It’s so maddening when we knit something in stockinette stitch and the edges curl!
The end result is not what we expected because of the edges curling, and often we don’t know how to prevent it from happening.
Sometimes it happens with stitches other than stockinette, but we still want the same result: that our scarf comes out nice and straight, with perfect edges.
We’re going to show you a few different methods to prevent the edges of your knit scarf from curling, and none of them are complicated.
The most well known method to prevent curling is by blocking. How do you do that?
When you’re finished knitting your project and you’ve bound off your stitches, put your garment into tepid water with a bit of pH neutral soap.
Let the wool soak for about 30 minutes, but don’t rub!
After 30 minutes, rinse carefully and drain the excess water without wringing or twisting (you don’t want to risk felting your project), wrap it in a towel and squeeze gently.
Next, lay your project out on a flat surface where you can pin it into the desired shape.
Let it dry and you’re done, your edges will lay flat, and the stitch pattern will be more defined.
*You’ll have to repeat this process every time you wash your project. And remember, it only works with animal fibers, like those of our WAK Wool skeins.
Add a garter stitch or seed stitch border
Easy, peasy. Instead of knitting one row and purling one row, add a few knit stitches to the edges (if you want to, you can use seed stitch to add more, the process is the same).
Row 1: knit all stitches.
Row 2: knit two or three stitches (depending upon the width you want for your border), purl until you have the same number of stitches left that you knit for your border at the beginning of the row, knit remaining stitches.
Some wools curl more than others, so the number of stitches needed to help your edges lay flat may vary, but you should leave a minimum of two stitches on each edge.
Add a decorative lacy border
This is probably the prettiest option of all, an added bonus to any stockinette project.
It consists in adding a lacy stitch on each edge of your scarf, in the following manner:
Row 1: knit one stitch, wrap the yarn around the needle and then knit the next two stitches together. Knit all stitches until there are three stitches left, knit two stitches together, wrap the yarn around the needle and knit the last stitch.
Row 2: purl all stitches, including the wrapped yarn from the previous row.
If you decide to try this method, remember to add three stitches more to each edge of your project (six stitches total).
Slipped stitch border
This is the least known technique, but it’s also the only one that doesn’t change the appearance of your pattern. That means it’s perfect for when you don’t want to add a border that’s different than stockinette, right?
It’s worked in four rows, so you have to pay more attention, but it’s very easy to catch on.
The end result is an edge that only curls on the first stitches, and makes them a little bit thicker. Absolutely perfect!
Row 1: knit 1 stitch, slip the next stitch to the right needle without knitting, knit all stitches until two stitches are left on the left needle. Slip the next stitch without knitting and knit the last stitch.
Row 2: purl all stitches.
Row 3: slip the first stitch without knitting, knit the next stitch, slip the third stitch without knitting. Knit all stitches until there are three stitches left on the left needle. Slip the next stitch without knitting, knit one stitch and slip the last stitch without knitting.
Row 4: purl all stitches.
What we’re doing when we slip some stitches at the beginning and end of the row is isolate the edges so only those stitches curl.
You’ll have a thicker edge like you can see in the photo:
If you know of another technique to prevent the edges from curling, tell us about it in the comments section.
And remember we have lots of scarf kits available so you can practice these methods.
Don’t stop sharing your projects on social networks using the tag #WeAreKnitters, you can win $75 of WAK products each month.