How to knit neatly

I am trying to make the band for a cardigan sweater and I want to do 3 rows of pearl and then 3 rows of knit. I am slipping the first stich and pulling it tightly but it still looks bad. Any suggestions on what I can do?

How do you tightly pull a slipped st? Or is that not quite what you meant…? I find the edge sts are messier and looser when I slip them, they’re better if the [I]last[/I] stitch is slipped. But what works best for me is to just knit or purl the edge sts, then pull a little (not too tight) and work the next coupld sts just a wee bit tighter and the edges come out neat and even. Pulling too tight can actually make things worse sometimes.