Basic Techniques: Knitting Clean Edges

How do you master knitting clean edges, improving the look of your finished knitting projects? There’s a little trick I’d like to share with you today.

There’s basically three types of edges in knitting: the knotty edge, the straight and mixed ones.

Knotty Edges

Until recently, I did not really care much about the edges in my knitting projects. I just worked in the pattern given and did not treat the selvedge stitches in any special way. The most common results were random looking, knotty edges.

If you just knit every first stitch of a row, a knotty edge is the result.

There’s people who like exactly that look so I suppose it’s a basically question of personal preferences. Speaking for myself, I prefer the professional look and feel of clean edges, but more on that below.

Knitting clean edges

This edge (shown above) is achieved by the following recipe:

  • RS: k1, <do whatever the pattern calls for>, k1, turn.
  • WS: k1, <do whatever the pattern calls for>, k1, turn.

Mixed Variants

If one doesn’t work in pattern but just treating the selvage stitches randomly, mixed variants occur. Usually they look unintended and home-made but maybe you are after exactly that.

Knitting clean edges

Clean Edges

As stated earlier, I’m a huge fan of clean edges: straight knit-like stitches, one every other row.

Knitting clean edges

The recipe for treating the selvedge stitches to achieve a straight, clean edge is the following:

  • RS: sl1 wyb, <do whatever the pattern calls for>, ktbl, turn.
  • WS: sl1 wyf, <do whatever the pattern calls for>, p1, turn.

The trick is to cast on two additional stitches – the selvedge stitches – and work them like this to achieve a clean, finished edge in your knitting project.

Give It a Try!

Try casting on a few stitches and work the edge stitches as described in the section above. Do you like the result? Let me know if this article has been of helpful for your skills in knitting by leaving. comment below!

How to master knitting clean edges


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10 thoughts on “Basic Techniques: Knitting Clean Edges

  • Pingback: 365 Days of Shawl Knitting - knitting.today

  • March 26, 2017 at 6:30 pm
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    I love knitting but I sometimes don’t like what I do. I do try to be perfect,but….

    Reply
  • April 3, 2017 at 4:31 pm
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    i love a straight clean edge, sometimes i crochet an edge on, and sometimes knit on a boarder. but i like it to look finished

    Reply
  • April 22, 2017 at 3:38 am
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    It works! I have tried slipping the first stitch of every row, as per Ravelry suggestions, but that gives one side different than the other. Thanks! This has been a problem for quite awhile.

    Reply
    • April 28, 2017 at 10:26 pm
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      My pleasure 🙂

      Reply
  • June 1, 2017 at 1:55 pm
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    I have just learned the English slip stitch and I really like this one, check it out.

    Reply
  • June 20, 2017 at 5:46 pm
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    What do th abbreviations stand for?

    Reply
    • June 23, 2017 at 8:36 pm
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      Which one exactly?

      Reply
  • June 21, 2017 at 10:58 pm
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    Hi can I ask what was the divine yarn you used on the clean edge last picture in your post with the pink hues…..

    Reply
    • June 23, 2017 at 8:37 pm
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      It’s Malabrigo Yarn Arroyo in the color Purpuras.

      Reply

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