Helpful Hint #2 – Right and Left Sides Explained

I’m working on a new pattern for next week, but in the meantime, I thought I’d discuss how to finish off those pesky “right sides” and “left sides” in my patterns that often get switched around and cause confusion. These “sides” go in the front, where the closure is, so on an animal that stands on all fours they will be considerably narrower than the back. For an upright animal (like a penguin) or a flat animal (like a lizard) you will want to add more stitches to these sides so the front is as wide across as the back. I would also recommend dividing your yarn into two balls and working both sides at the same time so you don’t accidentally make two right sides or two left sides. (This is how I work when I’m developing the patterns and it really helps me).

The tricky part about sides is finishing them off with little straps and a neckline. To achieve this result, we turn back to our friend from last time: the partial cast-off. These cast-offs are somewhat easier because one end will be completely bound off. Here is an example on a knit row:

On the right side, you start by knitting the number of stitches you want to leave for the “strap” (usually 4) plus two more. With these two stitches, form your first cast-off stitch. The cast-off stich will travel to the end of the work, where you can cut the yarn and pull it through, like so:


On the left side, you begin by casting off a certain number of stitches. Remember again that your cast off stitch will travel, so when you get to the end of the row, it will only be necessary to knit 3 stitches.

I hope this helps. If it just confuses you more, I apologize in advance. Stay tuned next week for a Lil’ Kniz tutu!




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