How to "read" a stitch

I apologize if this is somewhere on this thread but I’m totally new and don’t know how to phrase this ? let alone search for it…

I would like to know how to look at a piece and do the following things:

  1. count rows properly,
  2. know which side of the piece is the front,
  3. look at my needles and know what stitch I just completed and what stitch is ahead (for ex, if I’m knitting 2, purling 1 or whatever- and get lost), and
  4. look at the piece and recognize which bumps (or v’s or whatever) are which stitch.

I’ve been told a knit looks like a loop on the needle and a v in the fabric and purl looks like a knot on the needle and ridge in fabric but neither makes sense to me. Pix would be GREATLY appreciated!!!

If you look at the sticky at the top of this Forum - How to knit the Knits and purl the purls - there are pictures and videos which show the difference between them, and that should help.

The right side is the side that faces out on a sweater or hat, the wrong side faces toward your body. It’s usually the side with all V/knit sts when you do stockinette. Some sts look the same on both sides, like garter, seed and ribbing, so you decide which looks nicer and you want for the RS.

This should help, too.

Also, never be afraid to mark the right side of your work when you want to. Use a safety pin, a bit of other-colored yarn, anything. If you’re working with a lace pattern, don’t be afraid to chuck in a stitch marker at every repeat until or unless YOU decide you don’t need it. If you need to lay your work down in the middle of a row, use something to mark the needle you’re knitting onto so you don’t get turned around by accident. Eventually you may not need some of those hints, but you may decide to keep on using them. The whole idea is to :knitting: and :slight_smile: a LOT!

Another method of telling the knits vs the purls is Debbie Stoller’s: the knit stitches look like little scarves around a neck (the stitch) and the purls look like a noose :teehee: (you can really see it in Jan’s pic)

Most of your knowledge will just come with practice…For the longest time I had a hard time telling the stitches apart but it’s a piece of cake now…You may want to just practice some swatches first, knitting and purling, so you can really examine the difference in the stitches and not have to worry about messing up…