Easy way to fix rolled edges in knitting

A step-by-step tutorial for a very smart edge technique that will keep stockinette stitch stay flat.

Stockinette stitch is one of the first knitting stitch patterns any beginner will learn. It’s not only easy to knit, but it also looks super smooth and pretty. There is just one problem: When you knit it flat, it keeps rolling in on all sides. In this tutorial, I want to show you a very ingenious edge that helps to prevent that.

close up of the special edge to prevent curling in knitting

It’s important to note that this edge alone will only be able to fix part of the problem. The sides will still curl, and so will the fabric further up the fabric (if you want to know how to fix that, read my full tutorial to prevent knitting from curling). It is, however, a very good start!

Let’s show you how to knit it!

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Instructions: How to knit a no-curl edge for stockinette stitch

someone holding up a swatch in stockinette stitch with an edge that doesn'T curl

This edge requires 2-5 rows of fabric as a base. Then you lift stitches further down from the wrong side back to the knitting needle and this will create a solid ridge that fixes curling.

Active Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

Instructions

  1. Cast-on as many stitches as you want using a long-tail cast-on.

    knitting needles with a longtail cast-on
  2. Knit across 3 rows in stockinette stitch starting with a purl row.

    R1: purl across
    R2: knit across
    R3: purl across

    Consider adding the selvage of your choice to prevent the sides from curling as well.


    a swatch with three rows of stockinette stitch
  3. On the right side, slip the first stitch after your selvage knitwise.

    slipping one stitch knitwise
  4. Pick up the purl bump one row below the slipped stitch on the wrong side.

    picking up the purl bump one row below
    Here's a close-up shot from the wrong side showing which purl bump you need to pick up.
    someone showing the exact purl bump that needs to be slipped back
  5. Slip the loop back to the left needle but keep the right needle in the stitch.

    slipping the purl bump back to the left needle
  6. Knit the extra loop through the back loop.

    knitting the extra loop through the back loop
  7. Pass the second stitch on the right needle (the one that you've slipped) over the first stitch.

    passing over the slipped stitch over the knitted one
    This will tie these two layers together.

    result after the pass over
  8. Repeat steps 3-6 until the end of the row/start of your selvage.

    continuing repeating these steps for a no curl edge

Notes

Instead of starting on the wrong side with a purl row, you can also knit across the first row. Then you only need to knit two rows before you start with step 3. I personally feel that an in-pattern edge looks better but definitely try out both.

Knitting this edge will require a bit of patience and practice. At first, picking up these loops from behind might feel a bit cumbersome. Once you fall into a rhythm, I do feel it’s somewhat easy. Besides, I feel this edge is a little bit less intrusive than other ways to prevent the edges from rolling in.

Anyway, that was my little edge trick to keep Stockinette stitch from rolling in. Comment if you still have any questions.

14 thoughts on “Easy way to fix rolled edges in knitting”

  1. Thanks for this trick! I’m going to give it a try. I agree it does seem a bit fiddly, but it’s only one row at the hem and then you’re off for the rest of your project!

    Reply
  2. Thanks for the ideas. I really like the lace edge — it really gives interest to a simple one color scarf. I will give them all a try.

    Reply
  3. It didn’t seem too difficult to understand, but I think Susan was correct: a little fiddly but then you are done for the rest of the project. The pictures brought it home for me.

    Reply

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