Wrong Side (ws) vs. Right side

How do I know if I am on the wrong side or the right side? The first inch of my pattern calls for garter stitch and it looks the same on both sides. It says to end on the ws. How do I know if I’ve ended on the ws when they both look the same. Would the tail tell me? Which side should it be on if it’s the ws? I would say that this is a silly question except for the fact that I don’t know the answer. Therefore, not too silly a question??? Thank you for your help!

what side your tail is on will depend on what kind of cast on you use, if you used long tail cast on it will be at the right side of the work, so if the first row is a right side (i think they generally are unless stated otherwise but don’t quote me!) row it’ll mean tail at the right, if you used a cable cast on then it’ll be on the left side, once you know, put a little safety pin in the right side so you won’t have to figure it out again
good luck, hope that’s right! or do I mean left?

You don’t have to go by where the tail is, you can decide which side looks better at the CO though. Or you can just knit the next row as the RS row and put something in the middle of that row to mark it.

I think that maybe the pattern is just making it clear to you that the following row will be on the right side. I wouldn’t think it would really matter if you’re off by just one row in the garter stitch section.

Yeah, if you’re just off by 1 row, most of the time that won’t matter. But if you used a long tail cast on, then on the right side, the tail will be on the right. Also, when you use the LT CO, the cast on includes the first row, unless otherwise stated. So if you begin something in stockinestte st, the first row you work is a purl row. And one more thing-- when you use the LT CO, the bottom edge will look different on the right side. It’s hard to describe it, but it’s like smooth, horizontal, over-lapping little pieces of yarn at each st. Try casting on 10 sts and just work a few rows and you’ll see what I mean.

the cast on includes the first row,

Many instructions say that, but I’ve never counted it as the first row, only the CO. It may sort of look like you’ve knitted a row when you do it, but as you add more rows, it doesn’t look the same. Patterns DO NOT take that into account, the first row is the one after the cast on, stockinette included.

Thank you very much! I did use the long tail cast on and it will be easy to remember that the right side is on the right and wrong is on the left.