I’m a relatively new to knitting (following actual stitches and patterns) and I am having trouble comprehending RS versus WS.

I understand what it means (Right Side and Wrong Side), but when it comes to following this as a direction. For example, directions for the knotted rib stitch read:

Row 1 (RS): P2, K1 f&b, P2
Row 2: K2, *P2tog, K2

But isn’t the first row the RS to begin with? And I’m using regular (not circular, single point) knitting needles, so I don’t know if this direction applies to me? Like, when I knit the first row, I have to turn my work around to knit the second row so would that be the WS? and if it is, then when I repeat r1 for the next row I turn my work again so it’s back on RS? How can a the first row of the stitch begin with: Row 1 (WS)?


I feel like this is one of those things that I’m reading way to deep in to, and I’m hoping someone could explain to me [I]how[/I] to knit/purl on the WS as opposed to the RS and vice-versa? Or point me in the right direction?

I would[I]really[/I] appreciate it!! Thanks!

Row 1 isn’t always the right side. It depends on the pattern and it also depends on what YOU want the right side to look like. If you have trouble keeping track when you are doing the actual knitting you can put a safety pin on the RS so you’ll remember where you are on the pattern.

And yes, you turn when you get to the end of the stitches so you alternate RS and WS. Just follow the pattern it’ll all make more sense.

How is the RS positioned when it’s on the left needle (before I begin the row?) Like, if I needed to knit 2 rows, both on WS, how do I position it on my left needle? ?

A good example would be this:

Row 1 (WS): K
Row 2: K1, P1
Row 3 (WS): K
Row 4: P1, K1[/INDENT]

I have no idea what to do with that on my needles. :shrug:

It’s telling you for this pattern

Row 1 (WS): K
Row 2: K1, P1
Row 3 (WS): K
Row 4: P1, K1

That the odd rows are the Wrong side of the work.

So Row 1 you will Knit the whole row
Then Row 2 you do K1, P1 the whole row
Then Row 3 you will knit the whole row
Then Row 4 you P1, K1 the whole row

Some patterns, it is quite easy to tell the “right side” vs the “wrong side”… for instance on stockinette where the knits are the right side whereas the purls are the wrong side; whereas reverse stockinette is purls on the right side, knits on the wrong side. Good luck!

So, should the “wrong side” be facing me when I knit Row 1? or should it be facing away from me?

The WS will be on your left needle and facing you when you knit row 1 , the RS will be facing you and on your left needle when you knit row 2. Then you will turn your knitting and the WS side will be toward you again to knit row 1. Like Jan suggested, putting a safety pin or piece of yarn on the right side helps you know for sure which side (row) you are on.

You don’t work 2 rows on the WS. You work a RS row, then a WS row, then a RS row, etc. It’s just giving you information as to which is the RS because later there may be instructions to ‘end with a RS row’ because then you’ll do something else on the WS. You don’t make the sts any different, it’s just there for information.

Don’t overthink it, just cast on, work the first row, mark it as the RS with a safety pin or paperclip or other piece of yarn, then work the following rows in the pattern.

You guys rock, thank you!:notworthy:

I became confused with RS/WS when I realized I should be holding my work (on the left needle) in a position so the work hangs from the needle, as opposed to the way I was holding the needle, vertical with my work hanging off the left of the needle. I then repositioned the work so it was hanging from the right side of my needle (held vertically) and my stitches were starting to come out differently (Ks looked like Ps on the same side they looked like V’s - the RS). I wasn’t sure if how I held me needles and in which direction my work was hanging effected RS or WS. I’m now holding my left needle so the work hangs from it (which in turn, means the work will be hanging towards the right if my needle is held vertically).

Using a pin is a great idea, at least until I can get comfortable with it.

Thanks so much!