When providing knitters help with garment pattern instructions, there is often confusion around the terms: right, left, right and wrong sides in knitting abbreviations and terminology. The following definitions should put an end to this confusion.
- Left refers to the left-hand side of a garment as you are wearing it. The left front of a cardigan is the front piece that fits the left side of the body. In pattern instructions, the left shoulder is this area of the left front piece.
- Left needle is the knitting needle that is held in the left hand.
- Right refers to the right-hand side of a garment as you are wearing it. The right front of a cardigan is the front piece that fits the right side of the body.
- Right needle is the knitting needle that is held in the right hand. Note that in some instructions left hand is abbreviated as LH, and right hand as RH.
- Right side (RS) in most abbreviation lists, is the surface of the garment that faces the outside when worn, or the visible side of the knit fabric. Pattern instructions will often describe the first row as the right side of your work.
- Wrong side (WS) is the surface of the garment that faces the inside when worn. As a reminder, I suggest to either mark the RS or WS of your work with a safety pin or closed stitch marker.
- With RS facing means the right side of your knitting must be facing you, and the wrong side facing away from you. This term is often used when picking up stitches, as stitches are picked up with the RS facing you, so no ridge is formed on the visible side. Pattern instructions often begin shaping, such as armhole decreasing, with the right side of the work facing you.
- With WS facing is the opposite of the above; the wrong side of the knitting is facing you, and the right side facing away from you.
No more right/left confusion?