Dilemma: “I need to know but can’t figure out which loop on top belongs to the rest of the stitch below it. Which is the top of a stitch and where is the rest of it?”
In the photo the Red stitch is the stitch in question. The green loop and the blue loop seem to be centered directly over it. So which of these two is the top of the stitch?
Answer: the blue loop is the top of the red stitch. Here’s a great way to remember this: Identify the two loops centered over a stitch. The loop to the right of center (or, the one on the right) will always be the top of the stitch.
If the remainder of the row (any stitches after the red stitch) was not complete in this photo, then the green stitch would be the live stitch on your hook.
Anything before the live loop on your hook is a completed stitch (or completed stitches).
Bonus Tip: There are many reasons for needing (or wanting) to rip back (aka frog/frogging). You are admiring your work and see a loop that looks a little loosey-goosey that you’re just not satisfied with, or you were only supposed to work ten stitches of sc or whatever stitch and you worked too many, or oh darn you skipped a stitch!
To easily frog, using the above photo of the row of stitches as an example:
Let’s say you need to get back to where you had just completed the red stitch.
So, do this: insert your hook into the green loop — which would be the live loop after the completed red stitch.
If you need to frog quite a bit, use a plastic safety pin style stitch marker and lock it into the loop.
The yarn will stop at the live loop and you’re ready to begin again.