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Hello, I am new to knitting myself and have discovered that some pattern stitches, such as stockinette, curl at the edges. The edge or border stitches keep that from happening for a flat item such as a scarf or afghan. Typical border stitches are garter stitch, seed stitch, minimum of 4 or 5, more if you want.
If the pattern doesn't include it you need to remember to start and end every row with the border pattern.

For example, if you were making a stockinette scarf with a pattern that says CO 30, you would add 8 or 10 for the borders. You would also want to begin and end the scarf with 4 or 5 rows of border pattern unless you are adding fringe.

With practice you will find what you like best, happy knitting!
Lois
 
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