Thursday, 4 December 2014

Understanding pattern instructions FRONT and BACK of the knitted fabric

There are lots of areas within a pattern where confusion can arise when describing how to do something. When knitting a garment you will often have a Front and a Back but the words FRONT and BACK are also used when explaining how to work a particular stitch or technique e.g.
   'With the yarn at the front' or 'take the yarn to the back'

When describing how to move the yarn or to place the needle point, the FRONT is the side of the fabric nearest you regardless of whether it is the Right or Wrong Side facing you at the time, and therefore the BACK is the side away from you. 

For example the instructions for working one method of making a chain selvedge is;
'Knit 1 through the back loop, work to the last stitch, slip the last stitch purl wise with the yarn at front'
The instruction at the beginning of the sentence - knit 1 through the back loop - is fairly easy to understand. You put the point of the right needle through the centre of the stitch from right to left so it passes in front of the back half of the first stitch.

'Slip the last stitch purl wise with the yarn at front' - means you have to think about the position of the working yarn before you slip the last stitch purl wise. If you have been working a row of knit stitches the yarn is at the BACK of the fabric i.e. the side of the knitting away from you so you need to bring it forward between the needles before slipping the last stitch.

If you have been working a row of purl stitches the yarn is already at the FRONT so you just need to slip the last stitch.