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Beginner Knitting: How to Get Smooth Edges

When you first learn how to knit, one of the toughest things to master is the proper yarn tension.  Do you find that the edges of your knitting are often too loose or don’t lay right?  As you become more advanced, you’ll find the edges (aka selvedges) become neat on their own.  Until then, there’s a little trick you can use.  Have you ever tried slipping the first stitch of every row of your knitting?  Slipping stitches, otherwise known as S1 or S2 depending on how many stitches a pattern wants you to slip, means that when it comes time for you to knit a new row, slip the first stitch off of the left needle and onto the right needle without knitting or purling it.  Then proceed to knit the rest of the row as the pattern instructs.

Even advanced knitters use this method from time-to-time.  Not only does it create a nice, even edge, but it also makes your knitting easier to seam together because with slipped edges, the loops are clearly visible.  Slipping the first stitch of every row also makes it easy to pick up stitches and continue knitting if the pattern calls for it.  This method works particularly well when knitting projects in the stockinette stitch, but can be applied to other stitches as well.

Here’s a quick how-to photo guide showing how to slip a stitch.  It really is this easy!

Have you ever used this knitting trick before?  What were your experiences?