Selvages – the side edges of a piece of fabric – are tricky places to keep order. For almost all of the pieces I knit these days I begin each row with a slipped stitch in order to make a chain of elongated stitches up each edge.
Chain Selvage / Slipped Stitch Edge:
Follow these instructions for the first and last stitch of each right-side (RS) and wrong-side (WS) row:
RS: Slip first stitch knitwise with yarn in back … knit last stitch.
WS: Slip first stitch purlwise with yarn in front … purl last stitch.
The swatches in these photos show what it looks like with a stockinette fabric. Making a purl stitch directly next to the slipped edge stitch changes the look – try it out!
Slip 1 stitch as if to knit, with yarn held in back:
Slip 1 stitch as if to purl, with yarn held in front:
If you follow the instructions above while holding two strands of yarn together it creates a bulky chain that works nicely as a simple edge for blankets. In the photo below the left swatch has double edging compared to the single edging of the swatch on the right. See my full post here.