I seriously need help understanding how to do ribbing. I'm trying to make a dog sweater for my brother's hairless rat terrier. I finished the back portion, but the front portion needs to be done in k1, p1 ribbing. I've made several attempts to try and do the ribbing, but it always seems to come out wrong. I figured that the way it's supposed to be done is that after you cast the stitches, you do a knit stitch, followed by a purl stitch, then knit, purl, knit, etc. And when you stitch needles, you do the exact opposite: start with a purl stitch, then knit, purl, knit, purl, etc. Despite following these instructions, it never looks like the pictures I've seen of what ribbing's supposed to look like. I have no clue what I'm doing wrong. Are my instructions wrong? Is there a special technique involved in ribbing? Please let me know as soon as possible. I'd like to finish this sweater before Christmas, but if that's not possible, I'll give the finished sweater to my brother at a later date.
With ribbing you always knit the knit stitches and purl the purl stitches as they face you. "As they face you" means that if you are knitting flat the work will be in your left hand and the empty needle in your right. If you are knitting in the round they all face you.
All stitches have two sides. The knit side and the purl side. So if you're knitting flat and you end with a knit stitch the next one when you turn your work will be a purl. If you are knitting in the round you just continue k1p1 around. k1p1 is a multiple of 2 so make sure your stitch count on the needles is a multiple of two or your ribbing will be off, too.
If you accidentally knit the purls and purl the knits you'll get seed stitch. Learning what the stitches look like is almost essential in knitting so here is a sample to help you learn to recognize them. You can see from my sample that the last stitch is a knit. Therefore the first stitch on the other side when you turn it will be a purl(s).
When asking questions ALWAYS post the name and a link for the pattern if you have it.