How to Knit a Chain Selvage or Slip-Stitched Edge When Knitting A Scarf or Other Projects

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The chain or slip-stitched edge is one of those little known, easy knitting tricks that can enhance the appearance of almost any project. It is used to give a finished, crochet-look border to the selvage edge of scarves and other knitted items whose sides would otherwise be lumpy and plain. Unlike crocheted finishing stitches, chain edges are knitted as you go -- at the beginning and end of each row. Choose one of the following five methods for adding finished edges to your knitting project.

Things You'll Need

  • Yarn
  • Knitting needles

Slip the first stitch knit-wise, beginning with the first row. In other words, slip your right needle into the stitch as if you were going to knit it, then slide the left needle out of the stitch -- leaving it on the right needle -- instead of completing the knit stitch. Work the rest of the row as normal, according to your pattern, except the last stitch. Purl the last stitch. Repeat for every row. Bind off as normal.

Slip the first stitch purl-wise, beginning with the first row. Work the rest of the row as normal, according to your pattern, except the last stitch. Knit the last stitch. Repeat for every row. Bind off as normal.

Slip the first stitch purl-wise, beginning with the first row. Work the rest of the row as normal, according to your pattern, except the last stitch. Knit the last stitch through the back loop. Repeat for every row. Bind off as normal.

Knit the first stitch beginning with the first row. Work the rest of the row as normal, according to your pattern, except the last stitch. Slip the last stitch purl-wise, bringing the yarn toward the front. Repeat for every row. Bind off as normal.

Purl the first stitch, beginning with the first row. Work the rest of the row as normal, according to your pattern, except the last stitch. Slip the last stitch knit-wise, bringing the yarn toward the back. Repeat for every row. Bind off as normal.

Tips & Warnings

  • The idea is to never have the hanging thread cross over or pull a stitch across the selvage edge. By eliminating this and not working the first or last stitch of each row, you create a chain stitch or crochet-look finish.
  • This border-making technique looks especially nice on garter- and stockinette-stitch scarves made with eyelash. It also works well on knitted dishcloths and potholders.
  • If adding chain-stitched edges to a specific knitting pattern, cast on two extra stitches. Otherwise, your finished item will be too narrow.
  • Be sure to adjust your yarn quantity accordingly.

References

  • Isabella Solimando; Expert Knitter
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