Purpose of slipping first stich

I noticed that some patterns call for slipping the first stitch of every row, but why is this? What effect does slipping the first stitch cause–what is the purpose? Would it be detrimental to a pattern if you didn’t slip that first stitch of every row?

Slipping the first stitch causes that stitch not to twist, and therefore makes the edge lie flatter. (Stockingette stitch likes to curl at the edges, so patterns often call for slipping the first stitch.) It’s not really detrimental if you don’t slip, but your project may look a little nicer if you do. :wink:

I slip the first stitch of each row if the edge isn’t going to be seamed. Slipping the first one effectively knits that stitch every other row (since you knit the last stitch) and it makes for a smoother, less messy edge. It doesn’t prevent curling, but it does get rid of any big loops or wonky first/last stitches.

So slipping the first stitch would make a nicer finished edge than maybe making a garter-edged edging?

Ingrid–I thought I was the only one that got big loops or wonky first last stitches! :roflhard:

May I ask why would slipping the first stitch not be recommended for items that are going to be seamed?

I should take a picture of my last stitch wonkiness. It’s what you do with it on the next row that takes care of it.

I don’t slip for seaming for two reasons: One, I don’t want to think of it–I just turn and start knitting–old habit I guess; and two, I like having the same number of stitches as rows. I don’t think it makes all that much difference, but I guess it’s just what I’m used to. So it’s not really a matter of whether or not it’s recommended, for me it’s just personal preference/habit.

For the nice edge, even in garter, you can slip the first stitch. Garter prevents the rolling, slipping keeps the edge smoother.

I did one pattern where the directions called for a specific way to slip the stitch, and after I did it their way, I realized that it made picking up stitches in the next section much easier. So if a pattern says to, and it’s not just for a seamed edge, I follow the directions.

Should you only slip the first stitch, or the first and last?

If you slip the first and the last, they’d never get knit at all. You slip the first and knit the last, so the edge stitches get knit every other row.

do you slip knitwise or purlwise - or - does it matter

I slip purlwise so the stitch doesn’t twist.

I had no idea that the next row took care of the last stitch–I’m such a knitting amateur!!! :frowning: Other than slipping the first stitch, what are some other things you can do in the next row to fix the last stitch?

It’s not so much fixing it on purpose, but when I knit or purl that first stitch, I really pull it up–the stitch from the previous row almost wraps itself around the needle. I hold that tight as I knit the next stitch, too. It’s not really conscious anymore. Here are a couple of pictures. One is of the edge–no slipping (but it does want to roll) and my typical wonky last/first stitch.