There's one problem that drives both new and seasoned knitters crazy: a messy edge stitch. Edge stitches, aka selvedge, are a way to finish off a piece neatly. You never want loose, sloppy stitches, and that's specially true for those first and last ones in your rows.
If this happens to you (we've all been there!), here are four sure-fire fixes.
Get into the habit of giving your first and last stitches in each row an extra tug before moving on.
After you knit that very first stitch, give that yarn a tug and hang on to it while you're knitting the second stitch. When you reach the end of the row, check the last stitch before and after turning to make sure it didn't loosen. Pull the yarn tightly before beginning the next row.
Slip the First Stitch
This is one of the simplest solutions: Just slip the first stitch of each row. Slipping will stretch the edge stitches out over two rows, getting rid of any loose ends.
For right-side rows, slip the first stitch with the yarn in front. For wrong-side rows, slip the first stitch with the yarn in back. Always slip the stitch purl-wise so you don't twist the stitches. This way, you end up with a tidy border that looks the same on the front and the back.
Make a Chained Edge
A chained edge gives you a neat braid that runs up and down each side of your knitting. It's a great technique to use on scarves and other flat knitting projects so the edges are even.
Right side rows: Slip the first and last stitch purl-wise with the yarn in front.
Wrong side rows: Knit the first stitch of the row through the back loop. Knit the last stitch of the row.
The garter stitch is a knitting basic, and usually the first stitch you learn to knit. If you're using the garter stitch , the super simple two-stitch I-cord can give your piece a really polished look.
Knit to the last two stitches. Slip the last two stitches purl-wise with the yarn in front. Turn the work, and knit as normal. (It may seem like the yarn is in an odd place, but that's how keep the edge neat!)