What do patterns mean by "wrong side" and "right side"?


I was looking through some scarf patterns online and I got a little confused. Some of the rows say things like “wrong side” or “right side”… like “Row 1: (right side)” followed by the rest of the instructions for row 1.

I’m sure there’s a place that has a great explaination but I haven’t found it. Figured I’d post here and hope someone would answer it.

As an aside, and probably a more improtant question, is there a good site or video anywhere that teaches how to read patters for beginners?

Thanks in advance!

In knitting, the “right” side is usually the smooth, or knit side.
The wrong side is usually the purl side (the bumpy side).

If you’re knitting in garter stitch, the wrong side will be whatever side you weave your tail in, otherwise there’s no wrong or right side because it looks the same on either.


So how do you knit on the “right” side?

Right side means the public side on things like sweaters, but for a scarf it will probably mean the best looking side of the pattern stitch. But it may not mean much with some patterns as far a looks goes but just be the designer’s way to talk to you about the sides.

Since your pattern says there is a right side

… like “Row 1: (right side)” followed by the rest of the instructions for row 1.
I’d suggest you mark that side as you begin to work on it. As it is facing you as you start that row, run a piece of yarn though the fabic and back out and tie a little bow on that side or put a safety pin on that side of the work. That way even though you may have a hard time seeing why it is the “right” side you will have it marked so the next time it says to do something on the “right or wrong” side" you can look for your marker to see if you are in the right place. After you get a few rows done you may see why it is designated the right side and may not even need the marker after a while.

The pattern is just telling you which row is a right side row, you work it however the pattern says. So row 1 and all odd numbered rows will be the `right side’. This can mean the pattern stitch will show best on the right side or in other patterns, will be used so you know where to do any shaping.

Ok. I think I understand. At least as much as I need to for the moment since I’m not quite ready to follow patterns. But I still have fun looking at them and dreaming about the day when I’ll feel ready to try them. :slight_smile: