Why slip the first stitch?

I was watching the Intarsia video and realized Amy slips the first stitch of every row without knitting it. What are the advantages of doing this?

It will keep the edge smoother. If you knit it, the first stitch tends to be really loose and loopy. Slipping it keeps it nicer looking. I was amazed the first time I did it to see what a difference it makes!

Oh dear, I always find my first stitch loose. I tug really hard to no avail. I will try slipping the first stitch and see if it makes a difference. I have a few questions on the same:

  1. I am currently working on a sweater. Can I start slipping the first stitch mid way? Will the difference in the edge be noticeable?

  2. This sweater has a seed stitch edge of three stitches. So, for every row I have to do KPK. If I don’t knit the first stitch and just slip it, it is technically not seed stitch, right?

  3. If I am working st stich, should I slip knit-wise on the right side or purl-wise on the wrong side?

I hope someone answers Ivy’s questions!! I came online to ask the very same question regarding the slip stitch at beginning!

I really want to hear the answers to the other questions she asked.

Somebody out there!!!:waving: :help:


I’m not an expert, but I will try to answer your questions.

  1. Yes, the difference will be noticeable.

  2. I’ve noticed that when I slip stitches, how they are slipped affects their appearance. If I want a knit stitch, I slip it knitwise, if it should be purl, I slip it purlwise.

  3. I think the above answer answered this question. If it’s supposed to be a knit stitch, slip it knitwise, if it’s supposed to be a purl stitch, slip it purlwise.

Thanks Misty!, I think I will knit a swatch and see what it looks like if I slip the k st of a seed st pattern and then knit one without.


Slipping the first stitch always works better on items like scarfs and afghans. Slipping the first stitch on a sweater will make seaming the sweater hard to do.

I wouldn’t start it mid sweater, it may be confusing when it comes to joining the pieces.
It can be very useful on pieces that are not to be joined, afghans, dishclothes for example as well as ones that are to be joined.
For a seed stitch that will be joined to another piece I think it would be fine since it will be hidden in the seam.

why will it make seaming the sweater hard to do?

Thanks in advance,

Thanks for all the answers.

My sweater is knit in one piece, so I don’t have to worry about seaming. I won’t use this technique for this sweater anyway (it’s almost done), but I will keep this in mind for my next project.

Yeah, I second Jen’s question.

The slipped selvedge edge is really an elongated stockinette stitch. It actually involves two rows. When doing mattress stitch to seam up your sweaters you will not be able to pick up row for row. If the slipped stitch is around the neckline or front edges where you generally pick up three stitches for every four rows for the ribbing you will have difficulty doing it because you will only have two chains to work with.

Thanks for the explanation, nanna.

Hi! Just wanted to point out that if you are picking up stitches, like
around a neckline, the chain edging is still useable. If you look at
Amy’s video on how to pick up stitches she demonstrates how to
pickup from the chain edge so that it is ever row or every other
row. :slight_smile:


I don’t slip the first sts because they end up being looser and messier than if I knit/purl them. After I make that st, I pull gently on the yarn to take up the slack in the first st and the one below, then make the next couple sts a little tighter. The ends come out nice and neat that way.

Now that you mention it suzeeq, I don’t see any problem with my edge either. I don’t slip the first stitch and haven’t had any problem so far. As in, I don’t feel the first stitch is loose. I knit the first stitch really tight, so that could be the reason.

I will make a swatch with the first stitch slipped and see which one I prefer.