A few questions (With pic)

Ok, so I’m a n00b at knitting, and I’m trying to do the modern log cabin from Mason-Dixon Knitting. I was having trouble figuring out the right side from the wrong side of my work, and how to figure out if i was about to work a wrong or right side row.

A friend said according to my picture, I am looking at the right side of my work and about to start a right side row.

Pic is here

The pattern calls for binding off on the right side, so would this be the time I would go ahead and bind off?

She said she wanted me to post elsewhere and make sure since she knits English and I knit continental.

Thanks all!

Isn’t the Mason-Dixon pattern a garter stitch pattern?

If that is the case then I think the right side and wrong side of a garter stitch is a matter of opinion. Both sides are the same. I usually look at the cast on edge and pick the side that looks better facing me.

Knitting English or Continental has nothing to do with which side is the right side. A garter stitch is a garter stitch whether you hold your yarn in your left or your right hand.

See I thought that it wouldn’t matter either, but the pattern specifically says to bind off on a right side row every time you finish a section. The pattern is actually available free on the net now at http://images.amazon.com/media/i3d/01/log_cabin.pdf

There are some stitch patterns where the right side and the wrong side of the pattern look the same and some that have a definite right side and wrong side like a stockinette stitch. Since both sides of a garter stitch pattern are the same you can decide which side of the garter stitch you want to be the right side. Sometimes I put a marker or safety pin on the side I use as the right side so I don’t get confused.

If you really want to get precise then if you are using a long tail cast on, your first row of knitting is a WS row and the next row of your work is the RS. But since garter stitch looks the same on both sides it won’t make that much difference which side you choose.

Interesting that you posed this query as the wording of the pattern had this long-time knitter wondering about this as well. I have the book from the lib and was perusing the Log Cabin instructions, wondering why the emphasis on ‘RS.’ Seems as tho it could’ve simply been written asking the knitter to mark one side of the garter to be designated as RS (as sugg) rather than specifically instructing ‘RS’ when that’s not defined. I do LT CO so have the horiz line of the CO sts…which I use as my RS on garments. I might choose to have that as my WS in straight garter pieces. Being the pattern states to pick up new sts once X ridges of garter are done, the ‘RS’ could essentially be the first side on which that number of garter ridges is achieved. Just a thought.


Well, I was about to make some long winded reply…when it finally hit me that instead of counting rows and wrong and right side…just pick the side that I like best and bind off on that side.

Now I just need to get my brain to work that way quicker and on a regular basis.


I think the writer of the pattern assumes that you are going to define your RS from the beginning. I know that some knitters when working a LT CO always purl first when doing a stockinette stitch – I usually knit my first row. I don’t think that it’s any different when you are using a garter stitch that doesn’t have a defined WS or RS. You determine which side is the WS and which is the RS. The pattern is just reminding you to remain consistent in how you choose your RS and WS so that your edges will look the same throughout the piece.

I don’t think it matters at this point of your project which side you pick for RS and WS.

It think it will matter after you start adding different color blocks. You know how the WS of a new color in garter stitch has a different look to it then the RS - there’s sort of like a dashed line strip of both colors showing. I think going forward as you add colors, you will want to make sure all those strippy lines fall on the same side, the WS.

I found out that is exactly what they are going on about. I get to the end of whatever the first block I feel like making is (as far as size), and bind off but leave the last stitch, and then turn the piece clockwise so that I turn it around and pick up stitches from that side.

I had to get over my need for perfection (it’s stopped me from learning a LOT of crafts) and just move along in order to finally get that I WAS doing it correctly.

Anyway, I appreciate all the help and hope anyone else that might not be able to figure this out lets me know. I may be able to use my camcorder to take a video of it so I could show how it’s done.

zkimom, I agree with your assessment. I just think the way the pattern is worded makes things somewhat confusing. Given that garter has no RS or WS, per se, had it stated to just select your RS and be consistent from piece to piece it would’ve been more self-explanatory.


If you hold your work in front of you the tail will be on your lefthand side (WS). When you turn your work to cast off it will be on the righthand side (RS).
That is how I was taught…:shrug:
If you see a dotted line when you add the next color then I was wrong…

You are not wrong about how to determine the WS and RS (not a bad idea, never thought of it!) but if you start your new color while you are on the RS, the dotted line will always be on the WS. If you forget and start a color on the WS, then your line will show up on the RS.

So, if you determine that the tail of your yarn being on the right hand side is how you recognize the RS from the WS then you always start your color change when the tail is to your right.