Newbie needs help!!!

Hello, I’m working on the Baby Penguin by Claire Garland, found here:

The instructions are:

Cast on 10 sts
Row 1 Purl
Row 2 inc) Kfb, k8, kfb - 12sts
Row 3 inc) P5, pfb twice, p5 to end of row - 14sts

Row 19) dec) P2tog, purl to last 2 sts, p2tog - 8sts
Row 20) dec) K2tog four times - 4sts
Cast off all 4 sts purl-wise
RS facing, begin at penguin’s Left Neck Marker, with yarn and needles pick up and knit 11 sts along row ends towards the corner of Head Back Cast-Off Edge at Left Head Back Marker

The numbers are changed arbitrarily because of copyright

The problem I’m having is deciding which one is right side.

At first, I think it is the right side where I can see a series of "V"s because the project is the stockinette stitch. But I learned that if my cast on tail is dangling down on the right, I’m on the right side. In this case, the right side is made up of rows of ridges or bumps because the project started with purling. They contradict each other… Moreover, what makes me most confused is that the front side of the working in the picture attached to the pattern is a series of "V"s with cast on tail hanging on the right.

I want to know why this happened and which is REAL right side.

If necessary, I can upload pictures of my working. Plz help me…

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Hi Alize :wave: and welcome to K H,
You are correct in thinking the Right Side is the side with VVVVV’S when knitting in stockingstitch/ stockinette. Don’t worry too much about the cast on tail because that can change side depending on which cast on is used.
That’s a really cute penguin pattern.
If you need any further help just ask and someone here will get back to you ASAP.
Happy knitting.


Welcome to KH. I am supposing you started with a long tail cast on. I think the solution to why the tail seems to be on the wrong side is that the pattern starts on a purl row. When you start with a knit row then it works as you expected.

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Then, is there no problem in completing the work even if I proceed as it is?

Oh, I see… So is there a way to make the right side is a series of "V"s and cast on tail is on the right as instructed in the pattern?

What cast on does the pattern ask for, and is the first row instruction to knit or purl? If no specific cast on was called for, I’d assume it’s something basic like knitted cast on. Is that what you used? Do you think you might have added or missed a row somewhere, as this would also result in the cast on tail not being where you’d expect. I’ve been tipped off to this mistake by yarn tails more than once in my own knitting!

As others have said, there are different types of cast on and this will leave the tail at one end or the other on your needle. It probably doesn’t matter which cast on you used or which end of the work the tail is hanging so long as you have done the rows as stated in the pattern and then use the vvvvvvv side as the right side.

Often the cast on edge gets seamed in to another edge and is therefore hidden anyway, in patterns where it is not hidden the pattern might state to use a particular type of cast on for decorative purposes or because the edge is returned to later on (such as a provisional cast on which holds stitches so they can be picked up and worked in the opposite direction, or bound off with another edge to join two pieces together). Even in patterns which state which cast on to use, depending on the reasoning for it being stated, oftentimes it can be changed based on personal preference and will not impact the project negatively.

Different cast on methods result in the stitches being on one of the needles but this could be the left needle or the right needle. Being on the left needle means the stitches are in position to begin working without turning the work. Being on the right needle means the work is turned before beginning to work the stitches- that’s why the tail may be at one end or the other.

There is a knit side and a purl side to cast on edges but it is not going to make a massive difference to your finished project if the cast on shows the purl side rather than the knit side. It is something that an experienced knitter might care about, or a perfectionist, but it makes very little difference unless the cast on was an elaborate decorative lace cast on or picot or scalloped cast on in which case it would matter a great deal to get it showing the right side.

Another thing to note is not all "row 1"s are right side of the work. Row 1 might mean right side or wrong side and this will change per pattern.

All in all, for what you are making there is no need to worry about the cast on edge or where the tail is. Only that you have worked the rows as given and the correct number of them.

Sometimes a tail is used to seam something up. If your pattern says use the tail to seam and your tail is in the wrong position this does not matter. A new piecenofnyarn can be used to seam the work and all yarn ends can be weaved in to secure them in the the wrong side of the fabric.

Hope this helps.
I remember my own question over the confusion of which was the right side and wrong side of a cast on edge and I have since learned how to identify the edge and also have the confidence to change a cast on or bind off edge to one I think will work better.


I’m not sure what you’re asking. Working in stockinette, the knit side is the right side. Using a long tail cast on and starting with a knit row will leave the tail to your right with right side facing, that is you’re looking at the knit side. Starting with a purl row will put the tail on the right on the purl side.

There is no specific cast on method required by the pattern and Row 1 is purl as it’s written in the text. What I used is the long tail cast on. I don’t think I made a mistake of adding or missing row. (maybe…) I’ve never heard of knitted cast on before, but I searched it and it seems to be helpful to me! I’ll give it a try. Thank you :slight_smile:

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Thank you very much for your sincere reply. I am really touched… Although it took some time to understand because I am not a native English speaker, it was really helpful knowledge as a beginner knitter. I’ll study slowly while reading your comments for a long time!

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Yep! However, the fact that the right side in the figure presented by the designer appears to be a vvvvvv side with a tail on the right makes me confused. As you said, this project is stockinette, and the right side is the knit side. But even though it started with purl, the tail is on the right of the knit side. This is strange… But I think long tail cast on method might be the problem, as other people helped me. I’ll try another way.

Whatever cast on you use, don’t worry about the tail being on the right or left. As long as you start with a purl row and then continue in stockinette as the patterns tells you to do, you’ll be fine. And yes, the knit side with vvvvvv is the right side. Once you get really started with the pattern I think you’ll do a beautiful job and have a lovely little penguin to be proud of.

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You’re welcome.
Your English is excellent by the way.

Don’t hesitate to ask more questions I you are still stuck.