I’m a very new beginner so forgive if these questions are excessively basic.
I’ve done some experimental swatches, a scarf and hat for my daughter and a garter stitch headband for me (to keep my hair out of my eyes and my headphones in my hears) and am ready to try something a bit more ambitious–a sweater for my own wear.
First step (after aquiring materials) as I understand it is a gauge swatch to match the knitting needles to the requirements of the pattern. Well and good but I wonder if I need to make that swatch using a particular stitch such as, say, the “predominant” stitch in the pattern. There are two patterns I’m looking at that are listed as “easy.” One uses stockinette stitch and is a more loosely fit sweater and the other uses a ribbed stitch and makes a more form fitting sweater. Do I use the particular stitch that is most of the pattern in checking my gauge or do I just use something like garter stitch?
Second question: When I knit a row I usually find that the last stitch left on the lefthand needle has a significantly larger loop than the other stitches. The result is that my edges tend to look a little “ragged.” Somehow I don’t think this should be right but I don’t know what’s causing it let alone how to fix it.