"End" Stiches

I'm having problems with "end" stiches...the first, or last, stitch on a needle. They always end up looking like slip knots, and a far too loose and wide. I'm working on a basket weave scarf (cachmere blend, cream) and the pattern is turning out OK but the edges look scalloped. Any suggestions or advice?


YarnGuy716's picture

The best solution for when you are working on a scarf is to slip the first stitch purl-wise rather than to knit it. So at the beginning of each row, slip your right hand needle through the back of the stitch like you are going to purl. Then you slip the stitch from the left hand needle to the right hand needle, without working it. Then continue on working the rest of the stitches for that row. These edge stitches will look large to you at first, but don't worry that's what you want. Once you've worked a couple of inches you will see it gives you an edge similar to your cast-on, rather than that knotty-bump edge.

Oh and by the way... welcome to Men Who Knit.


drmel94's picture

Slipping the first stitch creates what's called a chain selvedge, and I agree that's a nice, neat edge for a scarf. I'm sure there are probably several sites where you can find how-to's, but this was one of the first that came up on a Google search: http://tinyurl.com/fuefw. The written instructions are fairly clear and there are photos.

"Hatred does not end by hatred; hatred ends by love. This is the eternal law." - Buddha

grandcarriage's picture

OK, Devil's advocate. I personally DON'T like the look of a chain stitch selvedge, as I think the extra-large stitches on the end look odd and un-tailored, especially on a fine scarf. If you don't want a scalloped edge, which is caused by the natural tendency for a stockinette stitch to curve or bend knitwise, you can knit a k1p1 border (2 or 4 stitches) creating a rib edge which frames the work =>see my entry: somewhat fancy...the scarf has a 4 st border: (k1p1k1p1) OR you could do a garter stitch border, OR a moss (single or double) stitch border. I put a yarn marker just prior to the border stitches to keep from making an error. Basically, any stitch pattern of the same gauge that doesn't pull will work as a border. Good luck. Bob

emhinsch's picture

Thank you both for your suggestion. I started over on the scarf (too many mistakes) and used the selvage edge. It looks much better! I'll post a picture of it when it's complete.

Eric, aka, Knitting Dragon