August 21st, 2012

Tuesday’s Knitting Tip – Keeping your Edges Neat

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If you’ve struggled with messy edges on your knitting projects, you’re not alone. Knitting the first stitch of a row is tricky to get just right. I like to keep the edges of my project neat by slipping the first stitch of every row. This slipped stitch is then knit (or purled) when you work back on the next row.


Some people strive for their projects to look as perfect as possible while other choose to embrace the imperfections of hand knitting.


Do you have any tricks for keeping your knitting neat? Or do you let the stitches fall where they may instead?








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13 Responses to “Tuesday’s Knitting Tip – Keeping your Edges Neat”

  1. phyllisgl Says:

    do you slip them knitwise or purlwise?

  2. Tru Says:

    I agree that slipping the first stitch on each row will leave a nice edge but only when that edge will show (be left un-seamed). If it will be seamed, slipping the first stitch often leads to tension problems on the second stitch, which will be the first stitch showing beyond the seam — and hence leading to sloppiness at the seams. So slipping is nice in some cases but should be used with thought and consideration; not to be used all the time.

  3. Becca Says:

    My grandma always slips her first stitch and knits her last stitch.

  4. Patricia Says:

    I always slip my first stitch as if to purl and knit my last stitch on the row. Doing this makes my edges look like the picture shows. I really like it!

  5. Lori Enos Jones Says:

    Do you have the yarn in front or in back??? ( I know that to do a purl stitch u put the yarn in front but am not sure when u do a slip stitch as if to purl)

  6. LaMaHa Says:

    If you pick up the bars inside the stitches when seaming you end up with an invisible seam.

  7. Ellie Says:

    I usually slip the first stitch knitwise (yarn at the back) and purl last stitch of all roes. The method of slip as to purl and knit last helps those who knit loose… The last stitch gets twisted unlike the method I use. You do slip with the yarn in front btw.

  8. kitkat086 Says:

    How does this work if I would like to knit in the round? For example if I would like to make an infinity scarf how would I go about this tip to have my final piece look neat?

  9. Sara Delaney Says:

    Hi kitkat086,

    If you’re knitting in the round then you won’t have edge stitches so you won’t have to worry about them being neat! šŸ™‚

  10. judy Says:

    y do i have problems with laddering on straight needles knit 2 purl two seems to be very loose no matter how hard my tension is \help

  11. Sara Says:

    Hi Judy,

    It’s hard to answer that question without a visual. Is there a local knit group that you could visit, or a yarn shop near you with a help night?
    Here’s a list of groups by state –
    or you could try contacting the TKGA to see if there’s a guild chapter near you –

  12. Beatriz Robles Says:

    I agree with you regarding the start of a row: It looks a lot better when you slip the first stitch. However, you have to be very careful when joining the pieces: you have to use the second stitch of the row. If not the seam is a little too open. Joining by the second stitch results in a very neat seam. I prefer to join the pieces with a crochet hook, but that is just a preference.

  13. Lynda Says:

    I have found when I knit or purl that first stitch of every row, if I pull the yarn tight around the needle and knit or purl it off and hold it tight and also pull tight around the second stitch then I have a neat row of stitches up each side of the piece Iā€™m working on. Also you can relax the rest of the row till you get to the other end. Works for me.

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