A common question among those new to crochet has to do with your project's right and wrong sides. You may wonder if there is a right or wrong side to the piece and why it matters. Patterns will also refer to the right or wrong side in instructions, and you'll need to be able to tell the difference. We've done all the research to help you understand the two sides of your creation.
A crocheted piece has a right and a wrong side. The right side of the piece will appear smooth, and each stitch is clearly visible. The wrong side appears bumpy.
You may wonder if it is important to know the difference between the crochet's right and wrong sides? Some crocheters pick the side they like the best and consider it the right side. However, sometimes pattern instructions will advise you to perform certain stitches on the right or wrong side or instruct you to "end on the wrong side." You'll also notice that the right and wrong sides of your work have different textures. Keep reading to learn how to tell the right and wrong side of your crochet apart.
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The "Sides" Of Crochet
The Right Side Crochet
The right side of your crochet will be abbreviated as "RS" in patterns. The part of the stitch that faces you as you work is called the right side. Think of this as the front of your work.
The Wrong Side Crochet
The wrong side of your crochet will be abbreviated as "WS" in patterns. The part of the stitch that is not facing you is called the wrong side. Think of this as the back of your work.
Differentiating The Right From The Wrong Sides
There is an easy trick to determining which side of your work is the right or wrong side. If you are right-handed and looking at your work when the yarn tail is at the bottom left, then you are looking at the right side of your work. If the tail is on the bottom right then, you are looking at the wrong side of your work.
If you are left-handed, this will be the opposite. If the yarn tail is on the bottom left, you are looking at the wrong side of your work. If the tail is on the bottom right then, you are looking at the right side of your work.
This video will provide a visual explanation of how to tell the right from the wrong side:
There are a few additional ways to tell the right and wrong sides apart. Look for the following clues on the right side of your work:
- the row count is odd on the right side of your work
- single crochet stitches will form a "V" shape
- the top row stitches are sideways V's
In some pieces, it doesn't really matter which side is showing, but certain stitches will impact the final look of your project. So it's a good idea to be able to tell the right and wrong sides apart. Right versus wrong sides matters more when making clothing items or amigurumi. Blankets or dishcloths are more forgiving as far as the right versus the wrong side.
How Do You Crochet On The Wrong Side?
Crocheting on the wrong side means you have turned your work. Instead of working all stitches from the front, you will flip your work and create stitches on the back, or wrong side, of your work. This technique is often used in a blanket when you are crocheting back and forth in rows.
This video will demonstrate how to crochet on the wrong side:
What Does Ending On A Wrong Side Mean In Crochet?
Ending on the wrong side means that you finish a row with the wrong side of the piece facing you before moving on to further instructions. This ensures that after you turn the piece for the next instructions, the right side will face you again.
Stitches Where Right and Wrong Side Matter
Patterns that call for colorwork will have a side that looks better than the other. Pay attention to the right and wrong sides when you are creating a piece with colorwork. Other stitches that require attention to the right or wrong side are those that are worked around the front or back post only, invisible decreases, and the puff stitch.
Pay close attention to patterns that mention the right side in directions. The pattern creator intended that side to be used to create a particular final appearance for your project.
What Does RS Mean In Crochet Pattern?
"RS" is the crochet abbreviation for the right side of the piece.
What Does WS Mean In Crochet Pattern?
"WS" is the crochet abbreviation for the wrong side of the piece.
Amigurumi is a style of crochet that creates small stuffed yarn creatures or objects. This style uses circular or tube-shaped pieces to create the final appearance. Because of this, as the piece is crocheted, it tends to turn inward. If you are not careful, you can mix up the right and wrong sides, which will affect the final appearance of the project.
Wrong side stitches look messier and will form a spiral appearance. Right side stitches will have equal rows that will line up nicely. Invisible decreases are used heavily in amigurumi. On the right side of the fabric, the decreases will be invisible, but on the wrong side will form small ridges that become visible.
Better Project Outcome
Differentiating the right and wrong sides of your crochet will help you follow pattern instructions and achieve the best finished product with your project. The right side of your work will appear smoother, while the wrong side is bumpier and messier. Use our tips above to check which side of the project your yarn tail is on to tell the right and wrong sides apart easily.
If you are new to crochet and want to learn more, check out our post "How To Crochet a Flower [20 Patterns!]" or "How To Crochet Dishcloths [20 Patterns]" for inspiration.