On the web I’ve seen people say to slip the 1st stitch on every row, to keep the edges from being sloppy. Is that pretty much standard practice? Or is it simply a way to improve the results if you’re having a problem - maybe a knitter who uses a really loose tension would need to do it? Or do some stitch patterns need it - open ones?

Or maybe it’s a good idea for an exposed edge, like a scarf? Might help resist stretching - ?

It creates a chain like edge which looks very nice. It’s really personal choice whether you want to use it or not. Best thing to do is test it on small swatches.

It’s not standard practice and you don’t need to do it on anything that will be seamed.

I’m certain it is a personal preference but I always slip the first stitch as it does make the edge look better and I find easier to p/u stitches, if necessary later on. I also knit into the back of the last stitch unless it is on a purl row in which case I do the usual method. I would suggest experimenting on swatches and see what you prefer. Good luck. You’ve picked the right place to ask questions, by the way. :thumbsup:

It should only be used on an exposed edge, like on a scarf. If the edge is going to be seamed, then don’t slip. When I slip the edge sts they come out looser and messier than if I just knit or purl them. I work the first st, pull the yarn just a little and do the next couple sts just a wee bit tighter. The edges are nice and even and yours can be too with some practice.

It also makes it easier to pick up stitches on a sock heel turn.

On a sock heel yes, but on an edge it can cause problems. The rate of picking up edge sts is usually 3 sts out of 4 rows or 2 out of 3. Since the sl st spans 2 rows it’s hard to pick up 3 and skip one to get a 3 out of 4 rate.

So how do you pick up stitches then, just skip every 4th or 3rd? Doesn’t it create holes? Somehow I got away with picking up through the edge stitch that would mean 1 out of 2 but distributed evenly. My theory is that bulky yarn that I usually use fills the edge stitch holes. I figured that out when I tried this trick with the medium weight yarn (unsuccessfully) and had to do a set in sleeve instead.

ETA: my other theory — it would still work if I used smaller needles :slight_smile:

On the topic, I always slip the first and purl the last to create this edge stitch on both sides. It’s a personal preference, for sure. As [B]suzeeq[/B] pointed out, they span over two rows so it has certain advantages. But you can do without it too.

I’ve never had a problem picking up stitches and skipping one. Most patterns are that way for button bands or when the pattern has direction changes where you pick up stitches.

Picking up 2 out of 3sts or 3 out of 4sts won’t give you holes and it will avoid getting an edge that is too wide and ripples. I have heard of picking up one st for every row and then immediately decreasing to the number of sts set by the pattern but I’ve not tried that yet.

Oh, I am sure it works if you guys do it – I’ve seen your work :slight_smile: Just want to make sure I get it right.

Also, can I hijack this thread for one more related question? How do you pick up stitches around the neckline or the armhole where there is a decrease? The edge stitch creates a neat slope between short rows, like a piece of plywood put on the stairs :slight_smile: But it also creates a rather big opening and sometimes I have to deal with it later, usually when weaving in the ends.

So how do you do it? Pick up every stitch when there is a decrease? And how does it work together with skipping one?

I go much more free form (no set ratio) when I pick up around the neck of a sweater but I do avoid areas where there’s a gap due to a decrease. Usually I pick up one or maybe even two sts over from the decrease so that I’m not pulling a st to create a hole. Of course you need to work these pick ups into a smooth curve so they don’t look random.
(And if I get a hole, I do just as you do and fill it in when I weave in the ends.)

No it doesn’t leave holes to skip a st when picking up. For example, if your gauge is 4 sts and 6 rows per inch in stockinette, that’s the 2 to 3 ratio. If you pick up in every stitch, you’ll get way too many sts along the edge (which is the end st of the row) and it’ll be ruffley. If you pick up every other st, that’s too few and the edge will pucker. Garter st ratio is 2 to 1, so you can pick up every other st there. Slipping the edge sts is more likely to leave a hole than not I’ve noticed; picking up in that slip st can pull the next st and leave a gap between the edge and the body.

About the neckline… Most people will say to do the inc one st in from the edge so you have a stitch to pick up in. I don’t, but you can still pick up in it anyway. For the back neck, you pick up every stitch, the same for the front if the sts are sort of level rather than like a V neck. But along the sides you would probably have to do the 2 for 3 pickup as it’s slanted rather than straight up and down. Practice it a little - CO 10 sts and work a few rows with a dec on one side for a couple inches. Then pick up all the way around your piece so you see how it works on a slanted and straight edge - picking up in the CO edge you’d pick up every st.

You’ve got that right - unreal!!! :woohoo:


I think my edges look fine :slight_smile: Like you, I always make sure the 1st st is nice & snug - I just wanted to know what most people do and why - and I sure found out!

:muah: My 1 simple question about edges produced all these wonderful responses - turned into a virtual lesson on a related subject I knew I was going to have to ask about sometime :grphug: -

This is such a fantastic place:woot: I am SO glad I found it. I can’t believe that at my age (“mature” :wink: ) I don’t have one friend living in the same city, who knits.

Thank you!