I'm playing around with some ribbing for a project, but I'm wondering, are the edges supposed to look irregular?
This is 10 stitches, done by knitting one, then purling one, then repeating, for all rows.
Are the edges supposed to look like that?
You can neaten up the edges if you slip the first edge stitch purlwise with the yarn in front. Knit or purl the last stitch of the row. Try it out and see if you like the chain edge on the ribbing. If the ribbing becomes part of a seam, the irregular edge really won't matter.
They can be loose. I don't care to slip the first stitch, that makes them looser and messier for me. What I do is work the first one, pull the yarn a little, then do the next couple sts a little tighter and that makes them more even. Washing will also even out the stitches too.
Slipped stitches aren't always loose or don't have to be loose depending on the technique you use.
Here's a link that might be helpful: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_odMnlGeH-o
Mine are, they're looser than if I knit or purl them. The reason is, they span 2 rows so there's less attachment to the rest of the stitches. It probably has to do with my looser gauge to begin with, but I get very neat and even edges with my method.