Double knitting...some technical questions

[B]I want to make an item, that is NOT square…I have to do several increases, and decreases…I also need to be able to pick up side stitches…
I have been playing with this, and had to put it aside and think some more! IF I want to knit with both sides attached at the side, is it best for me to knit the 2 strands together to start the row, then continue as usual for DK? And does the first and last stitch count as part of the row stitches, or are they just “bonus” stitches? I am making a smaller item, so have to pay attention to size.[/B]

You can either twist the yarns at the beginning of the row as you would with intarsia or you can knit with both strands to start the row. There’s some advice here on edge sts (about halfway down the page). I think you could consider the edge sts either way, as part of the design or as edge sts depending on what you’re making.