested methods for marking the right side, you will be able to identify the correct side of your knitting and create beautiful and well-executed projects.

Recognizing Basic Knitting Patterns

When it comes to knitting, understanding and recognizing basic knitting patterns is essential. By familiarizing yourself with different patterns, you can create a variety of stitches, textures, and designs in your knitted projects. Here are some common basic knitting patterns:

  1. Garter stitch: This is the simplest knitting pattern where you knit every row. It creates a bumpy texture and is commonly used for scarves and dishcloths.
  2. Stockinette stitch: This is the most common knitting pattern and creates a smooth and flat fabric. It is achieved by knitting one row and purling the next row. It is often used for sweaters, socks, and hats.
  3. Ribbing: Ribbing is a pattern that creates vertical columns of knit and purl stitches. It is commonly used for cuffs, waistbands, and edges of garments to provide stretch and elasticity.
  4. Seed stitch: This pattern alternates knit and purl stitches within the same row, creating a textured fabric with a pebbled appearance. It is great for adding interest to blankets, scarves, and hats.
  5. Basketweave stitch: The basketweave stitch pattern creates a textured fabric that resembles woven baskets. It involves repeating a combination of knit and purl stitches over a specified number of rows.

Recognizing these basic knitting patterns will help you follow knitting instructions, understand knitting charts, and create a wide range of projects. By experimenting with different patterns and combining them, you can unleash your creativity and produce unique knitted items.

Comparison of Basic Knitting Patterns
Pattern Description Usage
Garter stitch Knit every row Scarves, dishcloths
Stockinette stitch Knit one row, purl one row Sweaters, socks, hats
Ribbing Vertical columns of knit and purl stitches Cuffs, waistbands, edges
Seed stitch Alternate knit and purl stitches within the row Blankets, scarves, hats
Basketweave stitch Combination of knit and purl stitches to resemble baskets Various projects

Examining the Characteristics of the Right Side

The right side of knitting refers to the side of the fabric that is intended to be visible when the item is finished. This is the side that typically has a smoother texture and cleaner appearance, as it is the side that the knitter was facing while working on the project.

There are several characteristics that can help you determine which side is the right side of a knitted fabric:

  1. Stitch Definition: The right side of the fabric usually has better stitch definition, meaning that the individual stitches are more distinct and defined. This is especially true for patterns involving cables, lace, or other textured stitches.
  2. Smooth Texture: The right side tends to have a smoother texture, with fewer bumps and irregularities. This is because the knitter is typically more focused on creating an even tension and appearance on the right side.
  3. Colorwork: If the knitting project involves colorwork, the right side is usually the side where the main color is dominant and the contrasting colors pop. This is because colorwork is typically worked on the right side of the fabric.
  4. Pattern Instructions: The pattern instructions will often specify which side is the right side. If there is no specific mention in the pattern, you can use the aforementioned characteristics to determine which side is the right side.

It’s important to keep in mind that the right side of knitting may not always be the side that is facing outwards in the finished product. Some patterns or techniques may intentionally create a reversible fabric, where both sides are designed to be visible. In these cases, both sides of the fabric can be considered the right side.

Understanding the characteristics of the right side of knitting can help you create more polished and professional-looking projects. By paying attention to stitch definition, texture, colorwork, and pattern instructions, you can confidently identify the right side of your knitting and showcase your skills.

Utilizing Techniques to Determine the Right Side

When knitting, it is important to be able to determine the right side of your work. The right side is the side of the knitting that is intended to be seen, while the wrong side is the side that is not. Here are some techniques you can use to determine the right side:

  1. Look for pattern instructions: Many knitting patterns will specify which side is the right side. It is important to carefully read the pattern instructions to determine the correct side.
  2. Check for selvages: Selvages are the edges of your knitting. The right side often has cleaner, neater selvages, while the wrong side may have more loose or uneven stitches.
  3. Inspect the stitches: Sometimes, the wrong side may have purl bumps or other indicators of being the wrong side. The right side usually has smoother stitches.
  4. Look for stitch patterns: If your knitting has a stitch pattern, pay attention to how the pattern looks. The right side may have a more defined or intricate stitch pattern, while the wrong side may look more plain or simpler.
  5. Check for shaping details: If your knitting has shaping details like increases or decreases, they are often done on the right side. By identifying these shaping details, you can determine the right side.

By utilizing these techniques, you can confidently determine the right side of your knitting and ensure that your finished project looks its best.


Can you explain the difference between the right side and wrong side of knitting?

The right side of knitting is the side that will be seen on the outside of the finished project, while the wrong side is the side that will be hidden on the inside. When following a knitting pattern, it will usually indicate which side is the right side.

How do I determine the right side of my knitting?

To determine the right side of your knitting, you can look for several clues. The most obvious clue is the stitch pattern: if it looks neat and tidy, it is likely the right side. Another clue is the stockinette stitch: on the right side, the fabric will have a smooth, V-shaped texture, while on the wrong side, it will have a bumpy, purl-like texture.

What is the significance of knowing the right side and wrong side of knitting?

Knowing the right side and wrong side of knitting is important for several reasons. First, it allows you to follow knitting patterns accurately, as they often specify which side to work on. Additionally, it helps ensure that your finished project looks its best, as the right side is usually the more visually appealing side.

What should I do if I accidentally knit on the wrong side?

If you accidentally knit on the wrong side, don’t worry! You can simply turn your work around and continue knitting on the correct side. Alternatively, you can also choose to leave the mistake, especially if it’s not very noticeable or if you’re working on a reversible project.

Is there a right or wrong side to knitting patterns?

No, there is no right or wrong side to knitting patterns. The right side and wrong side of knitting refer to the physical sides of the fabric, whereas knitting patterns are simply instructions for creating a specific design. The pattern will tell you which side to work on, but there is no inherent right or wrong side to the pattern itself.


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