WS/RS... how do you tell

Hey All,

Another weird question for all you established knitters out there. Some patterns say RS and some say WS.

How do you do this when you knit? It looks like when I knit, when I lift up the needles and look at my project, I am knitting on the WS. How do you knit on the RS? Circular Needles???

Also, when I have ripped out a few rows due to a mistake, I always seem to put it on backwards. So, my knit side is my purl side and so on. Once again, I am confused. I was doing a scarf and doing a lattice stich and made a mistake a few rows down (suppose to K1 and I did a P1) anyway, ripped it out and put it back on the needles and when I did about five rows, I looked at the pattern of the scarf and it was backwards!!!

Maybe I killed too many brain cells last night, but I can’t seem to figure it out.

Thanks again for this forum and for all the nice people out there who have helped so many newbies!

Dude with messed up stiches!

The right side (RS) is the side that will be seen (ie. the outside of a sweater), therefore the wrong side (WS) is the side that will not be seen. When you are knitting back and forth, turning the work around after each row, you are alternating RS rows and WS rows.

If you rip your work back and put it back on the needles, hold the needle with all the stitches in your left hand with the working yarn on the stitch closest to the needle tip. Take a close look at the work being held in your left hand and decide if you are looking at the right side or the wrong side. You will need to work the next row accordingly in order for the stitch pattern to be on the correct side of your work.

Hope that helps.

GOT IT! I guess I’ll be rip rip ripping right along tonight!

W/S R/S…

I guess that is common sense. But I don’t get it when they say R/S or W/S…

So, how do you knit only on the R or W side?


Mock Ribbing

Cast on 13 sts.

Row 1 (RS): K1, *p1, k1; rep from * end
Row 2: P1, * keeping yarn at front of work slip 1 stitch purlwise, p1; rep from * to end.
Rep these two rows.

Double Mock Ribbing

Cast on 18 sts.

Row 1 (WS): K2, *p2, k2; rep from * to end.
Row 2: P2, *keeping yarn at front of work sl 2 purlwise, p2; rep from * to end.
Rep these two rows.

Thanks, if I ever get it done, I’ll post a picture! Thanks again!

Patterns will usually indicate which is RS and which WS as in the example you posted. And as you can see, they have different stitch combinations on each side. If it’s hard for you to see (this is where learning to `read’ your knitting is handy) or remember which side is which, place a marker of some kind in the middle of the front side so you can figure it out when you go to pick it up again.


In those two examples, one mentioning RS as row 1 and the other mentioning WS as row 1, you are not working ONLY right side or ONLY wrong side. It mentions which side you’re starting on for row 1 and then after that you will alternate RS and WS. It just gives you the starting point. So if it says row 1 is RS, then row 2 has to be WS. Does that help?

Knit Queen,

You make knitting so easy! Thanks for the help, you just make it common sense. A lot of stuff on the web complicate things so much and it just gets more and more confusing.

Everyone on here has been great, and I am sure I’ll have a lot more questions for the forum soon…

Thanks again,