To slip or not to slip

I thought I remember reading here somewhere that it’s best to slip the first stitch of a row instead of knitting it. Is that true and if so why don’t the patterns tell you to do that? Does it apply all the time or are there times when it would be a no no?


The idea of a slip stitch on the edge is to keep the edge of an item from rolling in. Not all stitch patterns roll in, so the slip stitch isn’t necessary all the time. Just depends on what you’re making. A simple scarf might, but a sweater probably wouldn’t.

I believe that’s called chain selvedge (oo, look) and is usually used to make the edge of an item look nice and even (another link). I’ve always heard that the best way to keep your stockinette from curling was to use a 3 st border of garter or seed stitch around the edges you want to flatten. This is the first I think I’ve heard of slipping the first stitch as a method of keeping stockinette from rolling. It’s pretty as well as functional!

Slipping the first stitch will not keep stockinette from rolling. It will, however, make a very nice edge on a scarf or something else that doesn’t get seamed.
Otherwise a garter or seed stitch edge is really necessary to prevent it.

The first stitch gets slipped as if to purl, and if the next stitch is a knit, bring the yarn around the side of the knitting rather than over the top to have it in back for knitting or up through the two stitches from back to front for purling.

Always knit the last stitch when you’re doing this.

This is a picture of a seed stitch edge I did on a scarf where I slipped the first and knit the last.

Some people slip on everything, because they feel it makes seaming easier. I like to have the same number of edge stitches as rows when I seam. It’s all a matter of personal preference and experience.

:oops: nevermind :oops:

looks like i learned something too!

Ahhh, ok. :thumbsup: The visuals helped a lot! Thanks. I’ll keep doing this little project in the manner I started, but that clears the “slip the first stitch” question that I’ve always had when I read a pattern.