Knitting edge

I have been researching on how to get a clean edge in my knitting. I found some great and easy YouTube videos on how to do it. I would like to know why to add two stitches to your cast on? Is it necessary? I really just want to know why. Thanks! :grinning:

Usually the videos show a slip stitch edge in order to get a clean edge on a scarf for example.
Because it’s a slip stitch, it’s smaller than the usual interior sts. That’s likely why the additional 2 sts.

Would it be a good idea to do the slip stitch edge for a garment, like a sweater?

A couple of the tips for neat edges here require casting in additional stitches, some a 2 some are more. They are all to add a selvedge to a scarf or blanket type project to make it look nice and keep it flat, like the slip stitch edge

The reason for adding stitches is so that you don’t use up stitches from your main pattern if you are following a pattern, so the selvedge is an extra. This way your main stitch count still works out for a blanket which might have complex patterns such as cables or leaf patterns.

I saw one tutorial about casting in an extra stitch which was then NOT knitted into row 1 but instead dropped off the needle as the first row of knitting keeps all the cast on edge safe. This was to avoid ugly slip knots which can make a cast on corner look slightly messy.


If the edge is going to become part of a seam (say mattress stitch or back stitch), it’s not necessary. Sometimes the heel of a sock is worked with slipped sts to make picking up sts for the gusset easier. It’s really your preference here unless the pattern specifies a slip stitch edge.


Thank you for the video link. I can see how it would be good for blankets and scarves. I was asking regarding a sweater, because I want my inside of the garment to look just as nice as the outside. I am going to practice in swatches before I begin anything else.

Thank you. I want the seam inside to look nice, so I’m going to practice on a swatch before I begin my next project.

Do you use mattress stitch to seam? Do you not like the bulk it creates on the inside?
I like mattress stitch and I think I’ve improved how I am doing in from project to project, but I did a flat seam for some sections on one top. The pieces I joined were in garter which made an almost invisible flat seam, but there are methods or flat seaming other stitches too.

Have you tried out a Bickford seam? I don’t think it looks as neat as mattress stitch but there is no inside ridge and maybe you would prefer it?


I have not tried the Brickford stitch. Thanks for the link. Like you, I like the mattress stitch, it feels more secure. I will keep it mind for future projects.

I’m a male knitter that never learned to sew.

My answer is to knit any garment (hat, socks, sweater) in the round TO AVOID the seamer side if knitting. :wink:


If you want to cover up a seam because it shows when the garment is being worn or looks messy, you can do what’s called “taping the seam”.

You hand sew a thin piece of ribbon or tape over the seam to cover it and make it look neat. Sometimes you can see this done (by machine) in RTW tshirts at the back of the neck.

The problem with sewing tape onto knitting is that the tape might not be stretchy. To solve this, you can use bias binding or jersey fabric tape.

Sometimes the tape being non-stretchy can be an advantage, e.g. to stop shoulder seams stretching and sagging under the weight of sleeves on a heavy sweater or coat.

Found a photo on Ravelry showing how it looks on back of neck:

Erika Knight explains it in one of her books but I’m afraid I can’t remember which.