Most of the time, stocking stitch is worn with the smooth, unbumpy side out – the side that you can see facing you in the picture above.
The picture shows the construction of a wee baby sock. The smooth side is intended to be the right side, and that’s the side that’s facing the knitter.
Very often, though, your little tube of knitting can flip itself inside out. When it does, you’ll notice that the bumpy “purl” side of the work is facing outwards. In the picture below, you can see how the bumps are on the outside.
At this point, it’s easy to think you’ve done something wrong. You haven’t. All that’s happened is that the tube’s turned itself the other way out. You’re still doing it right, and you don’t even have to change anything. Just keep knitting! You’ll notice that your hands are now working on the other side of the tube – in other words, the tube is now between your face and your hands.
All you have to do to get the smooth side facing outwards – at any point – is turn the work the other way out. If you want to wait until you’ve completed your sock or hat or sleeve, that’s grand.
If you want to turn it while you’re still working on it, that’s grand too – and when you do, you’ll notice that your hands are now working on the near side of the tube. In other words, your hands are between your face and the tube. Just keep knitting!
Most knitters choose one way or the other simply because it’s the way they learned, or it’s what comes most naturally. There’s one circumstance in which it’s a very good idea to choose, though. If you’re working stranded colourwork in the round, it’s very easy to pull your strands a little too tight. A good way of avoiding this is to knit with the bumpy side out (hands on the far side of the tube). This puts your stranding on the outside of the work and forces the strands to be a little longer and a little looser, which helps to stop your work from puckering. More proof, if we needed any, that everything in knitting has a useful purpose!
Finally, we had such a good time at the Blog Awards on Saturday night. The evening was very well organised, and our hosts at the Osprey Hotel in Naas provided lovely food in impressive surroundings. A very big thank you from us to everyone who organised the awards, and a very big cheer for Molly Moo, who not only won the Best Craft Blog category, but also the awards for Best Designed Blog and Best Personal Blog too. It’s definitely one for the desktop feed! We were honoured to be in such company.