An important thing on the way to the perfect knitted garment is even edges. Not only do
they look better but it also makes the sewing together easier.
Source of Error
Especially in pieces worked in stocking stitch the stitches at the edges, directly next to
the "edge stitch", are often uneven. In one row they are too tight, in the next
one too loose. This is often more noticeable at the left side.
The reason for this lies in the row before. When putting the needle through the stitch in
the previous row the yarn is usually too stretched. This little piece of yarn goes
unnoticed over into the next stitch, then the next one and so on. This doesn't stand out
within the row, but at the end of the row this "extra" yarn is divided over the
last 3 - 4 stitches.
Here's how it's done
In every row knit the first 3 - 4 stitches very tight and the last 3 - 4 stitches somewhat
looser. This way you're counteracting the chain reaction described above. The too loose
first stitches (the last ones from the previous row) are reduced to a normal size if you
pull them up a little when you put the needle through the loop. The too tight last
stitches (the first from the previous row) are then extended by the "extra"
piece of yarn. This little trick has a great effect! With a little practice uneven edges
are soon a thing of the past.
How you knit your edge stitch is left up to you, it doesn't really make a difference. If
you are unsure which one to use, try out the various methods.
In rib patterns it's often enough to purl one stitch after or before the edge stitch. So
if you're doing knit 2, purl 2, that would be edge stitch P1, * K2, P2* K2, P1, edge
stitch, repeating from *.