How to Make Neat Side Edges in Eastern (Russian) Knitting

How to Make Neat Side Edges in Russian Knitting

This tutorial is about a distinct feature of projects knitted using the Eastern (previously known as Russian) knitting style – neat side edges. No matter whether edges are exposed (like edges of a scarf, for example), or hidden inside a seam, each edge is always decorated with a lovely chain of stitches.

It happens because in Eastern knitting selvedge stitches are considered to be an integral part of any knitted piece. I remember when my aunt taught me to knit many years ago, she told me right away that I should slip the first and purl the last stitch of every row. It was a rule and I followed it without even giving it much thought.

Judging from the habits of other knitters who practice Eastern knitting – the knitters that I’ve met in person and those whom I watched on YouTube – it seems that they were also taught this rule.

So far, I haven’t seen a single piece knitted using the Eastern knitting style that doesn’t have well-formed edges. And from the look of those edges, they are probably formed using the same rule that I’ve learned from my aunt years ago – slip the first and purl the last stitch of every row.

Let’s see how this simple technique works step-by-step (you can also watch every step in this video tutorial or scroll down to the bottom of this page to watch the embedded version of the video).

IMPORTANT NOTE

If the pattern you follow does not include selvedge stitches, add two stitches to the number of stitches you cast on.

It is especially important if you plan to work in a stitch pattern that has a pattern repeat of two or more stitches.

STEP 1

With the working yarn at the back of the work, insert the tip of the right needle from right to left into the very first stitch of a row.

How to Make Neat Side Edges in Russian Knitting

Take the left needle out of the stitch leaving the stitch on the right needle.

How to Make Neat Side Edges in Russian Knitting

STEP 2

Work until you get to the last stitch of the row.

How to Make Neat Side Edges in Russian Knitting

This edging looks great with all kinds of stitch patterns – knit and purl stitches (including ribbing), lace, cables, slip-stitch patterns etc., so feel free to work in any stitch pattern you like.

STEP 3

Bring the yarn to the front of the work and purl the last stitch of the row.

How to Make Neat Side Edges in Russian Knitting

Repeat these steps in every row throughout your project and you will see a lovely chain of stitches forming at each side of your work.

How to Make Neat Side Edges in Russian Knitting

This technique is very common in the Eastern style of knitting, but it also works if you knit using any of the classic knitting styles. In classic knitting, we purl stitches differently than we do in Eastern knitting. That’s why in a piece knitted using a classic style of knitting, the stitches at the edges of the fabric will be bigger and more open, but they will still look nice and clean.

How to Make Neat Side Edges in Russian Knitting

To learn more about the Eastern style of knitting, consider taking a self-paced online course – Eastern (Russian) Knitting Simplified.


If you enjoyed this tutorial,
here’s something else you might find helpful:

“Neat Side Edges” Book

Learn twelve ways to make side edges of a knitted project nice and tidy. Plus, ways to fix side edges, and a way to improve edges of finished projects.


Happy knitting!

Maryna Shevchenko - www.10rowsaday.com

Let’s be friends on GoodReads 🙂

How to Make Neat Side Edges in Russian Knitting | 10 rows a day
How to Make Neat Side Edges in Russian Knitting | 10 rows a day
How to Make Neat Side Edges in Russian Knitting | 10 rows a day