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Topic: New knitter needs help with selvages.  (Read 668 times)
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« on: January 22, 2008 09:55:53 AM »

I very recently picked up knitting.
I made my first FO last week, a dishcloth in plain stockinette stitch with a garter stitch border, mainly just for practice. I noticed on my dishcloth that my edges were "knobby" or "knotty" looking, not nice and neat and almost braid-like that I've seen on other projects. But hey, it was a practice dish cloth so I didn't care.
For my second project I wanted something a bit more difficult So I went with Kinsey's Cable Scarf.
I started the cable and everything was going very well..except my edges. This time I have one decent one and the other one looks as though it got caught in the garbage disposal. How can I fix this? I'm going to frog it and start over once I know what I'm doing wrong.

^^Decent Edge

^^Crap Edge

^^Whole thing.
Sorry about the terrible quality, I only have a webcam on hand at the moment.
I would really appreciate any advise anyone has to offer.
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« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2008 10:15:50 AM »

I would really appreciate any advise anyone has to offer.

me too - I also only just started knitting and am still on my 1st piece. I noticed I have this problem too - does anyone have the answer??  Huh

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« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2008 10:34:45 AM »

To get that nice "braided" edge look, cast on 2 additional sts. If your pattern says CO 18 sts, CO 20.

On every row: slip the first st as if to purl with yarn in front. Knit the last st.

« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2008 10:55:14 AM »

Thank you so much! I'm going to unravel it later and start over. It's a little upsetting but I suppose that's better than finishing and being dissappointed with the finished piece.
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2008 11:12:55 AM »

Another way to even up the edges is just tighten the first stitch. Knit it, then give a little tug which will take up the slack in the stitch below it too. Then knit the next couple stitches a bit tighter. I don't slip the first one because they end up looking looser and messier than when I just tighten them a bit.

« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2008 11:18:38 AM »

I'm not sure if it has anything to do with me not tightening them though. They don't look or seem loose at all, I just get knot-like looking edges.  My whole dish cloth was knit tight and it still seemed to be a problem.
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2008 11:35:23 AM »

the slip stitch (chain) edge selvage is the 'cure all' fix.

its a fast and dirty fix. (it fixes nothing!)

is passable for non seamed edges (scarves/stoles shawls)

it's a poor choice for edges that will later be seamed

there are only 1/2 the number of chains as there are rows, and this can result in 1/2 the number of stitches in the seam.. not good for smooth, strong seams!

1--there are other selvage stitches if you want a 'finished edge to a scarf or other item.

I-cord is one, simple double knitting is another, cables even work as an edging!
YO/k2tog is yet another choice!

2--for edges that will be seamed, the fix is not a selvage stitch(any selvage stitch,  but a solution.

and the solution has been presented--(see soozeq's post)

attention to detail (like snugging up the first stitch, and smooth edges ) are what elevate home knit to "hand Knit"

it takes practice! 

(if you'd like to see, i-cord edges (with i cord cast on and i cord bind off) or simple double knitting as a selvage (and a cable selvage) check out my blog, (Jan 19th entry) for a collection of wash clothes with these different selvage/edge treatments.

you can go with the chain stitch (never really solving the problem, just hushing it up) or you can learn to make beautiful edges on your knitting.. by choice. 

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