How to Knit Without Curling the Edges

by Jessica Daniel

Knitting is a relaxing way to enjoy your day -- except when those little frustrations such as curling edges get in the way, stress you out, and make you want to throw your knitting across the room. With a simple trick, you no longer have to put up with curling edges obscuring the knitting. Adding either a seed stitch, a rib stitch or a garter stitch to the edges of the work will keep the edges straight and make seaming easier to finish.

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Seed Stitch

Step 1

Cast on the desired number of stitches. Keep the stitch counts an even number.

Step 2

Knit one stitch then purl one stitch. Repeat to the end of the row.

Step 3

Purl one stitch then knit one stitch. Repeat to the end of the row.

Step 4

Repeat Steps 2 and 3 for the desired length. Continue working in seed stitch across two to four stitches up the sides of the work, working the rest of the stitches in pattern. If the piece requires seaming, a two stitch seed stitch will prevent curling, but be hidden after seaming. Four stitches will create a decorative seam line.

Rib Stitch

Step 1

Cast on the desired number of stitches. Keep the stitch counts an even number.

Step 2

Knit one stitch then purl one stitch. Repeat to the end of the row.

Step 3

Repeat Step 2 for the desired length. Keep two to four stitches in rib stitch at each end of the knitting. For a non-seamed piece, four stitches in rib will prevent curling at the edges. For a seamed piece, two will prevent curling enough to seam the piece together without aggravation.

Garter Stitch

Step 1

Cast on the desired number of stitches. Stitch counts don't matter for garter stitch. Even or odd stitch counts look the same.

Step 2

Knit all stitches on the first row.

Step 3

Continue for the desired length. Knitting every stitch on every row will create a textured fabric that prevents curling. As with the other stitch patterns, keep two to four stitches at each edge in garter stitch. Similar to the rib stitch, garter stitch works best in at least four stitches at each edge for a flat piece, but two will prevent curling enough for seaming a piece together.

References

  • "Stitch N Bitch The Knitter's Handbook"; Debbie Stoller; 2003
  • "Knitting Workshop"; Elizabeth Zimmermann; 1981

About the Author

Jessica Daniel has been writing professionally since 2005. She has worked in the arts-and-crafts field, publishing knitting patterns with Lorna's Laces and My Sister's Knits. Daniel holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and women's studies from St. Xavier University.

Photo Credits

  • MASH/Photodisc/Getty Images