How To Read My Work?

Hi, This is my first post, and I’m a newbie knitter taking lessons. I’ve mastered some things…but the most basic. When I’m doing stockinette, I don’t know how to “read” my work. So, if I put it down, I can’t tell if I’m supposed to knit a row or purl.

Our teacher says “knit the knit rows and purl the purl rows” but I can’t tell which is which. I hope I’m explaining this right. In other words, sometimes when I’m doing stockinette, I’ll knit two rows instead of alternating with purl because I can’t tell what stitch I did on the last row.

I’m right handed, using 10 needles.

Thank you! :smiley:

That whole ‘knit the knits and purl the purls’ really got me at first too. I had NO CLUE what that meant :thinking: .

Stockinette stitch, as you are learning, is knit one row, purl one row. The side that looks like rows of V’s is your knit side. If that side is facing you as you hold your needle full of stitches in your left hand with your working yarn nearest the tip of your needle, you will be knitting. If the loopy, bumpy, purl side is facing, you will be working a purl row next. Does that help??

Now as for the knit the knits and purl the purls…I hope this doesn’t confuse you more but it finally clicked for me when someone on this site said that when you knit a stitch on the right side, it forms a purl stitch on the wrong side. So therefore when you are doing stockinette and are working a whole row of knit stitches, you are forming a whole row of purl stitches on the reverse side which will then be facing for your next row. So when you start the next row, you will be purling the purl stitches that were formed during the previous row.

Sheesh…that was a mouthful and I really hope I didn’t confuse you.

Bottom line with stockinette stitch…smooth side with V’s is your knit side, bumpy looped side is your purl side.

When you pick up your work:
If the smooth side is facing you, you will work a knit row first.
If the bumpy side is facing you, you will work a purl row first.

One thing that helped me to read my work was to look at the stitch I wanted to work. If the stitch looks like it has a scarf, it is a knit stitch and I want to knit it. If the stitch looks like it has a noose, it is a perl stitch and i want to perl it. This has helped me when I do ribbing and start getting myself confused!

Good luck,

I’m seconding Jaycee’s comments! The Stitch N Bitch book (the first one) uses these descriptions (noose vs scarf) along with pictures. I found it very helpful, and I recommend the Stitch N Bitch as a great reference book (I haven’t done any of the patterns from the book).

Wow, how nice and how helpful. Knitters rule! I don’t know why I can master the complicated and not get the easy.

I appreciate your help. I wish you all a happy holiday…and no doubt, I’ll be here often.

I’m visiting my daughter in law and son in DC over the weekend. She’s an expert knitter!

Again, thanks for taking the time. :thumbsup: