Edge stitch help

I’m sure the Senior Members get tired of this one, but I cannot seem to get a good looking edge. Initially I thought Okay, I’ll create a selvage stitch and be guaranteed a good looking edge. Well that worked, but then arose the problem of binding off and having more bound off stitches for the body of the garment than the sleeves. So then I thought okay I won’t add two extra stitches for the selvage but instead I will still slip the first stitch purlwise and knit the last and I will get the benefit of having nice edges, but no problems with extra stitches later. Well the problem I am having now is the edge stitches are nice but the stitch directly next to the edge stitch on each side are now looking crazy. Don’t know what to do at this point. This is actually helping me realize why I have never completed an actual garment. The only thing I have ever made is a scarf and I am ready to graduate to the next level already. Thx in advance for your help. Oh, I have also tried to tighten the stitches next to the edge and even not and still to no avail.

I know a lot of people like slipped stitches for the edges of everything, but I have never found them necessary. If I’m doing a scarf or something where the edge will show I use one sometimes, like you said, slipping the first stitch as if to purl and knitting the last stitch in a row. But if I’m seaming I see no need for one. I took a knitting class recently (first ever) on finishing by a professional knitting designer and she didn’t like any slipping for seaming either. She taught the kitchener stitch, among others and asked us to bring swatches to work on. All the people who were “slippers” had trouble with their seams.

My advice is don’t worry about your edge stitch if you are seaming. It will be in the seam anyway and then your second stitch will look normal and that is the one you will see. Try that and see if it works for you. You could test it out on a couple of small swatches.

I always slip the first stitch as it appears on the next row. Say, if the first stitch was a knit, I’d slip knitwise, if it was a purl, I slip purlwise, and that gives a very neat edge. Try it out, you won’t be sorry! But, like Merigold said, if you’re seaming, it really doesn’t matter because it won’t show. When you slip the stitches, be sure to pull them a bit tight to keep the edge nice and neat.

I don’t slip the edge stitches either, they turn out looser than the rest and just don’t look as good. I found that by pulling slightly on the first stitch, it tightens up the stitch below it (last one on previous row) and my edges are nice and neat. I did try slipping on an entrelac scarf I made, and while it was easier to pick up the stitches on the slipped edge, and looked nice on the back side, the next stitches in were uneven and pulled out of shape. So I did the edges without slipping.

Check out Annie Modesitt’s gorgeous slip stitch edging, in her Backyard Leaves pattern in Scarf Style and free online I think in her Alison’s Scarf.

If I slip it looks worse than if I just knit them. It’s good to know I’m not the only one!

Thanks for the help you guys, but the reason why I began using selvage to begin with was because of how messy my regular end stitches looked. I guess seaming would probably help with the back, but the for front’s of the sweater that wont be seamed I guess I would just be winging it.

For loose end of the row stitches, pull a little extra on the [B]first[/B] stitch on each row, and knit the next couple stitches a little tighter. That helps with the slack in the yarn that works it’s way across the row resulting in loose end stitches.


This is the exact problem I’m searching an answer for. I haven’t found a solution yet. I’d like to make a few scarfs for friends and charity, so looking for a way to make the stitch next-in from the edge stitch the same size as the rest. I hope someone can help on this matter.



A technique I learned from Meg Swansen-Purl the last stitch through the back, and then slip the first stitch knitwise. You get a [I]gorgeous[/I] edge this way.

Thanks for all the advise. I did find an excellent way to get neat edges, but to conti-knitter I would still like to know how to purl through the back of the stitch. What does that mean?.

Anyway, this way is working for me wonderfully. I am so happy that I might actually finish my first sweater without fear that the edges are to repulsive to be seen.

[B]Knit the first and last stitch on the right side of the work and purl the first and last stitch on the wrong side.[/B]

Again, thx for the help!

It basically twists the stitch, you just go in the purl stitch from back to front, and draw the yarn through normally. It makes the stitch tighter and you get a very nice looking slip stitch edge this way.

1–there are selvage (self edge) stitches, (slip last (or slip first) or purl last stitch then slip first stitch, or Knit first and last stitch every row, and other patterns for a neat self edging,

my favorite is a hard one, (YO (for first stitch) K2tog (every row))

and there are tricks to a smooth edge stitch

2–to get a smooth even looking edge, you need to work on first stitch in row. (which of course becomes last stitch in next row)

as you knit, you stretch each stitch… and this creates ease.
the ease moves along, til at the the end of the row, its all the collective ease ends up in last stitch. (and this last stitch is often 2Xs bigger than every other stitch in the row)
(think of a ‘wave’ like you do in arena… your working the stitch makes a wave of ease that moves along the row… and all the ease ends up in last stitch)

to fix, make first stitch (and second) snug. make them tight as you knit them… PULL the YARN and make those suckers really tight.

then when you turn work and come back, the ease will end up in tight stitches… and ease them back to normal ones!

it takes obviously 2 rows to see this work.

(so start now, first stitch gets tightened, (last stitch is over sized and sloppy) turn work

First stitch get tightened, and last stitch (tightened in previous row) looks great!

after a while it will be second nature to tighten the first and second (if needed) stitch.

for scarves or other items that aren’t seamed, you can use a selvage stitch… (there are a half dozen or so selvage stitch ‘patterns’ --you can try out a few till you find the one you like)(this is method 1)

for peices that will be seamed, use method 2