A close up of the chain selvage of a small blue swatch.

Tidy chain edging

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!

Sl1kw wyib

Slip 1 stitch as if to knit, with yarn held in back:

Slip 1 knit-wise with yarn in back
Sl1kw wyib

Sl1pw wyif

Slip 1 stitch as if to purl, with yarn held in front:

Slip 1 purl-wise with yarn in front (Sl1pw wyif)
Sl1pw wyif

Double Edging

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.

A comparison of single chain selvage and double edging.

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