Finishing Starts at the Beginning

     I like a nice straight edge when knitting up a new flat piece such as a scarf or blanket. There is nothing more disappointing then getting that last stitch bound off, laying your piece out flat and seeing a wobbly edge. More than once I’ve had the thought “no amount of blocking is going to fix that”! And just as many times a piece would be completely frogged and reworked into something different, that is until I discovered the slip-stitched edge.

      The slip-stitched edge is a simple technique that virtually guarantees your finished flatwork will have a nice, clean uniform edge. And it’s easy to incorporate into virtually every pattern in your library. The first stitch of every row is slipped purl-wise – that’s it, nothing fancy but the end result looks fabulous and professional.

      You don’t need to limit this technique to flat work such as scarves or blankets. I’ve incorporated the slip-stitched edge into virtually all of my knit work. Seams on sweaters are far easier to stitch up when edges are uniform and tidy. The added advantage of a sweater that utilizes a slip-stitch edge as selvedge is a seam that doesn’t easily stretch beyond its original intended measurement.  It also makes picking up and knitting stitches along an edge for collars or sleeves easier and more uniform.

     There are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind before using a slip-stitch edge. Think about the end result first. Some patterns incorporate increases with the first and last stitches of a row. If so, can the increase be moved in one stitch without losing the overall integrity of the pattern? If not then this is not the technique to employ. Think about the edging pattern itself and where it will be on the finished piece. Will that straight edge take away or add to the visual appeal of your cardigan?

      This is a nice finishing technique for your knitting but it starts long before that last stitch is bound-off, it starts at the beginning.